When I was a young supervisor fresh from college I was thrown into a turbulent division experiencing 400% growth. The lead underwriter took me under her wing and taught me valuable lessons for dealing with that kind of chaos.
“Never leave a problem file sitting on your desk over a weekend,” Jackie taught me. “Problems multiply in the dark like rabbits, and on Monday you’ll have a lot more of them.”
It took me a few more years to learn that rapid communication was the most powerful tool for managing those magically multiplying rabbits. When every day brings a new wave of issues, you can’t let anything sit for long, else you suddenly have a much bigger problem.
And that was in 1980. Three years later I had my first “portable” computer (it weighed 30 pounds, but I could take it home!) and life’s only gotten exponentially faster since then. Today, the rabbits have mobile devices and trackers, social media, and Google Earth as tools for finding the most succulent lettuces.
The best solution has not changed, though – it remains rapid communication. The faster you close a loop, share information, move something to the next step, or address systemic flaws, the fewer problems you ultimately have to deal with.
And it’s still true that you shouldn’t leave a problem file on your desk overnight. In the dark.
Create Connections. Lead Well. Be Happy.
Remember, Leadership is not about a title: Anyone can be a Leader who champions rapid communication about what matters.