There is a great children’s book entitled Who Sank the Boat by Pamela Allen. All these big animals get on the boat one by one. The final animal to hop on to the boat is this tiny mouse and the boat sinks.

It looks like it was the tiny mouse that sinks the boat – but obviously, this is not true.

I often see leaders blame the ‘mice’ for the woes of their business.  They say things like “I just can’t find good staff” or “if only my staff would listen” or “that team leader is useless.” They throw around blame like there’s no tomorrow.

They keep forgetting that they are the ones that have the most influence on how the team functions.

So often I see the owner or CFO of a business transfer enormous responsibility to the General Manager or CEO, but they don’t give them any authority.  They make them a toothless tiger.

“We need to achieve 6% growth in the next twelve months” they demand – but then don’t allow the GM or leader to make the decisions that they believe are necessary to achieve that growth like moving some staff on, or making any financial decisions.

At the end of the day, if your boat is sinking, then you need to look inwards. You need to review how you lead and whether you have set the rest of the team up to fail.

Sometimes we have to have difficult conversations with ourselves.  Sometimes we need someone external to review how we operate and provide us with some feedback that we might not want to hear.

Often we can’t see the forest for the trees.

Sometimes we need a guide to help us out of the forest.  Let me know if you need a guide.


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