Elephant, Monkey, Or Mouse: What Should You Be Concerned About Most as a Leader?
Working with executives, I have seen that they tend to dismiss the mice in their lives until they morph into monkeys or worse, the big elephant.
The mice are often subtle with not so blatant behaviors. They may not even be visible or known to you early on. So consequently many leaders and managers ignore the mice problems. Examples of the mice in your company can be behavioral such as:
- Individuals that withhold information
- An individual who disengages in a meeting
- An employee who doesn't communicate status in a timely manner
- Individuals that are negative in their remarks
- Employees with hidden agendas
Or the mice can be negative results in which employee performance impacted the outcome:
- A customer complaint isn't handled properly
- A missed project deadline
- Accounts receivable increases slightly
- Revenues barely miss forecasts
- A vendor relationship has changed
These examples are ones in which on the surface may be minor initially but often lead to bigger problems such as:
Individuals withholding information can lead to poor decisions being made and potential significant damage down the line whether it be a new product being developed, a new system being implemented or a new contract being drawn up.
How to trap mice and eliminate them
The number one method used to trap corporate mice early is to actively be asking challenging questions of your team and employees and then actively listen to their answers.
Make sure to throw out a broad net to get as much input and perspective from as many as possible. Often the most important information obtained is from someone you least expect such as a receptionist, accounting clerk, or network support member. Get out of your office or workspace and be curious and ask questions; you will learn a lot.