Hungry for Pies?

Scrumptious pies are ready to satisfy cravings.

Hungry for pies

Today, I want to delve into the distinction between macro leadership and micromanaging and how they have played pivotal roles in shaping my business.

The other day, while on a trip to town with Jenna and the kids, I had a revelation. I realized that leadership shares similarities with baking a pie. Let me elaborate. On our way to Becca’s Chop Shop (big shoutout to Becca!) for my son’s haircut, we passed by the house of someone I knew. This individual falls into the “I” category in the Disc framework.

People in this category tend to wield influence but often lack drive, which translates to a lack of structure in their routines. While I found myself thinking, “I wish I could collaborate with this person; they’re great,” deep down, I knew it wouldn’t work out. This has been a recurring theme for me when considering working with individuals from the “I” category.

This led me to ponder: Why is this consistently the case? As I reflected, it dawned on me that “leadership is like baking a pie.” Jenna noticed my moment of clarity and asked what had caught my attention. With a serious expression, I replied, “Leadership is like baking a pie,” instantly piquing her interest.

Consider this: What distinguishes a successful business from a mediocre one is the effectiveness of its macro-level leadership.

I’ve transitioned into the role of a visionary leader, focused on the grand scheme of things. I thrive on conceptualizing large-scale ideas and initiating various initiatives. It truly ignites my passion and fuels my drive.

What I require are macro-leaders within my team who comprehend the overarching vision, although they might not share the same level of enthusiasm as I do. Recently, amidst festivities, many of us indulged in delectable pies, providing the perfect analogy to elucidate macro leadership. After all, who can resist the allure of a well-made pie?

Macro leaders at every tier are instrumental in shaping the levels of success that the business will ultimately achieve. “Behind every great pie lies the leader with the foresight to create it.” That slogan deserves a spot on a t-shirt!

Jokes aside, big-picture leaders are tasked with answering pivotal questions like, “What flavor of pie are we baking?” They chart the course for the business, determining the collective goal toward which the team will strive. Whether it’s an apple pie, a peach pie, or even the less conventional’mince-meat pie’ (a special nod to Grandma Greer’s mastery in that area!), these leaders provide the overarching direction.

During these critical moments, having a leader capable of making decisive, big-picture decisions is paramount. They provide the team with a unified vision and ensure that each unit is adequately equipped for success. Typically, such leaders exhibit high dominance traits, as per the DISC framework.

Moving down the chain of command, the subsequent leader assumes the role of crafting the crust, akin to laying the foundation. Just like every exceptional pie begins with a flawless crust, this leader determines the base necessary to propel the project forward. They transition us from mere vision to actionable plans, whether it involves crafting a Graham cracker crust or selecting dough.

It’s crucial to convey the vision clearly to this leader to prevent the scenario where they create an unsuitable base for the intended pie. Just imagine tucking into a pumpkin pie with a soggy dough base—quite the culinary faux pas, wouldn’t you agree? Think about it: Could you construct a skyscraper on the same foundation you’d use for a playhouse? Not! Thus, this macro-leader requires a comprehensive understanding of the entire vision to truly excel.

Moving along the chain of command, the second leader is tasked with overseeing the filling. Once again, effective communication of the big picture is paramount here. Their team begins to assemble the components of the pie, delving into the intricate details that contribute to its greatness, including considerations like serving methods.

Following suit, the subsequent leaders handle the toppings. Every element of the process must be meticulously attended to in order to produce a superior final product. Take, for instance, a pumpkin pie—arguably, its most beloved topping is whipped cream. Substituting it would undoubtedly alter the outcome significantly.

The fourth set of leaders takes charge of baking this delectable dessert. They too must grasp the overarching vision, as they’re responsible for setting the temperature, determining the baking duration, and planning how it will be served. After all, if they only see the crust and not the filling, how will they determine the required baking time?

Now, we’re nearing completion! The final set of leaders handles the pie’s serving, ensuring it’s sliced and distributed for enjoyment. Perhaps a dollop of ice cream on the side for those looking to go the extra mile!

Can you grasp the significance of communicating the big picture to each tier of macro-leaders to ensure the pie’s success? We progress from concept to execution, culminating in a sweet finish, all thanks to the guidance of macro-leaders.

Let’s apply this analogy to a real-world scenario. Take, for instance, (pardon the shameless plug), a platform simplifying compliance tracking for businesses regarding their drivers and DOT programs.

It’s a streamlined dashboard designed to swiftly usher businesses into compliance. When we claim to simplify compliance, we mean it earnestly. However, here’s the catch…

A salesperson, unaware that our prime clients operate trucking businesses, might inadvertently pitch our platform to doctors who have no use for it. They might find themselves enthused about compliance tracking—though, let’s face it, excitement about compliance is an Eclipse DOT specialty. We’re truly passionate about it, and fortunately for you, that’s a good thing!


There exists a significant misalignment between the service the salesperson sold to the doctor and its intended audience. To revisit the pie analogy, if the macro-leader tasked with baking believes they’re making cheesecake, setting the oven to 325 degrees for 45 minutes, but it’s meant to be an apple pie, the outcome will not be great. It might be edible, or perhaps not even that, but one thing’s for sure—it won’t be great!

This underscores the critical importance of communication across all levels. One team’s oversight could jeopardize the entire operation. Unfortunately, many overlook this fundamental point. Leadership isn’t just about the big-picture individuals like me running the show; it’s about ensuring success for every team member.

In my view, you don’t need a leadership title to act as a leader. Returning to the DISC framework and the anecdote about passing by a friend’s house—I promise I wasn’t merely rambling. Well, perhaps just a tad! (laughs)

Individuals with high “I” traits require macro-leaders to guide them because, while they may lack organizational prowess, they excel in interpersonal skills. That’s what sets them on the path to success.

On the flip side, individuals high in dominance traits tend to flit from one shiny object to the next, often hindering their path to success. To overcome this, they require the guidance of exceptional macro-leaders who can steer them towards achieving larger goals.

It’s essential to have macro-leaders who bring a diverse range of strengths to the team, thereby fostering balance. If a big-picture leader is absent from your team, it’s imperative to seek one out.

Similarly, if you lack macro-leaders to support your ambitious objectives, take proactive steps to find them. Consider seeking mentorship to develop the leadership skills necessary to guide your team effectively.

Ultimately, effective leadership isn’t about micromanaging, which is often met with disdain. Instead, it’s about embodying the qualities of a macro-leader who can lead the team towards the overarching vision.

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