While waiting for a flight, I found a few hours to get caught up on emails. Diving in, I grimaced as I read the “received date” on each email. Back… back… back I went in time.
And then I looked at the content of the delinquent emails. Each email fell into two categories:
- Someone was waiting for information from me (on a project I didn’t deem as a priority); and
- Situations where I was determined to share an “oh-my-gosh-I-never-thought-of-that” idea.
This is when it smacked me in the face: I have micro-management tendencies – by thinking I need to respond to every email.
Here’s the elephant in the office: There are people who think their ideas are somehow more important than others. They, therefore, hold onto information and ideas until “the time is right.’ This slows everyone – including the perpetrator – down.
The only time is now; and if you miss now, everyone is left wondering, “When?”
STOMP THE ELEPHANT
This lesson was underscored a couple years ago when my laptop was stolen. I was devastated. There must have been over 200 emails in my inbox sitting – waiting – for a response. I grimaced considering the countless people who were certain to share their frustration with me as they waited for my thoughts.
No one said a word. Nothing. It’s as if the world couldn’t have cared less that my computer had vanished.
Is it possible we’re not as important as we think we are? Emails are a fact of life; they are how business gets done. Are you leading via your emails? Or are you micro-managing?
How will you demonstrate leadership with your email responses? How will your fingers lead today?
Where will you lead – where will you stomp elephants – today?