No Time to Waste: Microbehaviors: Leveraging the Little Things to Become a Better Leader

Artell Smith

Publisher: iUniverse Pages: 112 Price: (paperback) $13.99 ISBN: 9781663251206 Reviewed: September, 2023 Author Website: Visit »

Business managers are often urged to “not sweat the small stuff.” Author Artell Smith, a management consultant and educator with a human resources background, disagrees. For Smith, the “small stuff” – what he calls “microbehaviors” – are a major facet of leadership. In this slim book, he shows how microbehaviors can drive organizational performance.

By microbehaviors, Smith means a range of practices: from how managers greet employees, to how they open a meeting, to the questions they ask employees, to the posture they use in one-on-one meetings. Smith explains how microbehaviors can create a positive and engaged work environment. For example, he advocates “behavioral precalibration,” essentially thinking before you speak. Employees are watching and reacting to everything managers do, so Smith advises managers to consider their own worldview and how it influences microbehaviors.

Smith also explores the impact of microbehaviors on diversity, equity, and inclusion, including a discussion of microaggressions, and suggests an “appreciative inquiry” management style. This is “a process that enables you to build relationships more effectively using positive, affirming words, and questioning techniques. Such a style focuses on “what’s working in an organization and what people care about.”

He also presents suggestions for leading successful meetings and for improving communications with employees. Finally, Smith explores how personality influences one’s microbehaviors.

This short book is written in crisp, relatable prose. Each of the chapters is intended as a stand-alone piece, but there’s a logical flow from one topic to the next. Smith breaks up his text with reimagined dialogues, based on real situations, between the author and an ideal mentor, a composite of those of Smith’s past. In these dialogues, Smith reveals his past faults and mistakes as much as his successes.

Smith’s audience is business managers, especially those in HR-related functions. These readers will find a worthy collection of tips here for improving relationships and communications with employees through “sweating the small stuff.”

Also available in hardcover and ebook.

Available to buy at: