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June 06, 2011


Shirley @ gfe

What an outstanding post, Scott. It puts into words what I have always had problems with in being in a leadership role myself (in various walks of life) and what I see as my goal in a "leadership" role. We don't always want folks forced into action by power. I'd much rather they see actions that make sense to them and end results they want to aspire to. Certainly, it's similar to your role, too, as a coach. You're not making folks succumb to your ways by power, but showing them what makes sense and what has and does work. I totally get that Gordon didn't want you to check with employees either, but also understand your thoughts that it should be done as a measure of how well his approach works. Again, great post!


Bill Catlette

Great post, Scott.

With power and influence as two of the primary levers available to them, the leader's role, simply put, is to get stuff done... to get the wash out.

Experience suggests that those who are skilled in the use of influence tend to get more done, because the folks around them aren't chronically waiting for orders, and they spend less personal time cleaning up the messes caused by over-reliance on brute force.

Bill Catlette

Gayle Ely

Scott-I really appreciate your post today. Due to a recent retirement, I have recently taken on temporary oversight of a dept in our organization which includes work of a very technical nature. I do not have experience doing the technical work and have really thought about how I could best support the staff during this interim period.

My first step was to acknowledge the fact that I don't have the technical expertise to perform their jobs. I told them that the organization is relying on them to continue their good work. I also told them that my primary goal during this time will be to support them and provide assistance in any way I can to solve issues or problems.

I also recognized the need to know enough about the work to feel comfortable that the quality of work remains at a high level. The only way to do this is to look at the results of the work. Because this work involves producing laboratory results, I am becoming familiar with what the "numbers" mean and what are acceptable deviations. Today, in fact, I am meeting with the staff to review a set of results and hold a conversation about the results that I know will be educational for me and, I hope, for the staff as well.

So I agree with your statement that leaders need to be focused on getting results and supporting the group in doing the work that leads to results.

Interesting, I find this easier to do in the situation I described above than in a situation where I know more about the work and/or have actually done the work.

Scott Eblin

Thanks Gayle, Bill and Shirley for sharing your personal experience and perspective on leadership. Much appreciated!


If you have manners and grace you can accomplish anything.....

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