Friday, January 9, 2015

Are you talking out of "both sides" of your mouth?

Are there ever times you find yourself talking out of “both sides of your mouth?” You’re about to experience me model this conundrum.

Those of you who know me know my passion for having vision, targets, and beginning with the end in mind. I want to know where it is we’re going, how we’re going to reach our objective, and a way to assess our progress. Reaching and exceeding the primary target is the ultimate objective. 

But yet…

I just read a quote that made me pause to ponder…”Remember…it’s the JOURNEY…not the destination that’s important!” My mind began to think of the travels I have taken and memories which revolved around the numerous side trips along the way; the final destinations rather a blur by comparison. 

So what is it I REALLY hold to be true? Perhaps it is the old chicken and egg dilemma as there is no chicken without an egg and certainly no eggs without the chicken…journey…destination…..

What do you think? Just askin…

Be good to yourself…


  1. Hey Ron, great subject matter. Here is a story that may resonate...
    An assertive 24 year old was promoted to General Manager. He was appointed to manage a group of 25 business professionals to achieve certain sales, operational and business metrics. He was chosen for this position for his analytical, organizational, methodical and presentation abilities, The ages, but more importantly the experience level of those being managed were from 10 years to 25 years more than that of the young manager.

    The manager ran a tight ship, ensuring there was a direct and short rope between his management and his teams performance metrics. At the start of his tenure in this new position he was meeting all required metrics; reports were on time, employees came in early and worked late and team performance metrics were exceeded. He was tough and the employees were initially motivated by fear.

    The problem was there was tension and unhappiness that blanketed the team. The team members were operating under the duress of a manager leading with an iron fist; late nights, early mornings, snide comments for those who left the office 5:00 PM, or showed up and 8:00 AM. He didn't listen contextually and validate his employees, he passively listened and practiced a directive management style. His ego swelled to the point where the effect of his actions began to crack the unity of his team and performance started to falter. Team members began to quit, performance metrics were falling short of plan and he was now feeling isolated.

    Instinctively he was searching for answers to right the ship. His next fatal error..."vacillation". He transformed his style and began to now listen to his employees and ask them questions in a dire attempt to tap their experience. The problem was he would gain their knowledge, turn it into his idea and take the credit, which further alienated him from his team. He would give clear direction one day, obtain opinion the next day and change direction on the third day.

    Vacillation (talking our of "both sides" of ones mouth) for a manager is one of the worst leadership traits. The effect constantly pulls at the fabric and seams of a team's unity. Comparing an effective team of employees to a well built airplane; even the best built plane will come apart if the pilot constantly flies the plane into turbulence causing the plane to vacillate, loosening the rivets.

    The key to effective leadership includes minimizing wavering on a team's plan through contextual listening (employee feedback), building trust (right words, right time, right intentions) and connecting the team to a vision, supported by a mission, connected to goals, objectives, strategies and finally ensuring the teams tasks and metrics are clear and in support of vision and mission. Finally, the leader's message needs to be consistent and habitual so the employee's and the leader's thoughts, actions, countermeasures and reactions to issues become unified.

    Thanks for the opportunity to comment. Rick Knill

  2. Oh, forgot the best part...a good leader should guide his employees to stay present, enjoy the moments of the hours in each day, be happy, laugh, stay flexible and easy going throughout the misson, regardless of the highs and lows of the business terrain - enjoy that journey!

    1. Rick...thanks for you enlightening comments and saving the best for last!

  3. thank you fr you best post .Really for the first time i read in your blog ... The best leader for me the perso who respect the decisions of others

  4. Glad you enjoyed the post Noureddine...follow me on Twitter @krausera