Author Archives: Paul LaRue

#ThursdayThought – The Yes Person

Yes people are a difficult person to have in your organization for a variety of reason and challenges that they propose.

The tend to be pleasant and agreeable people, which seems to be in short supply in many organizations.

They can frustrate leaders by never giving their full and true opinion on critical matters.

They help stroke the ego of prideful leaders, and can tempt many leaders to adopt a prideful persona.

They generally provide little to no innovation because they just go with the flow.

They don’t always give honest feedback, and hold back from uncomfortable conversations.

The won’t hold a leader accountable as they’d rather just agree and move on.

They won’t buck the system and challenge status quo.

They tend to be solid on core company mission but generally weak in overall culture.

They are in prevent mode for their career and reputation.

Yes people provide a leader with a tremendous challenge in working to create within the individual a dissenting yet positive viewpoint without ramifications.

For many yes people, it will take a leader many conversations over time to reassure you value their opinion, even if it’s contrary to your own. These can tend to become weary, but with a willingness on the yes person’s part and persistent positive reassurance of the leader, progress can be made towards transforming the yes person to a valued person with their own voice.

Work with your “yes people” to create a type of employee that you see resides within themselves.

(Image by Irina L from Pixabay)

Is The User Broken? Or The Tool?

When something goes wrong, the often and inevitable default reaction is to blame the individual for the failure.

And while some individuals blame the tools they use – correctly or as a scapegoat – when we incorrectly blame the person for the shortcomings of a system or resource we take value away from the individual. And this doesn’t place anyone closer to solving what went wrong.

Sometimes we would rather blame people than objectively look to what component actually failed. What it user error or ignorance? Was the system in error, not properly tested or ignored for its flaws? Or some of both?

A good leader will objectively look to the clear cut truths of why an issue came to the forefront.

Here are some of those underlying truths:

  • Many times we blame or resist tools and systems because we don’t – or many times are not willing to –  understand or use them properly.
  • And other times the tool is broken and we blame the individual for failure rather than check the tool (system. process) that they have been struggling to use.

Consider these questions as you identify if you’re addressing a broken tool or broken user:

  • Is the tool not widely used because it’s broken?
  • Is the user not adopting processes because they refuse to change?
  • Are there reasons within company culture that explain why certain processes are worked around?
  • Does leadership force a tool that does not self-work, or make more work? Do they even understand it fully?
  • Is a particular individual or team working within the tool but not getting support?
  • Do we need to run through the process, system, or tool and check for clunkiness, inefficiencies, poor user interface?
  • Do we blame the people when it’s the tools fault?
  • Do people blame the tool when it’s their own fault?
  • Is our hope in the tool or in our people? What type of organization do we want to be?

By being discerning, finding out facts by asking around and fully checking into people and processes, you can better fine tune your people and the systems and tools you provide to ensure your goals are met. When people and processes are aligned to work together seamlessly, each supporting the other, then you can avoid questions about what is or isn’t working in your organization.

(Image by AxxLC from Pixabay)

#ThursdayThought – Sincere Ownership

Very rarely, if ever, do we hear people taking full accountability and responsibility for their actions.

Politicians, business people and celebrities usually seem to have a public relations team ready to spin the narrative for any and all errors, no matter how minuscule or egregious

That, unfortunately, is in the micro. In the macro, we see people all around us – teachers, pastors, spouses, children, parents, friends, local figures – do the same thing. Including ourselves.

It’s refreshing when someone comes forward and states how wrong they were and what they are doing to amend their ways.

It’s always encouraging to see a fellow human being – fallible as we all are – state so and work towards being better.

No blameshifting, no gaslighting, no pride, no claiming ignorance or influence by their village or environment.

Taking ownership, sincere ownership, for your mistakes is liberating. It frees one from the constant covering up and the continual spin to divert attention elsewhere.

How can you take ownership, sincere ownership today? It may truly transform your life, your leadership and those around you.

(Image by dietercn from Pixabay)

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