Idan Cohen on Learning to Manage and Delegate Responsibility

In Chapter 19 of 19 in his 2012 Capture Your Flag interview, Boxee co-founder and head of product Idan Cohen answers "How Are You Learning to More Effectively Hand Off Responsibility?"  Cohen notes the challenges of handing off his product vision to others as well as not diving into details enough.  He believes a balance must be found between the two and this is the underlying challenge he faces. 

This is Idan Cohen's Year 1 Capture Your Flag interview.  Cohen is co-founder and head of product at Boxee Inc, an online video software company.  Previous to Boxee, Cohen held telecom software innovation and developer roles at Comverse.  He was a Captain in the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) and graduated from Tel Aviv University with a Bachelors of Science degree in Geophysics and Art.


Erik Michielsen: How are you learning to more effectively hand off responsibility?

Idan Cohen: So I think that I have this problem where I’m just—some—on specific things I would go into the smaller details, smallest details. And it would be extremely hard for me to hand off responsibility because I have the image of—the exact image of what something should look like as the end product, and it’s extremely hard for me to accept a different direction or different angle on it. On the other hand, I definitely do not dive into details, small details enough sometimes, so at some point I will hand it off and will just let someone else take care of it.

And that’s exactly kind of right now it’s a little bit of like the wrong way to do it, because it needs to be somewhere in the middle, ‘cause you need to be able to trust the other person—that the other person can achieve your final vision, be able to visit him along the way and guide but not impose your opinion, or the way you see it, not just having him, you know, do the work, but actually letting him think his way through it. So I think it’s important to find that balance between those—trying to do that.