Pounding drums beat the cadence. Cymbals reverberate off red brick walls. Trumpets pierce the air with melody.
You can’t miss the approach of a parade.
Ford pickups pull floats covered with vinyl floral sheeting. Plywood transforms into thrones for local royalty. Every convertible in the area is put to use as elected officials from the city, county, and state greet their constituents. The Grand Marshal basks in her red Ford Mustang convertible, above it all.
The sirens of fire trucks and law enforcement squad cars grab your ears as they crawl down the street, lights blazing.
Hot rods rev their high-powered engines behind the cops, free to demonstrate their glass-packed mufflers and attitude.
Farmers plow the asphalt in well-used tractors, celebrating decades of hard work and the good ‘ole days.
Once shy cowboys sit high in the saddle on trusty stallions, reminding us of what “horsepower” really is.
The businessman turned clown for a day tosses out candy. Introverted kids scramble to snatch Tootsie Rolls, bubble gum and atomic fireballs hitting the pavement like rain.
Everyone in the parade has a role, even the street sweeper.
You understand the role of the street sweeper for such occasions don’t you? Horses leave “stuff” behind.
So do people.
What kind of “stuff” do you have to clean up at work?
- Inferior or incomplete work; missed deadlines and budgets
- Redirected accountability… “It’s their fault.”
- Created stress and interpersonal conflict
- Low productivity, a bit of entitlement… “Where’s the bonus?”
Is that what you signed up for … street sweeping?
The Grand Marshal
Who doesn’t want to be the Grand Marshal? To be honored with a ceremonial position in the parade? You’d ride at the front of the parade, not even close to the street sweeper. You only get the glory, not major responsibilities.
Nice role, I suppose, if you can land it.
Did you know that the Disney family is the only family to have more than one member serve as Grand Marshal of the Tournament of Roses Parade? Walt Disney in 1966 and nephew Roy in 2000. Then, Mickey Mouse was grand marshal for the 2005 parade. Mickey Mouse! GM is a ceremonial role.
Funny how some general managers can act like Grand Marshals. In The Parade of Business (Life) there is no room for a Grand Marshal anymore. What’s needed is something better…
Something Better … Self-Managed Leaders
The future belongs to organizations with self-managed teams and leaders; people who can get the parade moving and clean up its messes. They are the companies who will thrive in today’s lean and often mean world of business.
Check out a few characteristics of self-managed leaders and see if you agree:
- Get work done on time and within cost
- Increase performance and innovation
- Like to come to work
- Accountable to themselves and others
- Relish new challenges
- Create a “can-do” environment
- Produce less conflict and stress
- Lower turnover, because they bring purpose to their work
- Increase productivity without a big bonus or pay raise
Less “stuff” to sweep?
The Neewollah parade began in 1919 as an effort to provide positive activities for kids of all ages in place of the “pranks” associated with Halloween. Have you noticed working with people involves dealing with the “pranks” i.e.- unproductive behavior?
Yes, there will always be “stuff” to clean up. Success in business requires getting things done with and through people. That’s the power of self-managed teams and leaders.
Wanted: self-managed teams and leaders; Grand Marshals need not apply … Street Sweepers welcome.