A colleague is having trouble with the toxic work climate that he inherited. Several long-term employees are not only fighting the changes he’s trying to make, but there are also suspicions that even sabotage may be involved. It’s not pretty. We discussed strategies to “turn up the heat” and impose clear expectations with accountability that will either gain a behavioral change, a self-ejection or result in a forced exit.

As you can imagine, dealing with these personnel issues are consuming much of his time and attention as he can’t move forward with change while there are senior staff barriers. However; nor can he move forward without retaining the members of the team who do buy into the new principles. While it may feel as if you have to be absorbed with tending to the problems, to be successful you must also find time to nurture your treasures. While you are putting pressure on one set of staff, you need to be “showing the love” and building trust with those who you believe can help move you forward.

I likened this to the construction of the Gateway Arch in St. Louis – both sides were built simultaneously before the keystone section was ultimately put into place to finish the structure. If you spend all of your energy solving problems, you’ll complete only one leg and be left with nothing useful. Although it is challenging, you must simultaneously challenge and support as required to build the culture you desire.

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: