small change: your A asset


small change 


Ciarán Fenton

How small changes in your behaviour will have a big impact on how you work, lead or follow

That’s the working title of a book I’m writing, initially as a series of short blogs.

Blog 1 small change: seven principles

Blog 2 small change: your career is a unique business

Blog 3 small change: your soft balance sheet

Blog 4 small change: your D Liability

Blog 5 small change: your timeline

Blog 6 small change: your formative years

Blog 7 small change: your A asset


Seven principles

Principle 1

Your career is

  • a unique business,
  • one over seven billion in its uniqueness


Blog 7 small change: your A asset

Your sidt balance sheet


Your A asset in your soft balance sheet is that skill, competence, or passion, which is hidden within you but which is accessible by making small changes to your D liability

To illustrate: Case Study 1 – The Micro-Managing CEO Part 2

Many years ago, I worked with a board whose CEO was a self-confessed micro-manager. I have worked with many of these, but this particular CEO was unusual in that

a) he acknowledged “his D Liability.”

b) he had high emotional intelligence (EQ) and knew why he behaved in that manner – it was because, in his formative years, his parents would not tolerate failure of any kind in any context. He, therefore, decided not to trust anyone because he felt that he couldn’t entirely rely on anyone to do anything which might impact him without his constant oversight. This behaviour persisted into adulthood, and

c) he was gloriously up for small change.

He agreed to micro-manage a minimum of ten times less out of every hundred interactions. That’s just 10% small change.

After a while, I asked him how he was getting on. He said [and my interpretation]:

  • “I reckon that I’ve clearly beaten your 10% target because definitely, I’m micro-managing at least 20% less!” [competitive, or what?!}
  • “The management team is much happier” [no kidding!]
  • “I have more time” [Of course. Micro-manging is hugely time-consuming and exhausting for the micro-manager]

He had accessed his A asset, which was to trust people more and to take more risks by making small changes in his micro-managing D liability.

That shift took great courage.

Why is it an “asset”?

It’s an asset because he was able to exploit his newfound ability – albeit tenuous – to trust people more and to take more risks with people for his own and their benefit and fulfilment and for the benefit of his organisation.

What A asset do think your D liability is hiding?


Ciarán Fenton


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