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Thursday, April 9, 2009

Hybels Axiom — Getting back to people who call


One of my favourite books on leadership is "AXIOM" by Bill Hybels. While he is writing as the leader of a large church organisation, the book is a collection of short essays that are applicable to any organisation.

One of those essays is called "Sweat the small stuff" and I couldn't agree more with what he says. It has been my practice for many years. In it refers to the failure of many people to respond to enquiries.
Here is part of what he says:

"My peers are often shocked to learn that I send out between fifteen and two dozen handwritten notes a week to follow up with people who have helped us a Willow. Or that I respond to my critics when they take time to write. … These things may seem trivial to some people, but the best leaders I know right-size they amount of small stuff required to do their job well and they tend to those things fastidiously. They return phone calls and acknowledge correspondence."

He goes on to talk about how he requires all of his staff to respond within 24 hours, even if it is just to let someone know that their email has been received and they will get back to them later. We do the same thing in our company, except when people send us email jokes, etc. We occasionally slip up but for the most part it is just good courtesy to let people know their email or phone call has been received.

Bill Hybels book is well worth reading.

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