Archive for February, 2014
My last blog post is one that I would characterize as “vanilla” – fairly mundane and clinical. I started this blog with those types of thoughts to share, focusing on leadership and communication. I still want to share those things but I may alter it to a much more personal point of view. The point I want to make now is that I can have it all! I wrote about two months ago about my trepidation of starting a new job/career with a new company (Edge of a Cliff). I still want to soar and not crash but so far I think I’m doing a good job. I was promoted this week!
I will give all the credit to my husband. Without his support, I could not devote my attention to my work during the day. Also, this is a big change for me and for him in our roles in our lives. For the last few years I was the one with our kids for any and everything – sick days, summer break, early outs from school. I enjoyed every minute of it because I recognized it probably wouldn’t last. One of our agreements before starting my new full-time position was that if it wasn’t me with our kids, it would be him. We feel very strongly that we need to be as much of a presence in our kids lives as possible. Now that is his role.
It is a new adventure for my husband as well in this chapter of our lives. He was a career professional and now is more devoted to our children and our home. I want to support him in any way possible but I also have comfort that he and our kids are okay. I appreciate all that he is doing for our family but I feel that he is supporting me as well. There is no pressure from him to succeed, just a desire to help me in whatever way I need.
That is my point in this blog post – support. We can do things all by ourselves and sometimes we have no choice in that matter. However, I believe we all benefit when we have support from others in our lives. That support may not always be in an obvious form or exactly what we think we want, but there is another hidden message. When we support each other, we show our love and concern. I feel supported and therefore I feel like I can perform at my best. I hope all those that I support feel the same.
I’ve always been a proponent of focusing on business processes instead of individual talents. We all have areas that we excel and we can provide specialty service in our particular field, however for long term success we need to understand the process instead of the people, especially for business processes that are considered routine. For example, if you were to go to a bank to cash a check, you expect the bank to accomplish that task, not tell you that you have to wait for John in order to make it happen. If John was out for the day, you would really be stuck!
While the need for people with skills is not in question, it is the skill that is required, not the person. My perspective may seem harsh but really it is the best for the organization and for the team. One person may do that skill better than another which is also not in question. My point is that for a team or a project to be successful, everything and everyone involved needs to look at the work not the people. One way to look at it is if a team is working to improve how the bank cashes the check, their efforts will be on the actions and tasks involved. This does not mean that people are out of the picture – far from it.
Unless a process is completely automated, people will have an impact (and even then they may be involved for quality). People are always going to be involved but focusing on one person may not be the best solution. My point is that if a process is person-dependent, then the process may be bottlenecked or at the mercy of that person’s schedule. What if John is out sick? Cross-training helps alleviate the need for a particular person and puts the emphasis back on the process. What are you cross-training – the skills and the process. As a leader, I will always support my people but I will teach and train the processes.