MVP Seminars Blogs

Employees who do dumb things can be good entertainment unless of course they’re your people.  Getting the bill for stupidity is no laughing matter.  If costly mistakes were not bad enough, consider all the expensive side effects like; loss of performance, absenteeism, loss of company reputation, penalties, insurance costs, legal fees and crashing morale.

I could go on, but I’m sure you could come up with a few examples on your own.  I don’t mean to be a total downer, but the truth is, as the captain of the ship, it’s probably your fault.  I know that sounds harsh, but I’m not here to sugarcoat anything.  Its monkey see, monkey do, and if your people watch you make bad choices, well, they will too.  Funny how inspiration works?

I was asked once if I could do a keynote on preventing bad decisions?  The truth is if someone (leadership or staff) are making chronic bad decisions, it’s a symptom of a much larger set of dysfunctional issues.  An I not taking about management ordering the wrong style of t-shirts for the company softball team kind of mistakes, I mean full pro F ups that can include attorneys, insurance companies, federal regulators and the media. 

Let’s step away from the ledge now so I can give you some good news.  If someone is dysfunctional and making bad decisions to prove it, it because they are operating on their own authority without complete information, trust, communication or consequences.  Wait, that was not the good news part, here it is, dysfunctionality can be fixed if it is not continually allowed.

Here’s the short answer:  Are they trainable?  If so help them prevent stupidity by providing additional training and consultation.  If they are not trainable, set them free to ruin someone else’s day.  If you can’t train them or fire them, better remind them of that big reason or goal to do everything right.  Better yet, lead by example, if they see you successful, maybe your dysfunctionally fun crew will stop and think before getting drunk with the intern at the next company party.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Jack W. Peters

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Much as been written and said about teamwork and team building to the point now that it could be a bad cliché as unsuspecting employees run for cover when the boss springs on them another team building activity.  Besides now you could not get your staff off their phones long enough to even conduct an old skool Trust Fall exercise. 

Knowing that staff working together in a productive way is the key to meaningful productiveness, what is a leader to do?  Some take the approach of labeling, like calling employees teammates and forming them into workgroups.  That’s like calling your Hyundai a Ferrari.  It might make you temporarily feel better, you can even shut your eyes and rev the engine, but its still not the same thing.

Oh ya, you still might be wondering what I was doing at 2 AM to learn so much about teamwork?  I used to lead a search and rescue team for a sheriff’s department in Oregon.  From this I learned three critical things:  1. No time for endless meetings and planning.  Get your resources together and help your team get the job done.  2. Don’t get too hung up about the process, just get the persons found before they could die.  Anything less is a failed mission.  3. If you want your team to respect you and each other, there must be complete trust and communication.

I know is sounds so easy when I list them out that way, but it’s that darn ‘Trust and Communication’ part that so many have trouble with.  I promise you this, if you can achieve it, magic will happen.  Not only can you form high performance teams faster, but critical bond will be nearly unbreakable.  Teammates will go above and beyond for each other, even risk each other’s lives for one another.  Meanwhile your workgroup is till calling in sick.

Next time you have a big job to do, think of it as a search and rescue mission, in a storm, 2 AM, knowing you are not sleeping until the mission is complete.  It helps put everything into prospective real fast as far as who you want to help you and how are you all going to work together to get the job done efficiently and successfully.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Jack W. Peters

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