Your greatest business challenge is your people. This statement was confirmed for me on Monday during a class I facilitated. I asked the audience what their expectations were for the session that day and the top expectation was that they would leave with the ability to solve an issue with an employee. The second top issue was that their team was ineffective in reaching objectives.
Why is this the greatest business challenge?
Reason #1: You have been promoted to a leadership role due to a political situation and now you are under direct sabotage from your people. You were once a part of the tribe and now you lead the tribe and the team is critiquing your every move. It is human nature.
Reason #2: You are ignoring the problem. On Monday, I asked one person how long the issue was going on and he said 1.5 years. Yes 365 days + 1/2 of 365 = A ton of days! A little less than that if you include weekends and national holidays, but come on!
Reason #3: You have a boss that is unsettling to you or worse yet has derailed. Dr. Robert Hogan states that over 50% of leaders fail, they just do not know how to lead people and are unaware of how their behavior derails and impact others. Please watch that video. It is worth your time.
You might be saying to yourself…”Thanks Chris for illustrating all these problems. I come here for help. What can I do about these problem?”
Solution #1: Engage the tribe by sharing your vision with them and asking them for feedback. This precludes that you have a vision for your team. If you do not have one, then get one. How do you get one? Answer this question: What is your preferred future for you, your team and your customers or constituents? Write it down.
Solution #2: Engage in conversation or conversations regarding the issue. Start by scheduling the meeting with the person and stating the issue, it’s impact and your preferred solution. If you allow the behavior to persist, you are essentially stating that this behavior is ok.
Solution #3: It is easy to critique your leader and blame him / her. Instead of that approach, consider how to improve the situation for yourself first vs. critiquing your leader. You may also consider bringing the issue or problem to the leader and giving them some feedback. Many leaders are craving feedback on their performance and the great ones ask for it regularly.
Have a I missed your business challenge? What is yours?