I am finding myself in a strange place with a company I’m doing some work for. I’m working with a cast of characters that could have been lifted from a Saturday Night Live skit.
I have the contrarian, where everything is a “no”, a negative, a “why we can’t do something.”
I have the emotive one where everything is based on emotion and nothing is based on sound business principles.
I have the overwhelmed one where mistakes continue to occur because there’s too much on this person’s plate, but they plod along, oblivious.
These people, although very different, have one thing in common. They thrive on issues. They thrive on problems. They thrive on the negative. And those are all very bad traits.
Thriving on the bad stuff is so counter productive, it constantly takes the wind out of the sails and the company loses any forward momentum it may have built up.
THE REAL WORLD RETAILING TAKEAWAY
Sometimes pep talks fall on deaf ears like a cheerleader at an empty arena.
I’m a big believer that actions speak louder than words. And after months of cheerleading, of supporting each and every employee, of helping them understand how I could help them, we’re still stuck.
So it was time for Plan B: In a group setting, I basically told the employees that the company was changing and each and every one of them needed to step up. That they had a choice: They needed to choose between being a victim and being a leader.
Leaders offer solutions, not problems. Leaders are proactive, not reactive. Leaders make mistakes too, but they fall forward, not on their butts.
The result: There was no result except the sound of crickets chirping (now I’m the cheerleader at the empty arena).
I have zero faith that things will change, which leads me to Plan C: Bring in people that can affect change.
We’re heading down that road with one employee already and we’ll accelerate that beginning today. Sometimes the only way to change is to bring in employees that can help make the change occur.
While I don’t like to disrupt someone’s livelihood, it’s business. And change has to occur for businesses to move forward. This will be a wake-up call for anyone who’s paying attention. And they literally will have to be asleep not to be able to understand what’s happening.
How are you moving your business forward? Do you have a series of steps you’ve created to get your business to the next level? Are you proactively thinking about how you’ll get there?
Remember, leaders are proactive and they fall on their faces, not on their butts.