Playbook for solving leadership issues

Posted by kdow on May 3, 2018 3:46:35 PM

Photo by Andreas Klassen on  Unsplash

Managing people in lots of locations, with their own unique cultures & takes on the business is a rough one. It’s hard to maintain a balance, especially when the leadership group is so nascent and needy.

But spotting gaps in a leaders arsenal is a huge asset. In fact, in the last few weeks as I’ve had more folks report into me, I’ve noted that it’s probably the only asset that matters when addressing problem teams/groups. There are a few ways to spot/address/resolve issues in leadership that have worked for me:

  1. Identify the issues themselves. What’s wrong? What does the feedback suggest?
  2. Understand the context of that feedback/the issues. Is someone complaining because of a bad history with their manager? Is the manager going through a rough time?
  3. Identify 3 or 4 solutions (and try to remove “firing” as one of them).
  4. Spot the gaps that remain after each solution is executed. That will determine the one to pick.
  5. Write it down. I feel like companies do lots of stuff but never write it down. It’s like your granny being famous for her great lasagna, but then because she never wrote the recipe down no one can replicate it!
  6. Implement radical candour when providing feedback or solving the problem. Business isn’t a democracy all the time.

That’s worked well for me so far. It’s not perfect, it’s a bit subjective, but that’s fine. Pretending you have a foolproof rigorous method to solve a problem is only going to lead to a disaster.

Importantly, when leaders are the issue, communication tends to be key. In fact, communication tends to be the problem. Getting ahead of that (using radical candour) has worked well for me when solving for it.