Michael Horvath, co-founder and CEO of Strava, explains how adopting a minimalist style of leadership allows talented people to thrive.

Michael Horvath says that as his team has grown in the more than a decade since the founding of Strava, an app for athletes based in San Francisco, he has radically changed his style of leadership.

“I can’t run the company the way I did when we were 50,” he says. Now Strava has four offices around the world and more than 400 employees. “The biggest difference in my style is the reliance on my team”.

This means no micromanagement at all. No socializing with employees or sharing your ideas. Instead, when he meets a member of the team, he allows him to lead the discussion by asking for his ideas and views. This is how I start every conversation,” says Horvath on the podcast of “What I know” Inc magazine.

This approach sounds simple, but, according to Horvat, produces obvious results:

If you hire talented people who want to make a difference in the world and believe in your company’s mission – what’s behind your company – don’t hold them back by limiting their options. Give them more opportunities. Ask the question: “What do you have in mind? How do you see this? What would you do next?”. This is an opportunity for them to go far beyond what you thought was the best next step. My philosophy is that the human condition is such that everyone is born with incredible potential. And, unfortunately, the world rarely allows you to realize your full potential”.
“When we succeed, regardless of your life experience, for example, where you studied or what position you occupy in the company, we see how great things happen,” he says.

It all starts with people starting to talk, says Horvath. Giving up control over the discussions has advantages for the individual leader as well. You may get a chance to reflect, not manage all the details. “They will let you know when they need you,” he says. ” They’ll let you know when they need your opinion”.