Management Principle: Law of Holes

For organizational leaders, success is tied to the well being and the performance ability of staff members. We should care for our staff in such a way that incents them to work hard and remain loyal. When that doesn’t happen, we will often resort to blaming others?when we should be looking in the mirror. Professional leadership is a difficult journey requiring the utmost in patience and developed influence skills. I hope you enjoy today’s principle.

Law of Holes. We are taught to “keep our shoulder to the flywheel” until we’ve generated enough momentum to sustain forward movement on our goals and initiatives. This is true for many of our strategic plans; however, there are times when our efforts provide little evidence of hoped-for results. Discernment tells us that we need to change course, but we become so blinded by our belief that we continue by just trying harder. Insanity is doing the same things over and over again, and expecting different results. The law of holes states that when we realize we are digging a hole, stop! This principle applies to many contexts but reflect on its impact when managing people. Professional practitioners tell us we can accomplish big things if we leverage people through delegation and by defining clear roles and responsibilities. All true, unless we fail to effectively influence people in a way that is consistent with human nature. Delegating properly involves the use of wise and appropriate human incentive systems.

Coaching questions: When managing others, what methods have worked best in your past? How can you apply these same protocols to your current context?

Read more coaching principles from Dean Harbry on the Internal Innovations website.

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