The Story So Far
In my article The Not So Secret Success Formula (Part I), I shared the story of a business owner who wanted to transition the day to day operation of his business to his employees. Henry had made significant progress in systematizing his business but was continually challenged with getting his team “on board,” which caused him great stress while on a family vacation.
Questions most asked by readers were: “What happened to Henry and his team?”, “Was he able to bridge the communication gap with his team?”, “Was he able to take his uninterrupted vacation?” And the most asked question was; “If he did achieve his goal, how did he accomplish that?”
Working on Henry’s Communication Gaps
With some coaching focused on his relationship with his business and with his managers, Henry realized some key blocks that had been holding him, and his managers, back. Working on these areas helped Henry and his team bridge several important gaps.
1. Trust. Henry did not trust his managers to implement the new changes to the organization because he did not see other changes happening quick enough. His managers did not trust that Henry really wanted them to take charge, because he constantly micromanaged them. Henry realized, through an open and honest discussion with his key players, that he was sending mixed signals to his team. The team felt micromanaged and unable to learn the new processes, fearing that any mistake would bring Henry right back in, and as Henry admitted, his often used response was “do I have to do everything myself?”. They stopped trying, feeling that they could not succeed. This frustrated both sides. Henry and his team called a truce and created a new start that day.
2. Inclusion. The team members were not consulted on the process changes Henry created, so they had no buy-in on the changes. “Henry, you hired us for our strength, knowledge and commitment to you and our company. When it came time to create the plan for your exit, you did not consult with us. You just went off and made changes. We felt like you did not trust us or see us as valuable. We are the ones doing the day to day work and have some pretty cool ideas of ways to grow and are ready to take on more. We lost our drive and feel like the ‘wind was taken out of our sail’.” For the next month, Henry and his senior team reviewed and improved upon Henry’s plan. Everyone bought in and committed to moving it forward.
3. Appreciation. In order to reinforce the new commitment and drive toward success, Henry implemented his own personal Gratitude Initiative. To change his relationship with his managers, his assignment was to read Ken Blanchard’s book, Whale Done, a simple story with a powerful message of “catching people doing something right.” Every day he had to find evidence that the plan his team and he developed was working. Small examples of progress and change were acknowledged with an “atta boy.” In the beginning, this was a challenge for Henry. It was not his nature to encourage and show appreciation. Through the team’s input and his coach’s counsel, he understood the importance of acknowledging progress. By adopting his Gratitude Initiative, not only did his team believe they were on the right track, Henry found it harder to find mistakes and to react in the negative manner in which he had in the past.
Henry Learns to “Show Up” Differently
After Six Months of coaching, Henry and his wife went away for a three week vacation, and when he called in to work (because he could not help himself), the reports he received were of progress, team work, team pride and increasing sales. The acting CEO shared, “All is good Henry. Get back on the golf course.” The solution to Henry’s business was simple but was not necessarily easy. It required Henry to show up differently with his team. He shared with his team as the evidence of success was revealing itself, “I finally feel like I can throw the ball and know someone will catch it.” I was in the room that day and the look of pride his team wore walking out of that meeting was astounding. It covered them all in a blanket of their knowing of a job well done.
Good Relationships are the Key to Success
What I have come to know is that good relationships are the key to success at work, at home or at play. What drives me is my passion to help people develop strong relationships that create lasting change and success.