As far back as I can remember people have sought me out for answers. I have had some really great experiences and some horrific experiences being the “go to guy”. Sometimes I am the leader, sometime the default leader of the pack who just need answers.
I was approached by a person that had a burning question on his heart. He had gone the traditional route asking the leaders of the organization about some things he was questioning. Time and time again he was told that the answer would have to come from the guy at the top of the leadership pyramid.
In utter frustration and to the point of anger, he sought me out. I listened while he went through his whole terrible ordeal step by step and road block after road block. I did my best to wait until he was done and out of breath and asked, “What can I do for you?”
He politely asked if maybe, just maybe, I could seek an answer. I asked if he had spoken to the top individual and my friend said, “I don’t know him well enough. I have tried to build a relationship and he is over educated and somewhat snooty.”
I asked, “Do you trust he will give me an honest answer?”
My friend replied, “I’m not sure.” I told my friend I would do what I could and get back to him.
Off I went to see what I could find out. First one, then two, then three of the leaders gave me the same answer. I would have to go to the top.
Off I went to talk to the top dog in the organization. When I finally ran him down, I asked the burning question that my friend had needed answered. The top dog’s immediate response was, “Give me his name and I will talk to him.”
I answered, “Absolutely not. A confidence is a confidence. He is uncomfortable coming to you and I have the same questions.” After top dog realized I would not divulge the name, he did provide an answer which I took back to my friend. Question answered but missing an opportunity to begin building a damaged relationship.
Leadership is not shared in the organization. Where do the other leaders fit?
Trust has been broken or is non-existent.
No relationship has been built among the leaders or followers.
Poor Leadership and Leadership falls on more than one person in the organization. Contributors are: no time, no trust, no relationship, no sharing of information, afraid or unable to make a decision, having been put down too many times, just easier to pass it along.
Leaders Listen – Discern – Answer – Take Action
Never answer quickly. Listen to the whole download. Take time to process, then answer.
If one person comes to you and says they are representing others, don’t ask who the others are. This is a trust situation that needs addressing. Practice the Listen – Discern -Answer – Take Action. You need to have faith that the person coming to you will start a chain of communication.
Take some time to be intentional to add some trust building and relationship mending opportunities among leaders and others.
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