Handle Little Things Before They Become Big Things


Ron Edmondson offers some great advice about becoming a better leader.

Cheryl and I were in a grocery store out of town recently. We turned the corner into a main aisle and instantly saw a gentleman slip and fall. He wasn’t injured… or at least he said he wasn’t… but it shook him up quite a bit before he scrabbled to his feet. We then noticed that he had slipped on some liquid on the floor. Someone said the spill had been there awhile. As I expected, within minutes every manager in the store, easily identified by their shirt colors, were on the scene, making sure the man was okay and that the spill was cleaned.

As I left the store, I saw managers roaming the store, picking up everything they could find on the floor. There was plenty to find. The store was dirty from a very busy day of shopping and trash was everywhere. I had noticed it as we walked around the store, but it was even more obvious now.

It was a good reminder for me. As leaders, we need to:

Take care of little things before they become big things.

I’m not suggesting a leader be a micro-manager. I'm suggesting that the leader needs to be observant of the things others can’t see or aren’t looking for, which can impact the success of the overall vision.

I started working in a grocery store when I was 12 years old. The store’s owner seemed to always know what was going on in the store, often seeing things I or other employees didn’t see. It was aggravating to this teenager, but years later, when I worked in retail management, I copied this leader’s intentionality. I refused to do any paperwork on Saturdays. The busiest shopping day was reserved solely for customers. I made sure I was roaming the store constantly, looking for anything that might be a problem or an opportunity. I was usually the first to recognize a customer looking for an open register or if the store’s temperature was too hot or too cold.

As a pastor, I had an intern who shadowed me for the summer. I remember telling him one Sunday that part of my job was to look for things that others didn’t see. I can’t catch everything, but as the leader I certainly need to be looking for anything that could make or break a successful day in the experience of a visitor. That could be a spill on the floor, a long line at children’s check-in, the missing volunteer or the visitor who looks lost.


Because I want to take care of little things before they become big things.

I learned it well.

By the way, this principle works well in other areas of your life… such as in your marriage… your parenting… your personal disciplines...

Called By God
Dr. R.C. Sproul
3 Ways to Kill Your Leadership Potential
Derwin L. Gray
A Heart for Serving Others
Great Commandment
Crafting a Diverse Leadership Team
John C. Maxwell
7 Critical Abilities of Senior Leaders
Ron Edmondson
Follow Us

Want to access more exclusive iDisciple content?

Upgrade to a Giving Membership today!

Already a member? Login to iDisciple