“So, what do you think made the difference?” I asked. Julia was debriefing her meeting with the team.
“The team is really a good team,” Julia began, “but they were allowed to create an environment where they had no personal responsibility in the outcomes of their department. Ultimately, I am accountable for the output of the team, but I cannot do the work alone. My effectiveness, as a manager, is judged by my ability to get the team working together, solving problems and making decisions.”
“But, what made the difference?” I repeated.
“The difference was shifting the environment where they could confront the real issues facing the team. Their previous manager had allowed them to blame machines and circumstances. Like co-dependents, the manager fed the team and the team fed the manager. I had to interrupt the cycle. I had to give them permission to ask and answer the big question that no one ever asks.”
“And, that question would be?”
“How have I contributed to the problem?” she replied.