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?  

Feeling helpless about the cycle of division and destruction?

Here's what YOU can do.

Feeling helpless about division and destruction? Here's what you can do.

Last night right before I went to bed, I learned about the shooting deaths of 3 more police officers – this time in Baton Rouge. It is heart-breaking and tempting to feel helpless, as angry people continue to destroy lives and rock our world with bombings, shootings, and even trucks.

This time felt even more personal, as I used to live in Baton Rouge and drove and worked where the shooting took place.  And in the time I was there, I fell deeply in love with the people, the city and the state of Louisiana.

I woke early this morning and immediately checked the news for updates and prayed.

A short time later, I was reminded that exactly three years ago today I posted an article about pain and anger as I tried to process the Trevon Martin case.

  • Three more years of conflict.
  • Three more years of finger pointing and blaming.

Clearly – What we’re doing isn’t working, as the conflicts are becoming more frequent and more violent.

Becoming a part of the solution, after Orlando

Becoming part of the solution, after Orlando

As the news about Orlando, and yet another hate crime swirls around us….

What are you seeing? What are you hearing? What are you pondering? What are you praying for?

Typically after events like this I invest major amounts of energy reading the news and contemplating the opinions and the blame game that follows.

Is Gossip an Organizational Time Bomb? …Seriously?!

gossip

I was raised in a tiny town in rural America with a population less of less than three thousand people. When I was first married, my husband and I met a couple that were raised in the second largest city in the U.S. with a population of almost four million.

The husband had been in street gangs and literally fought for his life.

When he asked what was dangerous in my hometown, he just about busted a gut when I said… “Gossip.”

Words were no threat to someone who had dodged bullets.

It seemed insensitive and pointless to try to argue that King Solomon really knew what he was talking about when he said, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.”

When bullets are flying – gossip won’t kill you.

But here’s the thing…

If you got to hire your next CEO…

What qualities would you insist on?

The pending election in my home country is stirring up a lot of drama, a steady stream of propaganda, bullying, manipulation and lies.

A few weeks ago a friend of mine shared this thought, “Look at your right to vote as a golden opportunity to help hire the right person…” LPS

He’s got a point. Our election is not a political issue. It is a leadership issue.  …And we get to make the hiring decision!

The person we “hire” will impact our workplaces, our families, our healthcare, our education, our security, how we practice our faith, how we treat each other, how well we relate to and serve other nations, and our future.

Their character matters! The culture of our nation will be shaped by the worst behavior we are willing to tolerate from the person we grant this title to.