Q: “I like my boss, but sometimes she goes overboard on the pickiest details. We have all these checklists, we have to fill out reports every week, and she comes into our area almost every day checking up on us. Why all this fuss over the little stuff?”

A: When I first got out of college, I managed farms for a 737 pilot for United Airlines. even the most experienced people have to follow strict procedures.One of the captains that he often flew with was the most experienced of all 737 pilots. He consulted with Boeing when there were changes in procedures and helped write the pre-flight checklists for all personnel. Yet when he got in the cockpit he had to go through the same checklist as everyone else, line by line, and confirm every step with the co-pilot.

Your job may not directly involve life-and-death issues like these pilots, but it is an example of how

During the next few years, profit margins are going to be tight in the livestock industry due to increases in feed, energy and equipment costs. My apologies if you’re tired of hearing that over and over, but it is a reality that you will have to face. Paying attention to the little details is how businesses overcome challenging financial obstacles.

Your boss has a tough job. Hopefully she is tactful, positive and helpful as she works with you and your co-workers. Squeaking out the last few percentage points of improvement are always the hardest. It will require focus to maximize production and minimize costs to stay profitable.

If you have questions for Dear Boss, send them to:

Don Tyler, P.O. Box 67, Stockwell, IN47983or e-mail to don@dontyler.com.

Your letter will remain confidential, and may or may not get an individual reply.