Earning the respect of your team is important but it needs to be used wisely
Martin* was skillfully leading his team through a really rough meeting. Their mission-critical project was behind schedule. The investors were getting nervous. Martin was getting nervous. And of course that made the team nervous. Martin obviously had the respect of his team. In fact he was revered. And yet I could see hat things were going horribly wrong.
What was happening? Isn’t respect in the leader a good thing?
And the but is a big one. Think about the person you respect the most. Now picture that person asking you a favour. A big favour. What would be your response? Naturally, you would do everything in your power to make it happen.
I see the same thing happening in management team meetings all the time. When that respected leader asks that something be done, the team members will do their best to make it happen. Where does reality fit into this? If one of the team members knows in their heart that his or her deliverable is highly unlikely, will they speak up? Probably not… they will be assuring themselves that they can find a way. If most or even all of the team members feel this way, what is he likelihood of success? Almost nil!