Is that a Bus You’re Driving, or, People You’re Leading?

Have you ever heard, or used this phrase: “You have to get the right people on the bus?? Or, leadership somehow needs to. “Help the one who doesn’t fit off the bus…?“ Unfortunately, “bus” is the wrong metaphor. “Bus” somehow conveys a mechanistic image with each part in its place and when it no longer works, it’s replaced.

An organization, no matter how large or small, isn’t a machine. Internal combustion machines have parts with clear edges, purposes, and functions. If the fuel injection system fails, take it out and put in a new one. Get the adjustments right, fire it up, and off you go!

However, human beings aren’t machines. If a heart fails, there are a whole series of considerations as to whether a donor heart can even be considered. Once the transplant is completed, some work amazingly well for an extended period, whereas others reject, along with many other possible complications.

Your team isn’t a machine. It is a living, breathing, fuzzy edges, human organism. The team members which come into and out of the life of that organism bring gifts, aptitudes, attitudes, insights, and more which can have unanticipated impacts throughout their participation and even after they’ve left. And as with other living organisms, there aren’t always clear boundaries within your team, even though the org chart looks so neat and tidy. Sometimes an administrative assistant has impact far beyond the org chart.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR LEADERS? How well do you know your people? Can you see and sense the organic ties between and beyond team members? Do you have a clear understanding of how your highest-performing teams get things done? Or, what gets in their way? How might a leader come to that sort of insight and understanding? How about listening? Observing and asking questions?

If you’d like to be a better listener, or, hone your communication and leadership skills, how about hiring a coach to help you step up as a more empathetic leader? How else might an executive coach assist you on the journey to becoming a more effective leader? Drop us a DM. The first hour is free. You talk, we’ll listen and might even help you become a more effective and empathetic leader.