Choose Your Battles


When I became a business owner, one of my intentions was to become an excellent leader. I had experienced many great bosses during my years as a dental nurse and receptionist and I wanted to be one of the better ones for my staff.  So, just as I would do for all of my business training, I researched, read and listened to the wisdom of others. One of the books I read was Rudy Giuliani’s ‘Leadership’, from which I gained many wonderful insights. One in particular, that I have since incorporated as part of my management style, was “choose your battles”.


We all experience the many issues that arise on a daily basis when managing a business. It can become quite overwhelming and can result in micro-management in order to gain some feeling of control and progress. There is, though, enormous benefit in not managing everything.

I remember many occasions when staff would request holidays beyond which they were entitled. Many businesses would have in place a formal process that would not allow for this leave to be approved. When you review what is required by FAIR WORK practices, a business does not need to approve such leave. I knew that the discussion with the staff members when declining their requests would have a residue effect with them, and when I considered whether ‘sticking to the program’ was worth the potential upset and ill-feeling I would cause, I consistently chose to move away from the battle. After a few weeks/months the staff member had earned the time off AND they felt valued and appreciated by the bending of the rules for them.

Whenever faced with a ‘battle’ always consider the possible repercussions. If it is not worthy of the benefit you are trying to gain, abandon the battle!