Ten Questions for Leaders
Bonding Through Common
Beyond the usual
list of technical difficulties such as inadequate focus, incomplete tracking,
and reliance on our own perceptions of customers, we are having trouble forming
truly collaborative teams.
conversion to a team
mentality is difficult because truly
teams must be predicated on trust.
Unfortunately, many organizations are
perceived by their workforce as untrustworthy. The results are pockets of "us"
and pockets of "them," the true antithesis of a Quality
you contemplate change in yourself, do you account for your own natural
resistance, or even denial of the need for change? Do you account for these
factors in others?
2. Are you sharing the risks of change visibly enough with the
rest of the workforce? What's at stake for you? Who knows about it?
3. Have you learned anything
from a subordinate today? If you have, did you implement it?
4. Have you abruptly interrupted
someone today while they were talking? Mentally completed thoughts or filled in
answers for someone else?
5. Do you sometimes act so busy
that people are invited to wait until problems are serious enough to warrant
6. Do you often pretend you are sure when you're not? When is the
last time you openly asked for help or admitted confusion?
7. Are you living out your key
values at work? How would anyone know?
8. How patient are you? Are you
modeling enjoyment and long-term commitment, or are you working primarily for
the short term so you can "get out?"
9. When you communicate, are you
for the most part making statements or asking questions? Do your questions
contain assumptions (e.g., `Why are you behind schedule' vs. `How are you doing
with our timeline')? Are you thus encouraging defensiveness?
10. In your heart of hearts, do you
believe that differences in education or background determine the quality of
that person and the value he/she could add? When did you last spend time with
someone several layers down in the organization?
You Are the Learning
If any of
your answers reveal a shortcoming, you could be at the beginning of a rich
expansion for yourself and your Quality initiatives. When you execute, that is.
Habit dies hard only when recognition is denied, or visible implementation is
delayed. When we deny our need to change, others trust us less, for the good
reason that we are not then trusting ourselves.
Try a Quick
Pick one area from your responses where
you could demonstrate change today. Track the implementation for 48 hours.
Consciously acknowledge those who are helping you learn. This tiny step
furthers the marriage between trust and Quality. With your initiative and with
teamwork that concentrates on the Quality effort, you can count on it:
measurable results are on the way.
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