Thursday, May 17, 2012

Shall we Talk About the Gorilla in the Room? How About the Sacred Cow?

                                                           Photo Courtesy of Benjaman Pollhein

I find it curious how often the most obvious and painful problems are ignored and overlooked by teams working to create change in their organizations.  It is almost as if the teams fear the "Gorilla in the Room" will jump up and bite them if they dare talk about it!  The fact of the matter is the Gorilla likes allows the problem to just keep biting whomever he wishes, whenever he wishes.

Ever seen this in your your your volunteer organization?  I have found also that the "Gorilla in the Room" has another dysfunctional relative he likes to hang out with....The Sacred Cow.

Together, these two are responsible for inhibiting progress everywhere.   It often sounds like this:

  • "Oh we can't change that!  The VP will get upset!"
  • "You can't talk about that crappy MRP install!  That's forbidden!"
  • "Let's stick to the things within our control.  That (insert Gorilla or Sacred Cow name here) belongs to  Harry and he won't ever let us change that!"
  • "What Gorilla?"
If you are trying to create meaningful change, you will encounter these two ornery critters eventually.  When you do, the best way to deal with them is to look them squarely in the eyes and politely ask them to leave.  Most people are so afraid of these two that they do not realize is that once an organization decides it does not want them around and makes that known, they usually just leave!  Take the bull by the horns and remember:

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Celebrate Success!

As I do more and more Consulting Gigs, I have started to realize something.....there is not enough celebrating going on!  Change management is a tough gig, especially when you do it all over the globe and in different cultures and languages.  One of the constants is that people like to celebrate their successes.

Now, you probably don't have a problem doing that in your personal life.  I would imagine that you, like me, make a big deal out of things like moving-up ceremonies, graduations, great test scores, birthdays, etc.  Why do we lose our way in the work-world?

It doesn't have to be a huge deal...a nice dinner, a token of appreciation, whatever.  But take the time to celebrate success wherever you make it happen.  Thank folks for a job well done.  It's actually a lot of fun!

                                                            Photo courtesy of Cristino Orengo

Monday, May 14, 2012

Family Allegiance

One of the immediately recognized images for most adults of cowardice....The Cowardly Lion from the Wizard of Oz.  He eventually found courage when it came to defending his new found "Family."  But this is only because he did not want to remain a coward.

As the leader of a family, I am often amazed at the cowardice displayed by some people.  Unlike our friend the Lion, these cowards are those people who will not come to you with a problem, but instead, they will go behind your back and use "da rules" to protect themselves.  They actually enjoy causing mischief in underhanded and cowardly ways.  Families need to stand strong in the face of this kind of cowardice, especially with the multiple social media venues for this type of shameless behavior

In my experience, most normal problems with other people can only be adequately addressed by working it out with the other person directly.  If you haven't tried that first, then all other solutions seem like what they are....cowardice.  If you've tried and the other person wants nothing to do with solving the issue directly with you, then by all means, try getting someone to help you address the problem with that individual.  But don't go there until you have pulled up your big-boy panties and tried to make things right yourself....honestly and directly.

Cowards can really make a mess of things by repeating rumors and hearsay.  They often, intentionally or unintentionally, drag good people through bad stuff.  They use the latest "concern du jour" to their personal advantage and do not think of the consequences.  Often times, the consequences blow back in their faces...but not often enough.

If you find yourself the victim of a coward's stupidity, do yourself a favor.  Contact the individual personally and try to work it out.  If that fails, try to get the necessary assistance to work it out directly, without resorting to gossip.  Talk to your family about how to avoid these cowards and their mischief.  Your kids will thank you.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Just when you think you've seen everything... get to see something you never have!  On my current assignment as a Director on a mining project in Colombia, South America, I often get to visit the various shops outside of the ones we are working in.  Yesterday, here are a few of the residents I got to meet!  They hang out in the shop because they can regulate their body temperature easily and Lunchtime is great!

Captions welcome!  Here's mine:  1st pic: "Okay boss!  Done with that last job....where do you want me to go next?"  Second pic: "I know there's a short in one of these...I just can't seem to find which one it is!"  Third Pic: "Hey!  Quit layin' down on the job and get back to welding!"  LOL!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Thinking About Blogging Again!

So much has been going on since my Ben left for the service that I have abandoned my readers.  I believe it is probably time to get back to the blog.  I have been relying on FaceBook to stay in touch and voice my opinions, but I am feeling like that is a cop-out.  I promised lessons on Leadership and am finding more and more that I have experienced much more that has taught me many things over the last year.

So....please stay tuned.  And Thank You, Dave Hengen, for pointing me back to the blogosphere.  I appreciate the kick in the pants!