“Yes, I trust you, but, no, you cannot operate on me.”

“Are you sure?  I am an excellent chef.”

Trust has its limits.  Sometimes obvious.  Sometimes not.  It would be absurd to allow your chef (if, in fact, that is their only training) to perform surgery on you.  They might be able to do amazing things to a carrot with a knife, but I don’t want my pancreas carved into a flower!  Not only are they unqualified, they are not even in your healthcare chain of trust.

On the other hand, if you were to dine at their restaurant, you would put a tremendous amount of trust in them.  You trust in their ability to compose flavors into a delicious meal.  You trust in their ability to prepare the food.  You trust in their ability to run a kitchen.  You trust in their ability to keep the pots and pans and plates and silverware clean.  You trust in their ability to keep vermin out of the entire establishment.

Of course, you do not actually expect the chef to spend his time washing the dishes or scrubbing down the ice dispenser.  You want his time focused on creating food that delights!  If he spent his (ostensibly more expensive) time on tasks that could be delegated to less costly team members, your meal would cost a small fortune.

When you walk into a restaurant, you don’t walk up to the chef and dictate who washes your dishes or provides pest control.  You make a decision (conscious or not) to trust the chef and you accept what decisions he has made.

A chef who makes poor decisions won’t be in business long, but a chef that doesn’t delegate only has a JOB – not a business.  The business cannot possibly scale.

What about those initial customers who prompted the chef to start his own restaurant in the first place?  They have a responsibility to allow the trust in the chef to grow.  If they don’t, they really didn’t mean for the chef to start a restaurant: they just wanted a personal chef without the responsibility of paying chef full-time.

When they fail to engender trust, they put chef between a rock and a hard place.  Their message is clear, “do it my way or I disappear.”  Chef doesn’t want to be disloyal to these early supporters, but there may be little choice.  These customers may need to be fired.