Chapter 5

The Right Things at the Right Time

The costliest mistake that leaders make is failure to delegate. It drowns leaders in the daily trivia sprouting from “failure to ship,” which means loss of cash and risk of business failure, especially for businesses with sales up to $500 million (SMEs). Remarkably, the simple decision to delegate fuels powerful growth in leaders and their businesses, even as it multiplies uncertainty and stress.

Verne Smith led an organization of a thousand-plus meat-cutters in 150 Chicago-area Jewel Food Stores, when meat was still cut in the stores. As a very young trainee, I watched Verne in his office plan his day:

  • Dump the bottom desk drawer in the wastebasket.
  • Dump the middle drawer into the bottom drawer. ...

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