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Business Leadership

Majoring in the minor things

It’s the truth. Something almost all of us default too. Because we want to get it right. And this is particularly true with leaders at small and mid-size organisations.

While I don’t understand the psychology behind this behaviour, I do know it stems from insecurity.

If you disagree, explain why would a startup’s CEO (or fill-in any senior managerial/leadership role you have in mind):

  1. Wants to sign off all the original content that his marketing manager (who’s been working for the past 18 months) creates?
  2. Has a heightened interest in spiking up the engagement levels in the company’s internal communication channels (slack or yammer or whatever)?
  3. Wants to track each and every employee’s logging in and logging out times. And yes, their leaves as well!

I can definitely list down many more but I get the feeling you know what I’m talking about. And frankly, it irritates me to the core when I hear about these lame experiences employees have to go through.

Yes, this could be just one side of the story. But I’m sure there are administrators who would love to get these aspects of the workplace delegated and take action as appropriate. For that, however, leaders have to learn how to delegate control to others. Something most of us (including me) have yet to learn.

Here’s the thing — as leaders, we have a bigger responsibility to inspire action that impact our company’s growth. That’s our whole mission! And I feel there isn’t enough time to do that let alone the lame things I mentioned above. Bring in irrelevant things will just jeopardise the whole mission.

I believe there’s a time and place to intervene in the minor aspects of corporate governance. Those would be rare. Like a dozen or two times in your entire career. And I’m overestimating that number. For everything else, there’s the rest of the staff.

I don’t care if employee # 99 is stealing money from the non-profit fund. You’ve discovered it. We have evidence. Now take action.

Was that too brash? Irresponsible? Maybe. Tell you what, why don’t you deal with #99 while I focus on growing my company.

How’s that for a plan?