Imagine, if you will, a playground. On this playground, there are four different teams of kids getting ready to play a game. Each team has a leader, and each team’s individual success varies. Let’s take a closer look at the teams:
Team 1 – This leader is the stereotypical bully. He begins each sentence with “you will”, and focuses only on the team’s weakness. He beats them down when they fail. The team member’s morale is down. They keep playing because they think that if they actually win, they will get some praise. When they do win, they are never congratulated. Instead, they are told that the score could have been higher if…
Team 2 – This team has a leader. Everybody knows who that person is supposed to be. The team has never won a game. Why? There is no organization. The players don’t have clear expectations set for them. Some of the players are trying to set up a game plan. Other players are on the side lines resting. There are some that have an interest in playing, but nobody told them they had to. While these players try, they aren’t certain of what they are trying to accomplish. They run around, and go through the motions, but they never see a “W” on the scorecard.
Team 3 – This team has the happiest leader ever. Everybody is his pal, chum, or buddy. Everything is hearts and rainbows. The team likes their leader, because he is a cheery people pleaser… a total yes man. He is easily taken advantage of. The players are given direction, but change it at will. Their mistakes are not addressed with constructive criticism. They are given a pat on the back, and promised that everything would be fixed for them. There are plenty of learning opportunities, but no lessons given. These players don’t win because they have never been trained to do so. They have been taught that good enough is always enough.
Team 4 – This leader is amazing. His team has a winning record that no other team can touch. From the beginning, his players knew their roles on the team. They were given proper training. He separated the team in to smaller groups, and delegated responsibility to stronger team members to focus on each specific group. When the players make a mistake, they are given feedback that is designed to help them improve, and not make the same mistake twice. Their leader stays focused on the situation, and not the individual. The players respect that. The leader is firm, fair, and consistent. He knows that respect is earned where it is given, and treats all players the same regardless of their position on the team. He may not be everybody’s buddy, but the players know that he is there for them, and they all know where they stand. They show up at each game ready to play, and ready to win.
I work in sales. Currently, my supervisor is coaching teams 2 and 3. This is a very difficult situation to be in. Our office is staffed with approximately 12 employees. Each employee has a specific job to do, and each employee is treated differently from the others. Our supervisor has developed a management style that she thinks fits each member of our team individually. There is no consistency. Her leadership is very passive aggressive. For example, there was an employee that left each day after lunch, and did not return to the office until 4:30 in the afternoon. Rather than talk to the employee that was gone each day, she gave specific times to the remaining employees for when they were required to be in the office. The “at fault” employee was never approached with the issue. This created quite a bit of resentment amongst the employees that were actually doing their required work. Poor leadership is easy to recognize, but very difficult to fix… maybe even impossible.
To all of the monkeys out there playing for teams 1, 2 or 3, keep your heads up. Use your own drive and initiative to overcome the situation. You like the taste of success, and know what it takes to be successful. You are the captain of your ship. Steer it in the direction you want to go.
** This article was written by a guest contributor, “Just a Monkey”. If you are interested in contributing an article, please contact us!