In an earlier leadership role I had been striving to create focus and accountability within each of our major work areas. The team responded beautifully with doing their best to adjust to roles, to stay focused on their areas, and to minimize confusion by stepping across boundaries. They did exactly as I asked.
We were in a team meeting and I could see that there was erupting confusion around contacting customers in an effort to close some sales. There was a lot of respect for my sales & marketing manager in not stepping in on her turf when it came to customers. Where the problem arose, though, was in the fact that the team was confused as to who was supposed to be following up on some key sales activity that had begun prior to our organizational re-alignment.
Following rules are good, but when we allow following the rules to take precedence over common-sense business judgment we are more apt to do the wrong thing even though we followed the rules. Take this to an extreme and now you're a walking, talking organizational robot who allows business judgment to atrophy just like an unused muscle.
Be keen to the rules, but if you see you're about to do the wrong thing then put the rule to question. You may not do something the right way, but at least you'll have done the right thing, which I'll take any day of the year.
Keynote Speaker | Board Director | Autism Advocate | Author | Project Management Expert | Microsoft/Accenture Veteran
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