Tag Archives: Success

End the Blame Game

team conflict

Over the years I’ve worked on a wide variety of projects and seen many times when things haven’t gone well.  At times the problems were due to unexpected issues, other times they were due to things that were overlooked.  There were even a few times when gaps were identified before they could wreck disaster on the project.  Unfortunately too often people get caught up in the blame game; before, during or after a problem occurs.

On one project a problem was found prior to the deadline and the root cause was a found to be a system design flaw.  Unfortunately the flaw was found right before our deadline so all we could do was implement a work-around initially.  Since the flaw didn’t impact the primary process it was missed because not all the processes that used this part of the system were mapped.  A couple of weeks before the deadline the gaps were found and the scrambling began.

At first there were a bunch of meetings about how this got missed and who was at fault.  Fingers were pointed and blame was placed.  This led the people who were blamed to spend time explaining how it wasn’t their fault and that they did their best.  We lost a week or more to these pointless conversations.  Negativity and defeat were prevalent.  Finally the emotions calmed enough for the team to focus on what needed to happen to meet our deadline.  In a few days we were able to identify fixes for all the gaps once the focus shifted to where we needed to go.  Sadly even as we started making progress a few folks would start to vent their frustration that these issues were identified sooner.  Negativity would start creeping in again.

Our project manager had to keep reminding everyone on the target – a successful implementation on our deadline.  Keeping the team looking forward and focused on the key tasks at hand was critical to our eventual success.  He set short-term and long-term priorities and kept us focused on what had to happen next and who could get it done.  He shut down the negative talk and kept us looking at the end goal.  As we came together to find solutions to the gaps we moved past the negativity and started to find the positive in an ugly situation.

We were able to be succeeded by following these three strategies:

  1. Shift the Focus: When you are looking at the problems all you see are problems.  As you start to focus on possible solutions it becomes easier to find the positive in the situation.  Success breeds success.
  2. Worry about Blame Later: It is important to determine what went wrong and how to avoid it in the future but solve the problems first.  Once the issues are resolved everyone can learn from looking at what could be done better in the future.
  3. Check Emotions at the Door: In the heat of the moment it’s easy to let our emotions get away from us.  When that happens, anger and frustration can take the lead side tracking progress and causing people to shut down.  Keep things focused on fixing the problems and not fixing people.

Problems during projects are inevitable; however handling them well is possible.  It requires the right focus and the skills to manage people well.  When a team hits a challenge, the more time they spend on placing blame the longer it will take to get to a satisfactory solution.  Identify the source, focus on the fixes and then worry about the lessons to be learned.  Taking valuable time to find someone to blame is futile and counterproductive.  Solutions aren’t found and people become defensive, overall the entire team can get stuck.  Focus on moving forward and setting a positive tone.  The results from your team will be astounding.

What tips do you have for overcoming the blame game to move forward to success?

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The Best of Lead With Giants March 14

wpid-Best-of-LWG-Blog-Posts.jpgToday I’m excited to bring to you the best blog posts from the Lead With Giants group.  There are many interesting articles with great insights into leadership topics.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

Best of Lead With Giants March 14

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The Best of Lead With Giants February 2014

wpid-Best-of-LWG-Blog-Posts.jpgToday I’m excited to bring to you the best blog posts from the Lead With Giants group.  There are many interesting articles with great insights into leadership topics.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

Best of Lead With Giants February 14

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Responsibility – Do You Pass it On?

Teamwork passing the batonEach of us has responsibilities, to ourselves, to our families, to our jobs, and so on.  It’s one of those facts of adulthood.  With freedom comes responsibility.  The real question is how well we handle all of those responsibilities.  We also have choices on what we take on as a responsibility.  This is very true as leaders.

When we assume a leadership role we are being placed in a role with responsibilities.  We are accountable for our team’s performance as well as our own.  We become responsible for guiding, directing, and correcting the behavior of those around us.  How much we take on ourselves will often determine how well we perform as a leader.

The challenge of being responsible for the performance of others is how much of their success or failure do we really own?  When is their failure ours and when is it theirs?  What is our responsibility as a leader for those who are on our team?  Here are 6 questions to help determine when it’s your responsibility and when it’s not:

  1. Have you given clear direction, and checked for understanding, on what is required?
  2. Have you provided the training and coaching needed for success?
  3. Have you given feedback on their performance, including corrective ideas?
  4. Are you letting them act independently and not micro-managing?
  5. Are you available to them for support and guidance?
  6. Have you created an environment where people can innovate, act on ideas and questioning is welcomed?

If you answer yes to all of these questions then you are doing all that you can reasonably do to help your team succeed.  Some team members will flourish and grow in this kind of environment.  There will be some who aren’t well suited for the tasks at hand.  It could be that they just don’t have the abilities or capacity to meet the demands of the position.  They may not have the right attitude for the role they are in, or they may not want to grow in the direction needed. 

When someone can’t or won’t gain the skills needed to do the job assigned and you as their leader has worked with them to help them get there it becomes your responsibility to help them move to the right position.  This may mean leaving your organization or it may mean transferring to another area.  Your responsibility is to the entire team and the organization so you have to make sure the right people are in place to accomplish your goals and mission.

Responsibility is part of our lives, at home and at work.  When we take our responsibilities seriously and act on them with integrity and compassion we help our teams become the best they can be, together and individually.  Remember while we as leaders are responsible for the team’s results each person is also responsible for their performance and their results.  We must coach, train and guide them towards success but we have to let them succeed or fail on their own.  If they can’t succeed in the given role we must be responsible to the team and make a change.

You have to pass on the responsibility for personal performance to each person on your team.  Along with that you must share the responsibility for the overall team’s success with each member.  Build trust and collaboration by passing the baton of responsibility to your team.  Get them engaged in their individual and joint success.  Everyone wins then. 

Have you ever had issues related to passing responsibility to others?  Share your experiences below in the comments.

 

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If you would like help defining your responsibilities or learning to build your team’s abilities contact us at carol@delta-group-llc.com

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The Best of Lead With Giants January 2014

wpid-Best-of-LWG-Blog-Posts.jpgTo start the new year off in a great way I am sharing with you the best blog posts from the Lead With Giants group.  There are many interesting articles with great insights into leadership topics.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

Best of Lead With Giants January 2014

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What is Your Mission? Leadership and Mission

Success2What is you mission?  Do you know what is your purpose or calling?  Have you taken the time to determine what you are called to do and how you will measure your success?  As humans we have the opportunity to determine what we will do and how we will do it.  We can choose to live a life with a purpose, to pursue a mission.  If you are a leader knowing your mission is critical to the success of your team.  A vision alone will not create success for you or your team.

When you share your vision as a leader you are creating a picture of success for your team.  By taking it one step further and sharing a mission statement you give your team a framework that defines how they will help create that success.  The mission is task oriented and so is action oriented.  This gives your team the start of a road map to reach success.  The mission statement becomes a compass and helps determine direction for your activities and those of your team.

A mission statement clearly identifies your purpose and identifies measures of success.  It provides a simple and easy message of the primary objective for you and your team.  A well done mission statement sets the stage for setting goals throughout an organization.  Aligning individual, department, and corporate goals with the mission allows everyone to understand how they connect to the bigger picture of what is to be done.  That alignment helps with engagement because people know how they are contributing to the overall mission.

Missions are translated a series of tasks or activities to reach the goal specified in the mission statement.  This translation helps break down the mission into actionable steps people can take to reach the goal.  The goal is often tied to the vision which defines the purpose in terms of values.  The vision is often a statement of the experience people will have with an organization and may be directed to external customers or shareholders.  The mission defines how the internal team will bring the vision to life.

So as a leader you need to create a vision of the future for your team and to help guide them on their journey to success you need to give them a mission as well.  The mission statement can become the rallying point for team efforts which creates momentum and success.  Share your vision and mission often with your team so they know where they are going and how they will get there.   Keep your mission fresh and consistent with your current situation.  Make changes if needed to adapt to new opportunities.

As 2014 approaches take time to review your personal mission and your organization’s mission.  Is your purpose clearly defined and aligned with your current circumstances?  Start planning for how you will accomplish this mission in 2014 so you can hit the ground running as the new year begins.

To explore more about Leadership and Mission join me as I co-host the Lead With Giants TweetChat with Dan Forbes on Monday December 16th at 7:00 pm (#leadwithgiants).  We would love have you share your ideas and thoughts around this topic.

 

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The Best of Lead With Giants December 2013

wpid-Best-of-LWG-Blog-Posts.jpgToday I’m excited to bring to you the best blog posts from the Lead With Giants group.  This is a compilation of interesting articles exploring all aspects of leadership from writers within the Lead With Giants community.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

Best of Lead With Giants December 2013

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Growth

Growing KnowledgeWithout continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.
Benjamin Franklin

All of us have a great capacity for growth and improvement.  We get the choice of doing something with that capacity or not.  Life is a journey and each day represents a new opportunity to move forward towards are dreams.   Success is a result of action and great success is a result of determined and focused action.  Keep moving forward no matter what happens.  An obstacle only stops progress if you let it, find a way around it to reach your goals.

What are you doing today to grow your skills and abilities?  

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The Best of Lead With Giants October 2013

wpid-Best-of-LWG-Blog-Posts.jpgToday I’m excited to bring to you the best blog posts from the Lead With Giants group.  There are many interesting articles with great insights into leadership topics.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

Best of Lead With Giants October 13

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Quote for Oct 16th

FlamesFlaming enthusiasm, backed up by horse sense and persistence, is the quality that most frequently makes for success.
Dale Carnegie

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