“He was my best supervisor, and, now, it’s like he went brain-dead,” Marie complained. “James always followed things by the book. A stickler with rules. Some of our services are life and death, so rules are good. But, now, he questions, pushes back on certain decisions.”
“What else has changed?” I asked.
“When he pushes back, he is unsure of himself. When he enforced a rule, he was authoritative, sure of himself, gave off a sense of reliability. His team followed him with the confidence that he would not lead them astray. Now, when he pushes back, his team is confused. Execution slows down.”
“Example?” I pressed.
“We work in complicated projects with other teams. There is a project schedule that requires we show up at a certain time. James always shows up with a full crew, tools ready with all our materials. Now, sometimes, the project isn’t ready when we show up, so we can’t do our work. James always documents the delay to support our claim for costs, you know, full crew, mobilization.”
“And, our contract requires that,” I confirmed. “What now?”
“Now, James is checking the project status the day before to see if the project is ready. He questions showing up if our project segment can’t be completed the next day. I mean, he’s right, but now, his crew is confused. Are they supposed to show up if the project isn’t ready? Now, they begin to question the accuracy of our project schedules. I hear bitching and complaining that we, as a company, are unrealistic, and that James in particular doesn’t know what he is doing. Most of the time, it’s not James, the fault lies in some other project segment over which we have no control.”