It is so tempting.
You arrive as a new supervisor or manager in a department or division. And the first thing you want to do is to “change things” and make your mark and make a difference.
You learn the business, you go see some customers, you design some new programs and “ways of doing things,” and within 30-90 days, you LAUNCH your new plan.
And in 90 more days, you haven’t reached your goals and the results are not that much different.
Why? Because you started with tactics, programs, and measures. You didn’t start with the people.
Jim Collins said it better than anyone in Good to Great. First, you:
- Get the right people on the bus
- Get the wrong people off the bus
- And get the right people in the right seats
But assessing, working with, and adding or eliminating people take up valuable time, right? Yup, sure does. ”I’ll figure out the people part later, but for now–I’ve got to change somethings and satisfy my boss!”
In extreme cases, you have to step aboard and make immediate changes. Like the ship’s First Mate who takes over for a Captain wounded in battle. If he doesn’t put out the fires, plug the leaks, and grab the wheel with both hands–the entire ship and crew are in trouble.
But unless your ship is on fire and leaking water, you need to first CAREFULLY select your crew, and in particular–the leaders of that crew. You need to remove the mutineers and leave them on shore. And then you need to see to it that everyone on the ship is doing the job they were born to do–which might not necessarily be the job they’re in now.
When the crew is right, only then can you chart your course, raise the sail, and head North with the confidence that you are all a team committed to one thing: the destination.