When you set out to figure out how to control your employees more closely – checking how much time they spend in meetings, measuring how many breaks they take during the day, asking for what reasons they are taking time off -, you have problems that no surveillance system in the world can fix.

Trust leads engagement.

Structure and chaos

Structure is what gives predictability. You can expect certain things to happen because the script says so. Structure does not like free thinkers and innovators: somebody else already did all the thinking and the innovating, it is now time to march.

Chaos is the exact opposite. You have to figure out what is going to happen because there is no script. Chaos does not believe in bosses and managers: there is no past experience to replicate or resources to carefully allocate, it is time to connect the dots.

Design your habits and practice so that it is possible to move continuosly between structure and chaos.

That is a feat you will need.

Stepping stones

Relationships are key to success.

The people you have around, your family, friends, colleagues, the mentor you discuss difficult topics with, those you turn to when it’s time to celebrate, debrief, understand.

The idea of the lonely hero triumphing against all odds is just wrong. Success is quite predictable, and the relationships you are building – the two-way relationships – are the stepping stones.

I am sorry

As a leader, saying I am sorry is your responsibility. It helps healing and looking forward, it gives perspective, it makes you human.

It is also your responsibility to not make of I am sorry an empty sentence. If you find yourselves saying that too often, as a reaction to the same situations, it should be clear it is time for you for a change.