What Should You Stop Doing?


“Every leader must learn that just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should.” That’s what I came up with after the lady asked me to write down my favorite quote. Nothing had come to mind but that statement.

That was it. Of all the books I’ve read and of all the people I’ve studied, is that THE quote? Come on. But it has stuck with me over the past few weeks since the incident. As I think back in my professional career, I have lived and continue to live that statement. As a matter of fact, the more I’m able to apply it to my life, the more successful I become.

I remember the first time that I decided to stop fixing the office printer early in my career. Yes, I could do it, but so could someone else and my time was best served elsewhere. It’s not that I’m too important to fix the printer, but for every hour I spend dealing with printer issues, I fail to do the most important things I could do for my company: lead, sell, and inspire.

I remember the day I stopped designing. I loved to tinker on the computer and come up with very cool graphics. It took me hours, even days to come up with very nice work that I enjoyed, but, that ultimately did not help grow and develop my business.

The big question then is “what should I do that only I can do for this organization?” Once I understood the answer to that question and began to work in that sweet spot, I saw growth.

Today I work with people who are much smarter, more sensitive, and more talented than I. But I know that what I do everyday contributes the most to my team. Often I find myself going back to doing the things I’m capable of doing but shouldn’t be doing them. When I do that, everyone loses.

What should you give up in order for your organization to grow?

  • Anonymous

    For me is micromanaging. I'm a control freak and I need to get into every detail. But it's easier said than done. This is a tough one for me.

  • @anonymous,Did I use to work for you? 🙂

  • Maurilio, wow, exactly what I needed to hear today. Thanks for the post, I think I now have a new favorite quote 🙂

  • Daniel Decker

    This has become a painful reality for me on more than one occasion. Thankfully it’s something I’ve been learning to work through with a great degree of intentionality over the last couple years. It’s hard to let go but the price for holding on is far greater.

  • "can do something, it doesn't mean you should"Leader is a person who is not controlled by anyone else. Leader is a person who have and follow his own vision, … Leaders know a lot of things.Yeees?Mobcracy, Mob society -> By definition, Mob is considered as being people whose opinions, feelings, … change from moment to moment, and whose actions are not the result of thought or reason. That's very bad. Maybe that's why?

  • Great quote. Great reminder. Great post 🙂

  • Sally Roberts

    I’m a control freak and have the tendency to micromanage  everything around me. I really needed this post today. Thanks. 

  • This is very helpful – thanks Maurilio!   I’m in the process of handing things off to better use my time for growing my company and doing the things I love most…both in work and home.   Detailed project management has been my biggest item to let go – but I’ve found a great person to handle those tasks!

  • Steven Shantz

    I should stop reading this Blog…..

    Not really! Thanks for the post Maurilio. I worked for years as a Network Engineer. Now as CIO, I’d love to be able to configure routers and fix networking issues. To me that’s fun, but there are others who can do that, and there are other vital (but not so fun) issues to deal with.

  • Many times my wife has shared with my daughters that “you have to empty your hands so God can fill them.” This applies to toys and teddybears as well as business and just about any other walk of life. Thanks for sharing and the reminder!

  • Great question Maurilio – and one I have been asking myself quite a bit lately. I do a lot for Ignite, and I’m starting to see that I might be doing things that are keeping me from doing what I love – finding potential, training others and getting new ministries started. Now that I have put starting new groups as my top priority and everything else as secondary, we are seeing some amazing growth and new opportunities opening that just a few months ago, didn’t exist. Really shows me that there are things I need to drop.

    Thanks for this today!

    • Jason, you seemed to be growing a lot lately. That’s exciting to see.

      • Thanks Maurilio. It’s not always easy to see myself, so it’s encouraging to hear that.

  • I’m not quite at that point yet, but I’ll keep it in mind. I am looking forward to when my kids are old enough to take on some of my chores though so I can have more date nights with their mom. 🙂

    • I’ve got some bad news for you, KC. My kids are 13 and 16 and not only I was not able to pass on major chores to them, they are now the cause of heartburn and headaches.

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