I heard a great saying the other day, “he who waits, misses out”. If we constantly wait for the right time to try something new, to make a change, or adopt a different approach, things will happen without us or in some cases, won’t happen without us. Time waits for no one after all.
As executive coaches we see this all the time and we hear it all the time in organisations we work with. It is not uncommon for us to hear, “I am waiting for my manager to make it a priority to give me feedback, before I start to give feedback to my team”. “I am waiting for my manager to spend more time with me, before I start to spend more time with my people”. Why should I spend time, energy and effort on my people, when I never see my manager, let alone have time with him/her on my development and needs.
So we pose the question, how long do you wait before you start to make changes yourself?
We have a theory. If you don’t see what you would like or expect to see from the layer above you in your organisation, you will have more success in encouraging a change from them, if you start to make changes to your team below as well as pushing up to your manager. By pushing up, we mean a bottom up approach. Fundamentally for any initiative to work in any organisation, you must have buy in from the top. However, you must also have buy in from the ground floor. These are often the people who make it happen and have to be open to embracing change from the top, to ensure any initiative has success. We understand that in an ideal world we would like to have our manager and their manager, practise what they preach, however the reality is, in many cases we don’t see this.
So, at this point you have a choice, sit and wait for something to happen, or follow these three simple steps:
By working out the “why” do anything different (what’s in it for me) and connecting it to your reality, creates a reason for you to take a different approach. By doing this you will be more likely to take action. Whether it is to develop your team to give you more time, to develop your skills to become a better leader or simply to help others as you have been helped, whatever the reason, work it out for you.
See new possibilities where perhaps you haven’t looked before. With the right mind set of being open, the connection to “why” do it and the right intention, you start with a strong platform.
Give it a go, what is the worst that will happen? Sometimes the consequence of doing nothing is worse than trying something new with your people and not getting it “right” the first time.
Remind yourself, just because you don’t see it, doesn’t mean you have to wait, sometimes it is better to take the lead.