I listened carefully to a song on the radio and I could hear the consistent drumbeat that carried through the entire piece. Parts of the melody varied – highs and lows, fast and slow – but that steady rhythm kept time throughout.

I think that the drumbeat is the job of the supervisor – providing consistency through the variations of organizational life. The supervisor should be the voice of calm in the chaos. They serve their staff well when they function as a through line that maintains movement and provides integrity to the work.

Supervisors whose emotions and stress levels cover the full gamut of the scale tend to transfer their dysfunction to members of their staff. Others model their behaviors and instead of a cohesive melody that is pleasant to experience, the culture reflects unproductive clashes and often loses its way.

If you’re the one in charge, try to function like the consistent drumbeat in the background, providing a steady signal that allows the others to turn their contributions into beautiful music.

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

Dr. beth triplett is the owner of leadership dots, offering coaching, training and consulting for new supervisors. She also shares daily lessons on her leadershipdots blog. Her work is based on the leadership dots philosophy that change happens through the intentional connecting of small steps in the short term to the big picture in the long term.

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