August 8, 2011 – So much has happened – so many changes – in my life this summer. All of them good things by any standard. In chronological order: we moved; my oldest son got engaged; and Jackie and I were married in an intimate ceremony in our backyard surrounded by, among a few others, our moms, and all seven of our children.
Through all the excitement there was, as always, time to reflect.
Reflecting on the past was highlighted for me as I caught up recently with Joel, an old friend and former colleague who is now the general counsel of a large public sector organization. Joel told me that when he assumed the post he wanted to streamline and improve the functioning of the organization. As anyone who has ever worked for a large organization (whether private or public sector) knows, changing the organizational mentality is no small task. Whereas his predecessors were old world managers who relished holding all the power and keeping their staffs on tight leashes, Joel recognized that through effective leadership he could maximize the output – both quantitative and qualitative – of his staff. To that end Joel retained an executive coach with whose help and guidance the legal department was reorganized. Rather than one person making all the decisions, Joel granted autonomy to his department heads to manage their own staffs while reporting to him once a week. Joel’s reorganization met with some internal and external resistance, yet his resolve remained unwavering. Joel knew that by relinquishing power he would gain a more dedicated and higher performing staff. And so it was: After three years, Joel’s legal department has grown in personnel and in its output. Loyalty and engagement levels are at all time highs and the work is getting done more efficiently and effectively than before.
And all this because one person promoted to a managerial position chose instead to become a leader by reflecting on the way things were, imagining the possibilities by creating a vision of how things might be, instilling autonomy instead of autocracy and encouraging full engagement of his staff.
Consider the possibilities.
Adam J. Krim www.driveconsulting.net