MOST LEADERS UNDERSTAND HOW DIFFICULT IT IS TO EXECUTE ON A STRATEGY THAT REQUIRES A CHANGE IN OTHER PEOPLES’ BEHAVIOR
I have often talked about the most difficult challenge to overcome in the pursuit of winning is the leader’s ability to help their team make behavior changes that will result in the team member’s growth and in accomplishing the goal.
However, it’s a rare leader that thinks about how they personally can be better at adjusting their own behavior.
This reminds me of what Clate Mask, CEO of Infusionsoft, once told me. Clate said he could not be the same CEO in six months as he was currently. Infusionsoft was growing so quickly he had to learn and improve to keep up with the growth and then help others succeed. Clate focused on developing as a leader first.
However, what you are more likely to hear is, “I wish I didn’t have Tony, Mark, and Sue on my team.” Right?
The tendency, of course, for all of us is to blame the people. They are the ones not doing it! Who would you like me to blame?
However, Edwards Deming taught that anytime the majority of people behave a particular way the majority of the time, your problem is not the people. The problem is in the system. And the leader has to own that.
I read a passage in the book 4 Disciplines of Execution that is still with me. It was related to leaders complaining about the poor performance of the people they hired, or they lead. The book said if the leader continues to complain about the same problem year after year, then the problem was not the people they hired or lead, but the problem was the leader. Ouch!
The recommendation – Focus on how you can improve, how you contributed to the poor results before blaming your team. Remember, there are not bad teams, only bad leaders.
Own the problem of flawed systems and get better at executing on strategies that require changes in human behavior.
“Seventy percent of strategic failures are due to poor execution of leadership. It’s rarely for lack of smarts or vision.”
—RAM CHARAN, EXECUTION: THE DISCIPLINE OF GETTING THINGS DONE
Look forward to your thoughts.