leadership,  strategic planning

Slaying Dragons

Leaders are constantly grappling with one challenge or another. Today it is a personnel issue; tomorrow a budget crisis; next week a government decision that will affect our business. Leaders must regularly and routinely slay such dragons or face the consequences. In a way, slaying dragons is invigorating. The adrenaline flows and the creativity ramps up. You become the hero of the moment. How rewarding!

But.

Sometimes the dragons we must slay are not dragons at all. They're mice. That's right, those tiny little creatures that live among us.

Mice - not dragons - are really our largest threat over the long run. My personal experience with a mouse bears this out. A mouse got in my car. Until that moment of clarity, I had pretty much ignored the existence of mice in my garage - the price one pays for living in the country, I thought. But then it became personal. I cleaned out the car top to bottom and laid some traps, to no avail. I added other traps, and after a two week siege, I finally got the little bugger.  But in the mean time, I could barely think of anything but that mouse. Every car trip was unsettling, thinking about the very real possibility of him coming out at an inopportune moment - or worse still, crawling up my leg as I careened down the highway at 70 miles an hour.  Shivers.

What does my mouse drama have to do with dragons and leadership, you ask? In all my leadership roles, the little annoyances - the mouse in the car, the grain of sand in my shoe - have caused the most issues. The creeping rise in the cost of doing business - a rising utility bill, a rent increase, insurance costs going up - can result in significant budget issues. Not today, or next week, but eventually. An employee who is mediocre, but not terrible, can have huge impacts over time - impacts with your customers, your culture, your outcomes. A new competitor appears on the scene that one by one begins to make create leaks in your previously wide moat. You've got to pay attention to those tiny little problems before they become complete infestations that suck up every bit of attention, energy, and creativity you have.

It isn’t the mountain ahead that wears you out — it’s the grain of sand in your shoe. - Unknown

If not addressed, those little mice can eat through the wiring of your finely tuned machine and bring your business to a halt. Spend some time taking care of the mice in your midst so you'll still be around when it is time to slay those dragons.

 


Whether you've got dragons to slay or mice to shoo, we can help. Call us today for a free consultation to see if our services are a fit for your needs.

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