Doing just enough …

Good EnoughI just read a blog post by Seth D. Cohen “The cost of doing just enough“.

When I saw the title I mental picture in mind of a certain person. I struggle to get that person stepping up. And here comes a promise that may help.

Disappointment

I really am disappointed by that post it states the obvious and doesn’t address how to create the change of mind. A few days earlier John Stepper wrote about “the Influencer’s checklist“. Now that was much more practical. Thanks John.

Doing just enough is an attitude statement. It tells a story. It says something about not being engaged, not being in tune with the organisation, the team, the project, or the task. As a leader I have an obligation to understand “why”. This is my team and my project. Success doesn’t come by sitting on my hands. High performance teams don’t emerge if I don’t plant the seed, nurture it and get the environment right.

Doing just enough is a statement that something is wrong. It could be a personal thing, it could be a cultural things, it could be a change that doesn’t sit well, and it could be a change in the person itself. People grow and change. A job that is perfectly fine today may not be tomorrow. I, as a leader, need to understand. That’s the only way to decide what to do about.

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Learn to Defy

learn to defyIn my leisure time I’m reading Fantasy and SciFi. Lately I read “Soldier Son” by Robin Hobb. The story evolves around the growing up and education of one son. He is to become a soldier, too – and officer to be precise. From young age he learns to obey and tries hard to do everything right for his father. One day his father decides to give his son to a former enemy for further training. That man makes the son promise to obey his orders. That is hard for the son but he follows as being told. When he is faced with a life threatening situation he finally breaks the promise and makes a decision (other than to follow and obey) on his own. Later the father explains to the mother why he did this. He was concerned his son would never stand on his own feet and would not become a leader.

His words were, “you need to learn to follow orders before you can command others because you must understand the consequences to those who believe in your leadership. “

This is a powerful parable. The question is, is it right?

Just a few days ago I came across a job description for an executive role. There was nothing special about it, it talked about strategy, planning, and operational management. And the interesting part came in the skills and competency section:

“Ensures decisions – own and organisational ones – are being actioned without hesitation.”

This sounded like military to me. And I asked myself, at what stage is the following of orders right and necessary and when is it wrong and dangerous?

This is a good reminder to look at the ethics and values of an organisation. Its adherence to rules, regulations, the law and its moral culture. Doing the right thing is very important to me. A decision that implies action which will undermine the ethics and values should be questioned. One of my mentors told me, the first question you ask when you join a team “Will we cheat?”. This tells you a lot about the team and provides you with a clear idea what to expect.

Your comments are as always welcome.

 

Thank you 2012 !

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for my blog. And this is the perfect time to say Thank You!

ThankYou

It was a very enjoyable time for me writing those musing most of the time. I got into a habit early in 2012 writing a post every week. This went fine until we went onto a holiday break in late August. Some stop start happened from there. Surprisingly that initiated my most successful month: November 2012.

My average monthly readership tripled from 300 to 913! Thank you so much 🙂

From there I kept a bit of a watch and even more exciting I met a few people who were reading and enjoying it. That was simply great!

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