Recently, I watched a team of people agree to start an initiative that they didn’t necessarily believe in. Their boss was so passionate about the topic that the team didn’t have the heart to tell him that his idea was probably too lofty and most likely unattainable. In the weeks that followed, I watched that initiative fall apart. What a waste…or was it?
Having a business named “Corporate Culture Revolution” gets me into some pretty interesting conversations. Whether I’m being mocked, argued with, or praised, eyebrows are usually raised (along with occasional voices). It’s alright though, I wouldn’t have it any other way!
The point being, I often hear reasons why written examples of leadership & culture don’t mean squat in the real world. They just aren’t practical in the time constraints of doing business. So, many leaders will give up on even trying to learn. Instead, they will focus on more practical problems & solutions for their business. Of course I don’t agree with this approach, but I do understand the challenges and pitfalls of attempting to apply unlimited theories in a limited world, focused on practical results.
We’ve all been there before…your boss just doesn’t like to talk like that. “Vision? My vision is for you to get back to work!”. Not exactly inspiring, right? Well, there is a vision there, even if he or she doesn’t want to admit it. Here’s how to get it out of them…
Not every battle is worth the cost of winning. Sometimes the casualties of corporate skirmishes can be ugly! There are many situations where “letting this one go” means swallowing your pride while saving the team or the mission. With that being said, retreat doesn’t necessarily mean losing; it may mean survival!
Lately, things have been very busy! It’s been difficult to keep up with work, family, business, etc. My energy has been waning since we came back from vacation. That’s why I decided to write a different kind of post this week. This one will be laser focused on re-energizing my readers and myself!
For some time now I’ve been struggling with the question written in the headline above. I’ve personally worked in an organization that seemingly had endless profits and resources, while I’ve also worked in one that was struggling to break even. Obviously the one with endless resources had the advantage, but maybe it’s not as simple as you think.
A Vacation Story
Like many families here in the states, my wife, two children, and myself took a family trip last week. For us, it was an opportunity to visit my wife’s family in the heart of French speaking Quebec. This is always a unique experience filled with cultural epiphanies and typical travel frustrations.
However, instead of complaining about some of the lousy customer service experiences we had while interacting with dozens of businesses over seven days, I want to take a different route. Instead, I’d like to share with you a highlight of the trip, which we had as the very first and very last experience of our journey.
I recently witnessed a crazy phenomenon at a company that I’m working with. It was powerful, it was ugly, and it was made up of individuals who were seemingly out for blood. I’m calling it a co-worker coalition.
I don’t believe any of the resulting issues were intentional. However, when the same people spend a lot of time together complaining, frustrations can brew. This type of “gossip” is a cancer that WILL manifest. In this case, that is exactly what happened.
It seems like no matter the size of the company, you will hear people complaining, “our training here stinks…oh wait, what training”. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule where training is seemingly over-the-top. However, even at these places you’ll hear people saying, “why are they teaching us this…it’s such a waste of time”.
Trust me, I’ve worked in both of these environments! There is no such thing as a perfect training program!
“Hey Mr. Bossman! I have a great idea about how we can improve our company……”
“Well, Mr. employee, that seems a little out there. Let me think about it.”
Two months or even two years later…
Mr. Bossman says: “Good afternoon Team! We are here today to implement this great new idea that I have.” Hooray!
In my experience, it’s pretty common to hear from people who feel like their boss or even a team member has stolen their idea without giving them credit for it. The bad part about this is that it can leave a tension between people that can stick around like a student loan. So, how do you deal with that?