Slava Rubin on How to Let Go and Hand Off Responsibility to Others

In Chapter 7 of 15 in his 2013 Capture Your Flag interview, Indiegogo CEO Slava Rubin answers "What Has Been Most Challenging About Handing Off Responsibilities to Others?" As a self-proclaimed control freak, Rubin struggles with the challenge of letting go and handing off responsibility to others on his team. Through co-worker support and executive coaching, Rubin learns techniques to share responsibilities with others and empower and motivate employees to take ownership of the work. Slava Rubin is CEO and co-founder of Indiegogo, the world's largest crowdfunding platform. Indiegogo empowers anyone, anywhere, anytime to raise funds for any idea—creative, cause-related or entrepreneurial. Prior to Indiegogo, Rubin worked as a management consultant. He earned his BSE degree from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.


Erik Michielsen: What has been most challenging about handing off responsibilities to others?

Slava Rubin: The hardest thing about growing and handing off responsibility is if you’re a control freak, like somebody in this interview might be, then it’s hard to just empower somebody else, but no one person can build their company by themselves to be at a scale where they need to be, so you need to really find great other people. So it’s really around that balancing act of knowing what you wanna accomplish, knowing how you might do it, but maybe it’s gonna be much better if somebody else did it, and it could be even more better if you can empower somebody who does an even creative approach. So it’s really that balancing act of finding the right people, having that relationship with them where it’s mutual trust and pushing it forward. If you can find that mutual trust between co-workers, I mean that’s super scalable, that’s awesome.

Erik Michielsen: Has this been something where you use a coaching relationship to best go about that process of handing off responsibility? 

Slava Rubin: Yeah, I mean I think I’m still learning. I think there’s plenty for me to learn. I think that my management team has been a great—done a great job of both listening to me, advising me, giving me feedback, and vice versa, but yeah, an executive coach is definitely helpful because I’m biased in a situation, and they can help think of techniques or ways for you to get better.