Page 47 - Jackson Journal
P. 47

                  motivator, a change maker, or maybe a warden? Are you ready to assume that role?
It is critical to understand both the perceived and actual current performance of your organization. Only with a complete and accurate assessment can you determine a path forward.
You might be skillful at driving underperforming organizations – but what if your organization is already at a high level? Applying the wrong set of performance skills to organizations may only bring them to a complete stop.
Is the organization’s perception equal to assessed reality? Nothing is more challenging to change than getting a long-standing underperforming team that believes they are top performers to understand and accept their reality. You can take the honest and direct approach and rip-off the band-aide exposing an infected wound or a more subtle one and creating change over time. No matter the path you follow, the decision must be made.
Knowing what approach to use centers on a few variables. Is the issue contrary to standards, ethics, or values? If yes, rip-off the bad-aide and accept that some skin will come off in the process. If not, do you have the mental wherewithal to let change happen over time? Can you put aside your drive to change or correct issues immediately and forcefully to let the process happen naturally? No matter the circumstance, you have to be ready – and willing – to leave part of you and your ego at home. Making a deliberate effort to be the leader the organization needs and not who you want to be can be the most challenging reality for new commanders to accept.
So how can you tell what kind of leader your organization needs? Going into command with the proverbial “guns blazing” can quickly be met with the organizational “but that’s how we have always done it” crowd. How fast you can find the balance will determine your legacy of moving the organization forward. Here are three areas to focus on:
Organizational Culture.
The last commander has predetermined your first six months of command, including the organization’s culture. You must find out quickly if the organization is a team, a set of tribes, or a band
of individuals circling in their own orbits. Once you know where your organization stands, you can set your course for bringing the team together. But be mindful of the pitfalls of moving too fast. Changing too rapidly can have adverse results. Also, knowing that no matter how bad the organization is running, it is working to the advantage of some leaders and are thriving in the organization’s dysfunction. These individuals benefit from the status quo and will be the most challenging and partisan to any change you attempt to bring about.
An often underutilized approach is to make the connection between organizational and individual success. If the person feels they are set up for success, then the organization will as well. It is difficult and time-consuming, but everyone wins when both sets of goals are aligned. Nothing bonds a team together more than an organizational win coupled with individual recognition.
Time for change.
You will hear or have already heard leaders say not to make a change for the first 90 days. But, in some situations, you have no choice but to do just that. To get the organization on the right track,
you have to strike fast and in a coordinated effort. Building and managing change in an organization is a process, and you have to be comfortable and confident in how you go about effecting change.
In many cases, you and your Command Sergeant Major can get enough momentum by utilizing
key leaders such as your Operations Officer
and company command teams. Still, for more considerable wholesale change, you are going to need broader support within your organization. Are there formal or informal leaders you can leverage?
Building a Team
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