Do unto others as you would have done to you
I don’t like to point the finger at myself, I don’t like to fail and I hate it when other people point the finger at me. I am ok with sharing success but I find praise uncomfortable. I believe in a fair days work for a fair days pay.
Why then have I worked for the past 30 years in Companies that promote firefighting, develop blame cultures and focus on individual failure whilst sharing success with the chosen few? I ask myself do I enjoy it.
- Does it make me happy?
- Does it get the best out of me?
- Do I spend too much time supporting other people?
- Do I think about my customer enough?
- Do I spend enough time being positive?
The answer to these is unfortunately no, but worryingly for me I have become good at these games and can survive quite well in most organisations.
How does it make me feel? – Frustrated, angry, worried- rarely happy – I may have become addicted though to something that causes me pain?
So I’d like to throw out the following 10ish questions to help us start thinking about ourselves
- There is a great cartoon – “Change is great- you go first” –how often do we become involved in change programmes that are designed to make other people better and not ourselves?
- Do we fix late delivery or do we improve delivery performance. Two statements describing the same problem- one phrased in the positive one in the negative- which one would stimulate people to contribute?
- Do you use the language “us, we and our” or are you “them, they and their”? One is inclusive the other excludes- one promotes collaboration the other blame.
- Do you talk about problems or opportunities?
- Do you hear “they should”, “we are supposed to” or “he is meant to” when we investigate problems- if yes it suggest a lack of accountability, standards and a supportive culture.
- Are you chucking problems over the wall? Do your measures support preventative cross functional thinking? Are your measures leading or lagging?
- How long do you spend talking about people issues as opposed to how long you spend talking about how you make your people more successful?
- Why do we spend so long dwelling on people’s failure? Is it because we are insecure about ourselves?
- Does everybody in your organisation understand their role, does everybody understand they are responsible for improving their work? Can everybody improve their work?
- Are we willing to work together? Can we enjoy other people’s success?
I suppose the above needs us all to take a look in the mirror and start with ourselves. As leaders we need to make the change firstly in ourselves, I am by no means an expert and find becoming self-aware continually shocks me