Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Finding a Way

I have little tolerance for the easily discouraged; those sad souls who wander in wringing their hands and describing a minor barrier they've encountered.

Life is filled with barriers. Frequently, their excuse is akin to proclaiming that there are traffic jams, rain is on the way or the copier is broken.

So you encountered a barrier. Find a way around, over, under or through it. Unless those options are stymied, it is simply a temporary delay.

Team members who mention significant problems and then energetically work to resolve them are gems. So too are those who have the courage to note serious problems that might block the entire project but who do so with a genuine dedication to the mission. The ones who trip over pebbles, of course, are beyond frustrating.

One of the most dangerous types, however, is the nay-believer who is not a nay-sayer. These sly operators believe that the difficulties are insurmountable but never voice their concerns. That group can become unknowing saboteurs since their defeatist mentality may hinder the vigorous execution that is needed for success. Their unspoken mantra is "We'll never win" and the resulting behavior can be a morale-killer.

I suspect their attitude inspired the slogan, "Lead, Follow, or Get Out of the Way."


Anonymous said...

I like your post on "Finding A Way". The biggest impediment to individual and/or group success is attitude. So perhaps it is incumbent upon managers to not only recruit team members for their skill sets, but also their attitude. Granted, a 1 hour interview does little to reveal someone's true mindset, but over time people reveal who they truly are. I live by a simple slogan given to me by my father, "People will work for money, but they will die for recognition and respect." Maybe it is possible to move the "naysayer" into the winner category by giving them something to believe in.

Michael Wade said...


Good point. It is easier to increase a person's skills than to buy the individual a new personality.