If you see it then do you fix it?
Let’s say it’s first thing in the morning and you’re about to walk into your office. Just before you enter the door you notice a piece of trash on the floor at your feet. Would you pick it up and throw it away? Of course you would as you want your office to look tidy and professional, plus you take great pride in what you do.
Now let’s say you’re in your office and over the course of the day you hear 2 people from one department complaining about the perceived poor work ethic of another department. Maybe a large part of your team is complaining about a system that they have to work within. Maybe you’re aware that one department head/director/team leader is under-performing and mismanaging the team leading their staff to resent them for it. If you are aware of issues like these within your organization would you do something about them or just accept it as normal?
As I was growing up a mentor of mine always said that if you are aware of something then it’s yours to fix. Meaning that along with the power of observation also comes a meaningful choice. If you see trash on the ground will you pick it up or leave it? If you see that a neighbor has left their car lights on, but they’re already in the house, would you knock on the door and tell them? If you notice someone walking into a building behind you with their arms full would you hold the door for them?
If you don’t notice the issue then you cannot choose, but once you’re aware you suddenly have a choice to make. As a leader of people I believe this same philosophy applies, especially in the workplace. If you are aware that your team is frustrated because a system or departmental structure may be broken do you ask questions and engage the staff to try to find a solution together? If a department head/director/team leader is acting in a way that may not be best for the team do you make him/her aware of the situation and try to repair it before it gets out of hand? If you hear rumblings that your team is frustrated with a decision you’ve made or the direction that the company is going do you calmly discuss it with them, invite their input and perceptions, and then ask them how they would improve?
Real leaders, whether by title or just by their own example, see every observational choice as an opportunity to improve themselves, their team, and even the overall culture of their work environment. What observations do you see within your team and how many of them do you take action on? Are you looking in the right places and in the right way? Drop me a note to discuss and then make the most out of the choices that follow!