Hello everyone.

Today’s tip from the Harvard Business Review (HBR) Management Tip of the Day caught my eye because it highlights some of the conflicting planetary configurations we are experiencing in our business lives these days.

The HBR Tip is:  Trying to Grow?  Give up Control

Whenever I see “grow” and “control” in the same line I think of Jupiter (growth and expansion) and Saturn (control).

The conflict, astrologically speaking

Saturn is exalted in its current sign Libra, which means it functions very well and brings its best face to the table.  Jupiter is the ancient ruler of its current sign Pisces, which means it is very comfortable in that sign and can further its aims unimpeded.  These two titans are each powerful these days.  But Libra and Pisces couldn’t be more different, astrologically speaking, which brings issues of growth and control into conflict in our businesses these days.

Saturn in Libra knows that in theory, we should share responsibility with others.  But when Saturn shares, one hand is open and one hand is firmly closed on the reins.  This is the leader who believes in empowering employees or subcontractors but then micromanages them every step of the way.  This leader fears the mistakes that inevitably happen when you allow others to make decisions.  And in today’s business environment, mistakes will happen no matter who is making the decisions; this year will be particularly full of conflict.  There’s no way we’ll get through it without mistakes.

Jupiter in Pisces has full faith in people and wants to push decision-making down or out to the periphery.  This leader wants everyone and everything to grow and for people to create environments to cultivate their own growth.  Jupiter in Pisces relies upon intuition, imagination, and fantasy and assumes that no matter what happens everything will turn out OK.

So here we have the conflict.  Saturn in Libra wants to believe in sharing but is fearful of the consequences if things get out of control.  Jupiter in Pisces wants to live in the fantasy that everyone is trustworthy and has your business interests at heart.  And even if you don’t have employees, you may recognize a similar vacillation happening in yourself these days.

Three tips

So the HBR tip says, if you want to grow, give up control.  That’s like saying, if you want Jupiter, give up Saturn.  Let’s see how we can take their recommendation, but satisfy both Saturn’s need to control and Jupiter’s need to grow.  HBR gives three tips:

  1. Push decision making down.  This addresses the familiar situation where all decision-making rests in the owner or leader resulting in a bottleneck of frustration.  This can affect your customers, your employees, and your colleagues.  Summon that Jupiter faith in others and, taking small steps, hand over a few key decisions to the lowest level possible.  Once your confidence grows, delegate larger and larger decisions.
  2. Accept that mistakes will happen.  Now here is where it gets tough, because especially in a very small business, mistakes can impact your sales and reputation for long time.  This is where some Saturnian “rules of engagement” come in handy.  Make sure, when handing out responsibility, that your expectations are very clear, and that your employee or sub-contractor has the tools they need and a clear context for the situation.  And have a contingency plan in place so you can react quickly if something goes wrong. 
  3. Build your bench.  I love this one.  When you first begin to delegate decision-making, you will have to invest a lot more time than if you just make the decisions yourself.  But if you are willing to invest in your employees in this way, over time they will make better and better decisions.  They will be happier and more productive and you will have more time to handle other facets of your business, like growth and profitability.

How well do you delegate?  Let us know in the comments section.  And if you’re the sole person in your business, what “growth versus control” issues do you encounter?

Don’t forget. If you have an astrology-related business question (or a business-related astrology question) send it to me at ellen@astro4business.com. I’ll answer it in these posts, anonymously of course, and we can all learn from each other’s experiences. I look forward to it! Have a question now? Email it and let’s get started!