Demolition is Easier than the Renovation

Ever watch any of those home shows that deal with the purchase, demolition, renovation and than finally the big “reward” of selling the home.

No matter the episode or show, the demolition part is where everyone gets excited and is eager to jump in. On the purchase, we’re a little nervous “oh no, what if it doesn’t work out”, on the renovation there are always tons of problems and the reward is eventually a sale.

But the demo is where everyone shows up on Day 1 to make their mark, tear down the doors and bathrooms, breakthrough the walls and swing a hammer in some direction hopefully making contact with your prime objective.

We sometimes do it with our teams and leadership.

How many times have you heard the quotes?

“Scored Earth.”
“Let them all go.”
“Blow it up and start all over again.”
“Raze it to the ground.”

Or whatever other thought comes to mind — but you get the picture I’m trying to paint. You, the leader, who has been trying so valiantly over the past few months to implement change, to commit to making progress, to turning things around, only to have someone come in, bellowing any of the above in an effort to derail all the work you’ve been doing.

The big swift kick that will reset everything, eliminate all our problems and than start from scratch all over again.

Except, like any demolition, once completed you’re exhausted from having swung the hammer for a few hours, it’s a mess — carnage and destruction all around you. People walk in asking what your next steps are, what your next plans are, where you begin, what will you do, all while you stand on this pile of rubble.

It’s easier to demolish things, even a team that’s not functioning at their peak or where the other teams are than to figure out what’s broken.

It’s a much more difficult task, to keep to your course and plan of consistently implemented small steps focused on making a difference. When looking to implement change within your team, the best way to start is with small steps, small steps that you lead with that slowly spread out to the rest of the group until everyone else is doing them.

But, the leaders that fix teams, address the problems, “renovate them”, without demolition are the teams that will become stronger, more resilient, trustworthy and more productive as a result.

The next time you have a team problem, think of how you can fix it with small steps before swinging the hammer that simply let’s you say “problem fixed” without having looked where the problem really was to begin with.

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