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Is “Fix and Forget” the way you lead?

February 12 - 

Have you thought (or said) any of these statements in the past 30 days?

  • I thought we had that problem handled.
  • When will I have time to focus on what I need to get done?
  • I should have seen this coming.
  • WOW! That came out of nowhere.
  • I can’t believe we are having to deal with this again.
  • All people ever bring me are problems.

If you said yes to at least three of these statements, you might be in danger of becoming a “Fix and Forget” type of leader. Characteristics of such a leader are:

Spending all (or most) of their time on maintaining the status quo. Time resources are strained and it’s easier to go from crisis to crisis to fill their day. They fail to carve out time to look toward the future and determine how to best lead their team into it.

Viewing the work of a leader as being in conflict with their own work. As Jack Welch is quoted as saying, “Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.” A fix and forget type of leader wants to limit time spent on anything won’t advance their own personal agenda. They get nervous when team members share ideas because it threatens their comfort zone and ability to control the work to be done.

Choosing short-term fixes over long-term solutions. With a lack of focus on moving others (and team goals) forward, their preference is the most expedient action, regardless of its negative impact on the overall health of the team or their ability to get the right work done.

Failing to reflect on past decisions. “No need to dwell on the past,” they might say. “It’s time to focus on the present.” A partially true statement. But there is always much to be gained from evaluating what went well and what didn’t go as expected. Information that could be used to improve the team’s performance in the future.

Only checking in with team members when there is a problem. They might throw out an obligatory, “Let me know if you need help,” from time to time, but leaders like this really want to be left alone. They have too much work to do and asking too many questions might reveal another problem that needs to be addressed.

If, instead of being a fix and forget type of leader, you want to be known as someone who really wants to grow their team and achieve better results, think and take action like a gardener, then tune in next week for some tips to “grow” something better.

Note:  This tip is provided popular speaker Jones Loflin.  For more information about Jones, visit his website at www.jonesloflin.com