Is Your Business A Democracy?

Years ago, I thought about making my gym a co-op. I told myself I wanted to give ‘ownership’ to the clients and let them guide the future…but really, I was trying to avoid responsibility.

In this episode of Business Is Good, I discuss the common – but sometimes unconscious – desire for the owner to say “It’s not my fault!”

It’s up to you to make the decisions and bear the consequences: you get the upside, if you make good decisions. And you also bear the downside, if you make bad ones.

It’s this risk that separates the owner from everybody else.

But if you share decision making, and you build committees in your company, what you wind up with is a bureaucracy.


  • Sharing responsibility in a business co-op.0:02
    • Chris Cooper learns to embrace business responsibility as owner.
  • The drawbacks of bureaucracy in business.1:44
    • Bureaucracies prioritize employing people over solving problems or serving needs, unlike businesses that exist to solve problems or meet needs.
  • Decision-making and leadership.2:55
    • Chris Cooper emphasizes the importance of making decisions and taking responsibility, even if not everyone agrees.
    • He shares an example of a trust-building moment with his daughter’s birth, where the doctor took quick action without worrying about his feelings.
  • Effective decision-making and communication in crisis situations.5:07
    • In a crisis, prioritize decision-making and communication over bedside manner.
  • Decision-making and leadership in business.6:38
    • Chris Cooper emphasizes the importance of making tough decisions and standing by them, even if it means going against staff members’ opinions.
    • Chris Cooper emphasizes the importance of decision-making in business, arguing that owners must take responsibility and make decisions to succeed.

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