Work With the Willing #151

by Sue Hawkes

Work With the Willing #151

As leaders, you’re tasked with two things: leading people and managing results. If you can do both well, you are the magician most of us want on our team.

Any given day, you can defer to the easier of the two given your skillset. Certainly results, when mostly attainable from our own actions, are easier. When you begin to coordinate with the actions of others, well, that’s when it can fall apart.

Business is simple. People are not.

As a leader, when you introduce change, you are dealing with a scenario where 20% of your team is in. They are your raving fans, advocates for the greater good, and champions of all you are up to.

20% of your team is your skeptics. They turn their noses up, play devil’s advocate, sneer and find ways to challenge all you’re doing. Their arms are crossed, eyes are rolling, and they range from mild to strong in their resistance to the change.

60% of your team is somewhere in between. They are cautious, or cautiously optimistic, waiting to see if you’ll stick with it, or if it’s a passing fad. They are waiting to see if they should expend the energy to change or save it for the rework when you abandon the effort.

Observing this (crude stats I know), with a possible 80% going your way, let your energy go with that majority and let the 20% get taken care of by the masses – except for saboteurs. Handle them swiftly, and it will send a clear message.

Work with the willing. If people show up resistant, let them know you’d love to have them on board, but if they’re not on board over time, you’ll need to transition them out. Buy-in is their job, not yours.

Sue HawkesWork With the Willing #151