But employee ownership is not just about sharing. It is also, in practice, often about giving. Such schemes depend on someone, usually the proprietor, deciding at some point to transfer ownership of some or all of a company to its employees. And it is this aspect of the ideal, I think, that has the greatest significance for my story. Of all the things I have given, it is arguable that the shares in my company that I gave away had the greatest financial value. In fact, I have rarely thought of this transfer of ownership as a gift, and I would be wrong if I did. The staff had a right to share in the company. Without them, the company would not have been so prosperous (and I am certain that Xansa would never have reached anything like the financial heights it eventually did if it hadn’t been powered by the fuel of staff ownership). But while I never doubted that aspect of the transfer, I did sometimes struggle with a more abstract issue: the fact that transferring ownership also means, ultimately, transferring control. That was the real challenge: surrendering power. Anyone can adjust to having a bit less money; ceding control of an enterprise that really matters to you is, by contrast, painfully counterintuitive. Who in their right mind would entrust an organisation that they have built up against all the odds, through years of tears, toil and sweat, to someone else? What if they mess it up? What if they don’t really understand what it is that you have created? What if they take it in some dangerous new direction, or manage it in a less idealistic way? Yet without that surrender, the most important part of the transaction is lost. A feudal grandee can be as generous as he likes with his wealth and property, but as long as he remains the grandee then his dependants are not empowered: they are merely well-fed. Empowering them means letting go: in other words, ceasing to be the grandee. I have struggled all my life with an instinct to hang on to the things that matter most to me, to control and protect them myself. Yet the art of surrender is, I am convinced, a key to many kinds of success - and fulfilment. And many lives are limited by a failure to master it.