“Why the long face?” I asked.
“I don’t know,” Julia replied. “I have been working here for six months as a manager. And I feel like I have a mob on my hands. It’s almost like I need to dis-empower the team to get them to stop fighting me. I have a group of long time employees, comfortable in their mediocrity. They work together, almost as a team, to try to stop effective change or create resistance to it. They are very powerful for several reasons. First because we can’t fire them all and second because they have become a fixture in the organization and the idea of eliminating them is almost not an option.”
“Are there things that need improving around here?” I probed.
“Without a doubt. But, every time I suggest something, I get stiff-armed. Or they agree with me, and do the opposite behind my back.”
“Perhaps you should stop suggesting things,” I wondered out loud.
“But, we need to make changes in our processes, to become more efficient,” she protested.
“Who is going to execute those changes?” I wanted to know.
“Well, my team has to.”
“Then, who has to come up with the ideas and how to implement them? Here is a hint. The answer has nothing to do with ideas and execution. The answer has to do with your role as a manager.”