Manage them out, or lift them up. Make the right call.

19 10 2015

“When you can’t do something truly useful, you tend to vent the pent-up energy in something useless but available, like snappy dressing.” ~Lois Bujold

We all know that employee that is always missing deadlines, and when asked why, they spend a lot of time telling you how busy they are.  They invest a lot of energy making excuses.  Yet, any time you walk by their work area, they’re on their cell phone, or online shopping, or they’re not there, because they’re gabbing at the water cooler.  You might think they’re lazy (and maybe they are), but maybe they’re not invested in doing the job they’re assigned.  Maybe they don’t think it’s truly useful.

As leaders, you can go 2 ways:  manage them out or lift them up.  If you manage them out, and bring someone else in to do a job that they think is useless, then you’ll have the same problem in 6 months.  Lifting them up, on the other hand, might take a little more energy from you.  You need to explain to them the big picture, and show them how this thing that they’re doing is critical to the success of the mission.  Get them pulling along with you, and you’re very likely to see not only that they meet their deadlines, but they have a little fire in their belly about the team.  That’s motivation.  That’s leadership.

Speaking of snappy…


Rubes cartoons used with permission.




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