Take Care of the Little Things And The Big Things Will Take Care Of Themselves

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For many the idea of being a leader—of being in charge, of being the boss, of being responsible for a team or a company—seems overwhelming. And frankly, it can be. It’s a big responsibility.

But to be successful, we must be able to get things done and do them well. Leadership is great when leaders are effective and productive.

No one wakes up in the morning and says, “Today I am a leader.”

Leadership is earned, built and cultivated in small steps, with small things done successfully every day.

Emily Dickinson once said, “If you take care of the small things, the big things take care of themselves.”

So how do we take care of the little things so that the big things take care of themselves?

Block out time for mindfulness. When you’re busy, it’s easy for time to run away from you. Before you know it the day, week, month has passed. As a leader it is important to take the time for mindfulness. Identify what is most important to you. Think of the little things you care about the most; determine what is truly meaningful. Determine which actions generate effectiveness and productivity and which are wasting your time. This information will help you with making the hard decisions and doing what is really important.

Guard your time. Your time is your most precious resource; invest it well. Every minute spent on a task is one less minute of your life. Whenever you’re faced with a new potential project or task, ask yourself a simple question: “Does this task help or hurt of what is important to me?” If you feel something takes away time from your goals, then avoid it. Never let another person’s priorities become your own.

Eliminate and delegate. As you look at your list, ask yourself what you can eliminate and what you can delegate. Make sure everything on your personal to-do list is something that either satisfies you or brings you closer to your goals. Don’t spend your energy on things that drain you, but on things you enjoy that bring value to yourself and others.

Don’t add; substitute. Watching the list of things you need to get done slowly grow is incredibly stressful. So when something new comes along, substitute that task for one that’s not generating results. If it’s worth pursuing, substitute it for another task, action or project and make the time for it.

Be honest and prioritize. The best reason for starting small and with what is meaningful is that doing so ensures that you’re being honest with yourself. If you focus on the things you cannot do, or the things that you think should be meaningful rather than the ones that truly are, you’ll find yourself getting nothing done. So be honest as you identify and prioritize the small things that are important to you.

Take care of the little things and the big things will be taken care with ease.

Lead From Within: As leaders with all our responsibilities and our functions, it’s hard to do all things great, but if as leaders we take care of the small things with excellence then we will have accomplished the big things with success.



N A T I O N A L   B E S T S E L L E R
The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

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Photo Credit: Getty Images

Lolly Daskal is one of the most sought-after executive leadership coaches in the world. Her extensive cross-cultural expertise spans 14 countries, six languages and hundreds of companies. As founder and CEO of Lead From Within, her proprietary leadership program is engineered to be a catalyst for leaders who want to enhance performance and make a meaningful difference in their companies, their lives, and the world.

Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR, Inc.com, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness has become a national bestseller.

  1. WillemKwatapa

    27. Jan, 2015

    🙂 Powerful and very true…..

    Reply to this comment
  2. Melanie Fischer

    27. Jan, 2015

    Great concept! I truly enjoy your posts Lolly, you are always very clear and to the point.

    Reply to this comment
  3. LaRae Quy

    27. Jan, 2015

    I really love this piece of advice, Lolly:

    Don’t add; substitute.

    Simple, but so effective—instead of letting that to-do list get longer with all the great things that are coming our way, substitute it instead. Take something off that list that is not providing value and meaning. The new thing may also need to be taken off at some point, but we’ll never know unless we give it a try

    As you say, listen to what your heart is telling you.

    Great article 🙂

    Reply to this comment
  4. Panteli Tritchew

    28. Jan, 2015

    Blocking out time for mindfulness and asking “Does this task help or hurt of what is important to me?” is great advice. As you say, time is our most precious resource When we are mindful and tend to the knitting that matters most, we will soon find that we have “the time” to share our …time!

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  5. Matthew Lyczkowski

    30. Jan, 2015

    Great article!!
    I particularly like the “Be honest and prioritize”. It shows that you need to prioritize areas that bring purpose to life and is exactly what I am trying to teach the sales reps that report to me. With a true, honest purpose, you will know that what you are doing serves a bigger purpose.


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  6. Russell Smith

    31. Jan, 2015

    “Time for mindfulness. When you’re busy, it’s easy for time to run away from you. Before you know it the day, week, month has passed.” Please also consider: Before you know it, a lifetime has passed.

    Reply to this comment
  7. vikram

    02. Feb, 2015

    Dear Lolly,
    You are blessed with good writing style which has meaningful contents. Great article with good points

    Reply to this comment
  8. Eugeniya

    02. Feb, 2015

    Everything needed in this article! Indeed, leadership is a great responsibility at first place but it starts from little ordinary things. Ideas of mindfulness, substitution, taking off unnecessary things are so simple and that’s why real. So simple but few people can put it that way. And of course everything should be go from within. May I also recommend you a new free photo app Carde -it is created for happy vibrant people as you are?It is free on , feel free to check it out and comment on it.Thanks!

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  9. Gloria McBreen

    25. Feb, 2015

    It’s great to be reminded of the important things here that can so easily be forgotten. “Never let another person’s priorities become your own”. Thanks. I need to be vigilant on this one!!

    Reply to this comment
  10. Rakesh Meher

    15. Aug, 2015

    Great article..I will remember the golden rule” never let other priorities become your priority”.

    Reply to this comment
  11. Samer

    07. Jan, 2016

    As usual .. Lots of added value .. Thx Lolly 🙂

    Reply to this comment
  12. Marc Zazeela

    24. Feb, 2016


    I particularly like your statement about mindfulness. So many folks are caught in the past or worried about the future. They forget to take care of the here and now.

    This moment is the most important time of your life. Take care of it and the rest will take of itself.


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  13. John Yeo

    06. Jul, 2016

    Guarding the precious seconds and making the minutes count

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