“But I thought you weren’t interested.”
In my first manager role many years ago, I was committed to being the best leader I could possibly be. Being new to the role, I figured things out as I progressed.
At the same time, I was also dealing with an employee whose performance was less than optimal. A few of his team members were concerned, and I recognized that I needed to have a conversation with him.
Leading up to the conversation, I made sure I was prepared. I wanted to make sure he had the opportunity to share his perspective. I did not want to be judgmental.
I scheduled the meeting, and at the appointed hour, I started the meeting by setting the context for him. He then expressed his frustration. He had been trying to describe a better way for us to approach our work, and nobody listened to him. In fact, he said that he had tried to make me aware of this opportunity, but I appeared uninterested.
We continue the discussion and jointly set forward a path for us to explain his idea to the team.
Later, as I reflected on this situation, my learning from this was that I was more interested in managing the team’s work than I was in leading the team.
Here’s what I mean by that. As a new leader, I was good at figuring out who needed to do which work. I had not yet mastered the ability to truly engage the team in more collaboration. As a leader at any level of the organization, are you more interested in managing the tasks of various groups, or are you working diligently to help your leadership team collaborate with one another to achieve the results in your organization?
Also, are you taking time to introspectively look at your own performance, and adjust where necessary?
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Dedicated to your profitable transformation,