A recent manager of mine posted about the different approaches drivers can take when approaching a flooded road. He was celebrating the difference, and challenging us to remember that about people at work.
Speaking as someone who sometimes falls into this trap - particularly when I think I have the best idea - it is interesting how many of us have expected everybody to think the same way at work, even if that fails to get the best out of each of us.
When we come to work, it is with a background of being praised for some things at home or in our community which we do not have opportunity to exercise at work. We would like to be treated with the same respect at work as we are outside of work. We want to bring our full selves to our daily tasks, enjoying our uniqueness, but we expect other people to leave their uniqueness at the door until they clock out at the end of the day. Managing diversity of thought and strengths is never going to be easy.
In theory we are employed for our difference; Our ability to reach the right outcomes but leveraging the best of us. However, we are often treated the same by our organisations, and wonder why we do not see continuous improvement or innovation in our work group.
If no one takes a risk, nothing changes.
If you take a calculated risk, and others follow, you are a leader (preferably with good intent).
It’s the one who takes a solo ill-considered risk and gets stuck alone in that puddle-lake of failed crossings, who may not have been the leader. (Not saying they were wrong to take a risk, but the one with very little forethought and high negative impact might not be quite what we want)
But, if they go charging through, and others follow, they may be leading.
I’m a little cautious, so may get splashed as they charge through, but then I put out the traffic cones and guide the rest through!
What about you?
Have you ever encountered an obstacle that seemed insurmountable? It could have been a flooded road or a demanding project at work. Whatever it was, you may have felt like giving up. But let us remind ourselves that we are capable of accomplishing remarkable things when we work together towards a common objective. Although we do not have to think alike, we must be united in our purpose. So, let us take a calculated risk and blaze a trail, leading others along the path to success. With our intelligence and caution, we can conquer any challenge and attain greatness.