Sometimes in the fury of change, we cope. We do what comes automatically to us in the moment. People ask us their questions and we answer them. People complain, and we seek to overcome their objections. We respond. What else are we to do anyway? We are the ones that are supposed to be "in charge" right. The assigned leaders?
The truth is that the more pressure, the more uncertainty and the more questions asked can make leaders less likely to step back, take a breath and truly LEAD. You see, for the most part, the first paragraph covers a bunch of management tasks such as planning, organizing, and controlling. Although necessary for the organization, they won't get us to the end of the obstacle course. For that, we need to demonstrate leadership. Remember that complimentary pack of things that must be done…by someone. Setting direction (maybe not total clarity), aligning resources (what help do you need), motivating (in a way that works for that follower). Leading helps to manage the uncertainty. It is directional in nature and visionary in the end game.
Recently, Interstates has had a lot of changes going on within the organization. I'm convinced that these changes will be a game-changer for the Interstates organization and our people. But we need some leadership all throughout. When people are asking all the little questions, yes they want those answers...but they also might be emotionally screaming "where are we going and help me to feel good about it". That might be more of what is actually going on.
As named "leaders" of our organizations, we owe our people both the management and the leadership to assist them in becoming wildly successful in their jobs. Take a step back and a deep breath and look at your sphere of influence. Are you leading enough? Are you relying on intense management to solve the entire problem? If you aren't sure, then find someone you trust close by and sincerely ask. They will help out. That's who we are, but you need to open the door for that conversation to begin.
Amp up the leadership if you need to. I'm confident we can if we see the need.
Dave Crumrine, Interstates President