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!


Julie Parker was a dental nurse and receptionist for many years before becoming the first non-dentist to own a practice in Australia in 2003. After 10 very successful years, Julie now shares her wisdom and knowledge to other practice owners to facilitate their path to success. Charles Kovess practiced law successfully for 20 years before becoming a motivational speaker and transformation coach, bringing out the unique and extraordinary capacities of individuals, by accessing and harnessing their passion.

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