By Steve Moran
You are the drama.
This is one of the single biggest challenges that leaders face. If you are the leader of an organization, a regional leader, or the leader of a single building and you think you don’t have any drama or have very little drama, it is because you are the cause of all the drama.
I credit our own Jack Cumming for making this point.
Before You Bristle
I am a good leader, a good boss. I know my team likes being a part of my organization, and if you were to ask if we have problems with drama, I would tell you NO. But then I would pause because even in my organization, I know there is some drama. It is just a natural, human thing. There is stuff that frustrates them. Sometimes it is circumstantial, and sometimes it is because of who I am and how I lead.
The Style Problem
Part of what makes the drama problem so difficult is that different leaders have different styles. In my organization, we have let a couple of people go because they simply were not doing a good job. And we have had others leave who were actually great at what they did, but were not a culture fit. Their leaving made their lives, both personal and professional, better and made Senior Living Foresight run better.
Mostly, Though …
Mostly, though, people want to make a difference, to have a voice, to be heard. Most of the drama that happens in your organization happens because people feel like they are not valued and heard. What this really means is that you have to have a work environment that is safe for team members. Safety is, according to research done by Google, the most important dynamic in high-performing teams.
When you ask people to be creative, to share their ideas for making things better, you will actually get ideas that will make the organization better.
Not everything suggested will make it better or be practical, but being heard is worth more than most leaders can imagine.
When You Realize It’s Happening
If you are the leader, by the time you realize you have a drama problem, you will be way down the rabbit hole. You will have a big, tangled mess of discouraged and angry people. People who are ready to quit, or who, if they stay, are completely disengaged. It is hard to know which is worse.
You will only fix it by doing serious, hard, transparent work.
You can prevent it with trust and transparency.