Sometimes leaders need to be tough on some of the little things. These can have significant ramifications which are not always immediately obvious. However, because the benefits are not obvious, or seem unimportant at the time, many leaders don’t address them, also possibly feeling that they don’t want to be ‘petty’.
However, as we saw in New York between 1993 and 2001 when Mayor Giuliani tackled the horrific serious crime rates in that metropolis – he surprised everyone when he focused first on petty crime. The result was that big crime was reduced by over 50% to the point where it became relatively safe for womenfolk to walk down the streets. The same can apply here.
What are some little things which at first blush don’t seem to warrant making a fuss over? Let’s take meetings as an example – for instance, allowing:
- people to be consistently late for meetings;
- people to get away with simply not turning up and not notifying anyone in time or giving a reason;
- the checking of emails or searching the net on PDAs;
- people to keep their phones switched on, take calls or walk out to do so;
What message are being sent by the transgressors?