The Problem with Leadership

Alicia surveyed the room. Still no eye contact. The silence building like a threatening rogue wave.

“The purpose of the meeting today,” Alicia broke the silence, “is to discuss the conflict between Russ and Corey and determine what is going to change to get the project back on track.”

She had no idea what was going to happen next. This was not a move behind the woodshed, this was a move in public.

“One ground rule in this discussion,” she continued. “I am going to ask some questions. When you respond, you may only speak for yourself.”

There were blank stares as the focus shifted to the team. Joe was the first subject. He was in charge of heavy equipment scheduling and logistics.

“Joe, do you ever receive conflicting directions from Russ and Corey?”

Joe hesitated, but nodded his head affirmative.

“Speak only for yourself, Joe. What impact does it have on your work, when you observe these conflicts?”

Joe was relieved at the question. He was afraid he would be asked to take sides.

“Sometimes, it’s confusing,” he began. “I get started on one thing and I have to stop. I supervise a crew of drivers who move heavy stuff in place. When I have them start and stop, I immediately know there is a problem with the leadership.”

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