– February 22, 2010
I participated in a retreat for my church’s Vestry this past weekend. Our new Rector referred to our congregation as Post Modern. Being the good Catch Your Limit Guide that I am; I asked what Post-Modern meant in the context of a church congregation?
He responded, we are extremely autonomous – unlikely to subvert our individual thinking to the orthodoxy of the church. He went on to say leading our parish was like herding cats. At which point he was quick to say, “But that’s OK, because I’m just a big cat, myself.”
This got me to thinking about the Post-Modern workplace.
In today’s highly competitive economy, we need everyone of our colleagues to be thinking. Thinking how they can make a contribution to our corporate success. Fortunately, for the US, we are a nation of “cats”. The challenge for our leaders is finding a way to encourage the folks they are charged with leading to unite and align themselves along the lines of shared values and to pursue common goals.
Recognizing that our contemporary American culture is one that encourages individuals to think for themselves; it is foolish to believe our co-workers will just shut up and do what they are told. Particularly, if they do not understand the reasoning behind the directives or if they do not agree with the reasoning.
This takes us to Lencioni’s 5 Dysfuntions of a Team. Without open and constructive exploration of alternatives, people are unlikely to comply with, much less embrace mandates from on high.
That is unless you make a sound like a can opener. That brings my cat running every time.
><(("> Gayle Turner
Gayle is a ><(("> Team Member at Catch Your Limit, a consulting firm headquartered in Richmond, Virginia. To learn more, visit www.catchyourlimit.com.
Posted in Leadership, Teaming.