Lead, Follow, or Get Out of the Way

May 08, 2024

Practical Strategies for SMEs

In the fast-paced world of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), success often depends on a clear approach: Lead, Follow, or Get out of the way. Each strategy has its own merits and can help you tackle challenges and find effective solutions.

When working with clients we highlight this simple approach which helps navigate through projects to achieve an outcome. It ensures people are not working against each other and is an important ingredient to getting things done efficiently and effectively.

Leading – Getting Things Done

Leading in an SME is about taking charge and ensuring tasks are completed efficiently. Leaders set clear goals, motivate their teams, and focus on practical solutions to everyday problems. They don’t just manage—they drive progress and ensure the company meets its objectives. Leaders in SMEs have a strong sense of direction and are committed to overcoming obstacles to achieve results. If you are good at organising efforts, delegating tasks, and pushing projects to completion, leading is your strategy.

Following – Learning and Adapting

Following in an SME means recognizing the value in learning from others and applying best practices to your work. It involves being receptive to guidance from leaders and adapting to new methods that improve efficiency. Followers are essential in executing plans and supporting team efforts. They focus on mastering their roles, contributing to the overall success of the business. If you are committed to personal development, adapting to change, and supporting your team’s goals, following is a productive path.

Getting Out of the Way – Finding Your Niche

Getting out of the way in an SME context means identifying where you can make the most impact by focusing on your strengths. It’s about knowing when to step aside from tasks that don’t align with your skills and redirecting your efforts to areas where you excel. This approach requires self-awareness and a willingness to carve out a unique role within the company. If you are adept at recognizing opportunities and creating specialised roles that add value, getting out of the way is an effective strategy.


In the SME landscape, whether you choose to lead, follow, or find your niche, each strategy helps in getting things done and overcoming challenges. The key is to understand your strengths, take advantage of opportunities, and work within the dynamics of your company to achieve success. 

Choose your path and focus on contributing effectively on a given project.