Circumstances Out of Our Control

“What changed?” I asked.

“You had a talk with my manager. You told my manager that he is accountable for my output,” Dennis replied.

“So, what changed?”

“Before, if things didn’t go well, we would always get yelled at. I mean, not yelled at, but we would certainly get the drift that my manager was irritated. We come to work and try very hard to do our best, but sometimes, things just don’t go the way they are supposed to. Maybe a supplier would deliver late and we would have to double-time it to beat the deadline. When we try to work faster, sometimes we don’t get a chance to check all the tolerances. So, sometimes we would come up short and not all the finished work would pass QC. And, then we would get yelled at.”


“And, it just didn’t seem fair. We weren’t late, the supplier was late. That made us late. Do you know what it feels like to have your feet held to the fire for someone else’s screw up? And, it’s not like we have any control over the supplier. We didn’t place the order. But, we still get blamed.” Dennis stopped his story.

“So, what changed?”

“You talked to my manager. You told him that he was accountable for my output. It was like magic. You know the order to the supplier? Turned out, he didn’t place the order until after hours yesterday. That’s why it was late this morning.”

“What did your manager say?”

“He apologized. He said, from now on, he was going to be accountable for the output of the team. He said he needed each of us to do our best, but no more yelling on his part.”

“So, what is different?”

“It’s like a breath of fresh air. Instead of looking to us to find fault or blame, he looks to see where he can help support us. He is a very different person.”

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