Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Flip Flops in the Office

I was talking to a friend of mine the other day about things his manager does that drives
him nuts (many).  The one issue that really struck a cord was flip flopping.

I've had a couple of managers throughout my working years that were pros at flip flopping. Whether it was making changes to a new SOP and eventually flipping right back to the way it was originally written, or telling me to do one thing and then completely going off when it's being done.  

Now don't get me wrong.  There's nothing wrong with changing your mind.  Things change. Circumstances change.  I totally expect it.  But to be a good and trusted leader, you must take the time to think things through.  Knee jerk reactions have a bad habit of coming back on you.  People start to wonder what the interpretation of the day is.  You may think it doesn't affect you, but it affects your team and the way they do their jobs and the way they think about you, whether positively or negatively.  Flip-flopping will eventually lead to people throwing up their arms and giving up and negatively impacting the culture.  Then everyone's productivity goes down.

I think a lot of it comes down to time management.  Throughout the last 20 years or so I can't even count the number of times I've heard how "busy" people are, and that's their excuse for not reacting or thinking through.  Everyone is busy, but time is an important factor in good leadership.  You have to make the time.  Leaders are role models, whether that means good ones or bad ones.  The easier you make your teams job, the easier you're going to make your job.

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