In a previous post, I shared this very powerful post from Simon Sinek’s blog about the difference between Making Change and Making a Point. Borrowing the title as it appropriately covers the story for today’s post.
A good portion of the last few weeks had me spending time with Leaders within and outside my group asking for advice on retention best practices and true engagement actions to which some of the said best practices have been covered extensively in my posts over the last few months.
One of the stories that stood out for me in these recent interactions is the story of topic for this post.
This is concerning a group of people who whether consciously or not, chose to make a point and decided that the best way to do this is to resign as a group. Unfortunately this was driven by a leader who chose to use her influence in the wrong way. To prove a point, the leader invited, suggested, incited that they leave the company they were working for because of all the problems, hardships and challenges they were experiencing and true enough, a good portion of said leaders team joined and eventually left.
It was indeed a big hit within their Operations but quite honestly not enough to merit the impact they all imagined it would have. In a matter of weeks, they were all replaced and everyone in the company moved on.
The story for this group however was not so fortunate. After their ill advised celebration and festivities subsided, The “Leader” of course got hired and has now moved on. The team was not so lucky. Most of them ended up being in the new company’s recruitment offices alone, by themselves without so much as a text or email from the leader they followed.
The others were forced to take jobs of a lower level than they previously had, the others remain jobless to this day, wondering what happened and how they ended up being in this situation.
What is more unfortunate is that this true story, is not the only one. There are many similar permutations and variations of this story that focused on the wrong thing.
- Negativity vs. Solutions
- Perception vs. Reality
- Emotions vs. Results
And similar to my old post about Juan, that not only has disastrous consequences but it can put you on an endless loop where you can’t escape.
Some highly recommended tips to address:
Escalate – This is never a bad thing when done correctly. Escalation is just a fancy term for asking for help and when the problem is beyond your capability to solve, go and ask for help. Ask for help in the right way and never go the “anonymous” or mass email route. If your concerns are legit, then you have no reason to hide.
Ask the Right People – Huddling together in one corner where you stew on each other’s challenges and frustrations does more harm than you think. I recommend put all that energy into compiling proof, data, documentation that can be used to fix the problem.
Maintain a Positive Attitude – not just because it’s the right thing to do, not just because it drives so much more positive action and better results but because you owe it to yourself and the people you work with. This is especially true if you are in a leadership position.
There are very very few problems and issues that are beyond our capability to fix. The difference is in how we choose to address them. The last portion of David Mead’s comments, sums it up perfectly – Throwing rocks at the city wall makes a statement, but it rarely changes anything. Worse, it widens the rift between the two sides, making it more difficult to build trust and to cooperate. On the other hand, doing the hard work of finding commonality in cause and purpose and working together to bring that cause to life, changes everything.