How an empowered team can take the sting out of your business...

I was stung by a wasp this week. That triggered a severe infection, which got me thinking. What would happen if I wasn't here?


We're starting to pick up our pace at Proactive Code, our aim is to provide a larger and more cohesive range of services to our customers. A one stop shop, from strategic thinking, design, search engine marketing and web development.

But this transition from a coding development house to a full-blown agency, needs talented people to drive it. This means my role is changing too.

How things went south

I like to process things while running, it helps keep me focused and gives me some time to think. During Tuesday’s lunch time run, I got stung by a wasp. Apparently at this time of year they get drunk from eating fermented fruit and act erratically. This particular wasp decided to sting me on the inside of my wrist, which I'm not going to lie, is a painful place to get stung.

I didn't give it much thought and continued my day as normal. By Wednesday however, things had gone a bit pear-shaped. The swelling was getting worse, and the discoloured area was tracking up my veins and towards my elbow. I managed to see an out of hours doctor and got a prescription for some antibiotics and steroids. By Thursday the infection was about an inch and a half away from my armpit. Thankfully, the medication kicked in and the bulk of the swelling and redness has now gone.

All of this got me thinking. Firstly, listen to your wife. Saying "It will be reet", does not necessarily make it so.

Secondly, what would have happened if I'd been a day later in seeking help, or what would happen if I was in an accident and become incapacitated (or worse).

What makes an effective leader?

When you run a business, you have a responsibility to your colleagues. This leads to the question, how do you create a business than can keep going in your absence, if the need arises?

Luckily one of the best bits about my job is meeting loads of fantastic owners, directors, and managers. After almost a decade, I've learned to spot a few traits which indicate that an amazing leader is at the helm.

In no particular order, these leaders:

  • Value feedback

  • Want to keep developing their colleagues skills

  • Rarely micromanage projects

  • Are always there as needed

  • Never fixate on the bad

  • Are always on the lookout for talent

  • Always looking for new customers and fresh ideas

These leaders have created teams that are self-motivated and highly effective. They have a strong impact on the organisations they work in, but their presence is rarely needed to keep the wheels turning on day to day jobs.

What does this mean for my role in Proactive Code?

It's clear to me that my time as a developer is coming to an end.

Instead, my goal should be to find, motivate and develop the best possible people, that in turn will help power Proactive Codes continued growth.

Recently, I've started handing over key development responsibilities to our Lead Developer Ryan. This process has been a huge relief and has given me more time to focus on our customers requirements, our products and our collegues here at Proactive Code.

We also have an amazing designer (Mark), office manager (Jodie) and junior developer (Danny), with two new starters inbound.

My new role is to ensure our growing team is effective and fully able to function under any circumstances.

After all, no business should ever be in a position where a wasp could cripple their organisation.