Cockroach Sometimes it seems easier to do the real work in our organizations ourselves. The time it takes to show someone else how to do something  — and the time required to follow up to make sure the task is done well — just doesn’t seem worth the payoff. Unless we start, though, we limit the potential of organizations.

Tony Morgan learned that lesson the hard way while working as a city manager in Niles, MI. His job included overseeeing 150 staff and allocating a multi-million budget. But one day, he left the work on his desk to help a woman kill a cockroach in her office.

For Tony, the idea of killing cockroaches became an analogy for spending time reacting to the urgent matters in life at the expense of spending time doing important things. He used the analogy as a title for his new book: Killing Cockroaches and Other Scattered Musings On Leadership.

Yesterday, I spent the morning with Tony Morgan at his Killing Cockroaches Tour, the Morgan family’s combined summer vacation/training tour. There are two cities left: Columbus, OH (July 14) and Nashville (July 17.) Although Tony’s special focus is church leadership, the principles from his training and his book are easily transferred to the business world.

If you would like the chance to win a free autographed copy of Tony’s book, leave a comment on this post by August 1, 2009. I will use’s random number generator to choose a winner.

I am excited to share some thoughts with you from the conference. In the coming days, I will be highlighting a few of Tony’s ideas. Until then, you can read my notes, taken in real time during the conference, by searching  #cockroach on Twitter.

This was originally posted at Mountain State University LeaderTalk and is re-posted with permission.