We Can’t Do It On Our Own!Sep 28, 2023
If there’s one thing I’ve learned with absolute certainty over the last thirty years in the workforce, having at least some level of leadership responsibility for the vast majority of that time, it’s that none of us can accomplish all we need to on our own. Whether we’re the best individual contributor (and we know now that this isn’t actually a thing) in our respective craft or we’re the best leader in the entire organization, there’s going to be times where we need someone else’s help; sooner or later, we’re going to need someone to answer our cries too!
As great as Terry was at supporting our behavior-based safety team, and even me throughout my career, he was always quick to acknowledge his own limitations and just as quick to look wherever he needed to for the appropriate support he needed to achieve his goals or work through any challenges that came up along the way. As leaders, it can feel like the buck always stops with us - and in many cases, it does. That’s especially true with regards to the overall responsibility for our teams but that doesn’t mean we’ve got to be the one who knows everything and does everything!
One of my very few clear memories of the sixth grade is a time in science class where another student asked a question that the teacher didn’t know the answer to. That student went on to make a wisecrack about how teachers were supposed to know everything. The seconds that followed showed me that this usually quiet and kind teacher was not one to be messed with. After the smoke cleared, there wasn’t a student in the room who was willing to make a comment like that for the remainder of the year! And while the way that teacher provided her response may not be acceptable in today’s terms, it sure did make an impact - and that impact carries over to what we should also accept as leaders!
Even the best of us can only do so much. There will be times where we need to ask for help, for various reasons, and a big part of leadership is being willing to do that. The primary reason Cindy and I chose to leave full time jobs with great benefits and comfortable salaries was to be that support in the specific areas we could; specifically in helping teams achieve measurable results by developing those skills that are too often written off as soft and intangible. And while we know that’s most definitely not the only support leaders will ever need, we’ve seen firsthand that our approach is effective at improving your profitability by building better leaders. To put a nice bow on this whole idea of addressing your profitability killers, the last thing I’ll do is provide you with some context around the specific tool(s) we’ve developed to deal with each one! Stay tuned…