Leaders Know that All Solutions are a Temporary Resting Place

Jill was a jerk of a boss.

Her people didn’t like her, mostly because she was bossy, passive-aggressive, and a bad communicator.

This all added up to a low-trust, high-tension situation.

Jill got good advice:  Be nice.  Build relationships.  Build trust.  Avoid bossiness.

It worked.  For awhile.  Until the work started to fall behind.  People took advantage of “nice Jill” after they realized she really had changed.  Jill was frustrated again, for a new reason.

“Am I too nice, now?” She asked for more advice. And she got good advice: Be the boss.  Without being bossy, be the boss; set goals, maintain high production standards, communicate them clearly and hold people accountable.

And it got better.  Even better.

This is an overly simplistic distillation of a real-world situation, and a “Real Reality”:

All solutions are a temporary resting place.

We never really have it “all figured out.”  Sometimes, things go well, and we get lulled into complacency, thinking that now we’ve stumbled across “the formula.”

But people evolve, situations change, and the circumstances of the changing world dictate that we stay nimble, self-aware, and ready to adopt a new point of view.

The “bumper sticker” to put in your line of sight when you find yourself in this state is this:

All solutions are a temporary resting place.

(I’m thankful to my brilliant friend and fellow trainer Sarah Noll Wilson for publicly sharing the Adaptive Leadership work of Ronald Heifetz and Marty Linsky; it’s where this thought comes from.  And there’s even more there.  Worth checking out.)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *