The pressure was on.
Excessive turnover was just one indicator that Jennifer’s department was in decline. Like the flu, negativity had spread through her team. Trust was absent. Personal accountability did not exist. Finger pointing was the norm. Engagement affected the productivity of the entire department. Frustration spilled over onto frontline employees. Stress and unnecessary conflict had swelled to an all time high.
Drawing a line in the sand, her boss, delivered the message: “This is on you, the ball is in your court, and something has to change. You’ve got 60 days to show improvement.”
Thankfully, management didn’t leave Jennifer to change by herself. They provided coaching support along with a clear expectation. Yes, the ball was in Jennifer’s court.
At the end of our second coaching session, I gave her a personal work assignment, “This week, observe what’s going on. What’s happening? You don’t have to fix anything, just pay attention to what you see with this question in mind: If you had a magic wand, what would you change? Keep a running list.”
The next week, Jennifer returned with a page of notes. She began reading her observations… “Improve the negative attitudes. Eliminate losses due to employee carelessness…”
“Wait,” she interrupted herself. “There’s one big thing I noticed.” And with that, she turned the paper over, showing me the picture below, and quietly said… “If I had a magic wand, I would change…”
And with that, Jennifer’s personal breakthrough happened. Now, she could begin expanding her personal influence.
Of course, the hard work of changing her behavior and the behavior of others continues, but she is exercising her ability and willingness to learn and change. The unity, motivation and success of her team will follow.
If you had a magic wand, what would you change?
Here’s to your freedom and influence,
PS: Addressing change and having breakthroughs is what happens in Next Generation Leaders team-based coaching. If you’d like to see more details of how we develop self-managed teams and leaders, see the team-based coaching page.