Strategically NOT THINKING – Is it really safer and easier?

"Unsuccessful people focus their thinking on survival. Average people focus their thinking on maintenance. Successful people focus their thining on progress." -John MaxwellUnsuccessful people focus their thinking on survival.Average people focus their thinking on maintenance.Successful people focus their thining on progress.--John Maxwell

Have you ever worked in a place that is caught in a cycle that is NOT working?

  • But instead of digging for the root cause, titled leaders wave “magic wands” that cause some people to disappear and others to appear?

Have you ever wondered if anyone recognizes that new faces are just another Band-Aid that is being used to cover a growing cancer instead of treating it?

Once upon a time, I had a conversation with someone about a problem that needed to be solved.

We’d faced this problem before.

  • The first solution had been to replace a person.
  • A few months later we were having a very similar problem with a different person.

We both agreed that the problem was not only unresolved, it had gotten worse.  And we agreed that we needed a solution.

  • But we disagreed about what that looked like.
  • I wanted to know why a second person was struggling in the same position that someone else had failed in.
  • He didn’t want to waste time flipping rocks trying to understand why, he simply wanted the new person replaced, as quickly as possible.

When problems surface, it is so tempting to rush for the magic wand.

It may appear to be faster, easier or even the “safest” way to appease the investors or the CEO.

  • However, waving magic wands that make some faces disappear while new faces appear, doesn’t solve deeper issues.
  • And titled leaders that prefer magic wands to real solutions  – won’t be around very long.

Below are two true stories:

 1.  A high-potential employee is constantly promoted within a company for more than a decade. 

When he is promoted again he can’t get the tools and support he needs and begins to struggle. He’s not a quitter and doesn’t know how to fail, so he sacrifices all of his vacation and family time and works instead.  But no matter how many hours he puts in, he is treated as if he is the problem and eventually fired.

Then another high potential/long-term employee is relocated to take the same role, in the same place, with the same leader, in the same environment.

And the cycle begins again…

What if:

  • The employees that are continually recruited for this role are not the problem?
  • The training and support needs to be improved?
  • The culture in that department is causing people to fail?
  • The titled leader in that department is the source of the problem?

*What is it costing the organization to continually lose long-term, high performing employees in this one black hole?  

2.  An owner of a couple of small businesses is frustrated with dwindling profits. 

He blames his staff, treats them badly, moves them to different locations, stalls their vacations and refuses to listen to their feedback.

What if:

  • The employees need more training and more support?
  • The declining business is caused by the owner’s lack of presence and engagement with his customers?
  • His customer are leaving because competitors have better service, pricing, equipment and facilities?

*What is is costing that business owner to continue to operate in this way?  


Please share:  

  • Have you ever worked in a culture that discourages thinking?

Want more on this topic?  

Go ahead and disagree! Just don’t waste your energy arguing!

Arguing

Daniel BuhrI’m delighted to share a guest post from Daniel Buhr in the series on Disagreement. Daniel was one of the co-authors of the book Energize Your Energize Your Leadership BookLeadership. He works in health and safety at a Fortune 500 Company and shares his passion for leadership at cybuhr.com and @Cybuhr on Twitter.

Heels dug in? Check.

Ears closed? Check.

Mind made up? Check.

Bring on the discussion, I’m ready.  There’s no way I’m going to lose this one!

What if… YOU disagree with someone?

Do you lob word grenades, judge and flee, or engage and learn?

Conflict, Disagreement, Anger

Everyone comes from a different life experience and has witnessed, researched, or considered things you haven’t.  -REALLY!

But far too often we are too busy, proud, judgmental, and afraid to dive in and try to discover what those things are.

This morning I watched this unfold on a friend’s Facebook feed:

10 Things Great Managers Know (& Do)

I was recently visiting with someone about the goals of young professionals in a specific location. She said that everyone wants to be a manager.

So I asked why:

  • Was it about the title?
  • The perceived power?
  • The paycheck?
  • The perception that it is an easier job?

She said they want to sit behind a big desk and sign things.

Instantly I visualized a “manager” sitting behind a big desk with their feet resting on the desk reading a newspaper. A clap of his hands and someone comes running with a hot beverage. A loud shout results in several people running into his office – varying ages, heights, and ethnicities – all cowering in fear. “Yes Boss…”  (True story!)

Why Persist?

8 Reasons to Keep Working for The Change You Desire

Over the past few months I’ve had several opportunities to visit with groups of people whose lives are being impacted by policies they don’t like or agree with.

Most of them have communicated their concerns with the first level key stakeholder – hoping for a fast change. Now it’s clear that although that person cares, change can’t happen from that level.

So individually some of them have:

  • Sent one email to the decision maker.
  • Sent more than one email to the decision maker.
  • Sent one email and attended one meeting.

Collectively their over-riding belief is that the key-stakeholder can’t be trusted and change just isn’t going to happen.

So most have stopped communicating while others never bothered to communicate directly with the one person that can make change happen.

At the same time, they are still so troubled by the situation that each time the topic comes up, almost all of them continue to express lots of frustration and absorb the not so positive energy of those around them.

So why persist?