Leadership in the 21st century is truly a team activity. It really does take a group of committed people to make positive change happen. So team collaboration is the best way forward.
On the other hand, each individual contributor must be seen in his or her own right as the one and only one who makes the whole team fly or fail.
One company we recently began to consult with had a director resign and the following story underlined the importance of the solo player:
This woman was in charge of operations. And, as the story unfolds, she was IN CHARGE! Translated that meant all decisions to be made ended up in her in-box. No one and I mean no one was permitted to make even the smallest incremental change, from purchasing a box of tissues, to fixing a tractor.
She had been there when the company started and the rules were hard and fast. Sadly, no one was willing to confront her. She had told so many of the employees that she, and only she, was responsible for getting them raises, more vacation days, extra bonuses, and on and on.
Does this sound like a firm you have worked for, where one person claimed the power and through fear and intimidation kept people separate?
I’d like to hear your stories.
This is one of the most malignant parts of a company and sadly, is more common than not. The splitter causes disruption and depression and can destroy the very fiber of an otherwise healthy organization. It needs real attention, and it needs it now.
The level of deceit and splitting that this woman created was damaging. However, now that she is gone everyone feels they are starring in “The Wizard of Oz” and the theme song is “Ding, dong, the witch is dead, the wicked witch, the wicked witch, ding dong the wicked witch is dead“.
Now they are working on the hard part; what are their personal contributions to permitting the negativity and dissonance to stay, like a virus, for so long.
In our leadership development program this aspect of personal accountability is key. Yes, one person does make a difference, and in the long run, that person is you!!
I personally think that one person a strong leader can make a world of a differences. At times if the one person affect even 5 people in their lives and those 5 people affect influence another 5. There is no number to great or too small.
At times if the one person affect even 5 people in their lives and those 5 people affect influence another 5. There is no number to great or too small.