Habits, Priorities, and the Weatherman

Massachusetts is suffering from a serious drought.weather icon Town water supplies are low. Reservoirs sport wide gravelly necklaces on every shoreline. Private wells are drying up. The grass is brown and crunchy. And the gypsy moths are destined for a banner year in 2017 because their only natural predator, a fungus, requires moist conditions to thrive. Millions of trees devastated by drought and gypsy moths this year are unlikely to survive another horrendous year.

Nonetheless, the weatherman on my radio says, “Not a great forecast today. You can expect lots of clouds and rain.”

Not a great forecast? Where have you been? We need every drop of moisture those clouds can deliver, as well as the reduced evaporation the same cloud cover can provide! Think before you speak!

It’s a good thing the weather doesn’t listen to the weathermen!

But employees do listen to you, their boss! What are you saying by force of habit that is contrary to priorities and delivering the wrong message?

Are you extolling the benefits of cross-selling at any cost? You and Wells Fargo?

Do you rant and rave about on time shipments despite preaching the importance of quality?

Do you shoot the messenger when an employee alerts you to a potential problem?

Do you stress collaboration and then reward individual performance?

Do you encourage innovation but punish employees who take risks that don’t turn out as well as hoped?

Think before you speak! You are the leader. People are listening. Even when it doesn’t feel that way. Your comments, even your frustration, broadcast loud and clear – right in the face of those values and priorities you profess to be of the utmost importance.

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