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Control Issues Is one of your employees building an empire right under your nose?

By Chris Penttila

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Last year, the management team of a small technology firm wastrying to understand why projects were coming in late and overbudget. The company hired Leslie Kossoff, owner of KossoffManagement Consulting in San Mateo, California, to find theproblem. All roads led her to the firm's lead softwaredesigner. Only he knew the foundation code for the company'ssoftware programs. Even worse, he refused to share it with otherdesigners. His secrecy was a huge drain on productivity.

"Designers were always waiting for him. They could readonly aspects of his code and didn't know if their work would becompatible," Kossoff says.

Once management understood the situation, the other designersfelt empowered to crack the code. Once they did, the lead designerleft the firm. "He didn't have his power baseanymore," Kossoff says. "His way of having control wasthrough this foundation code. He built his empire thisway."

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