Change is easy, right?
Ok, you go first!
I love that line because, as we all know, we always feel like it’s the other person who needs to change first. You don’t trust that they will change, too, if you go first, so you want them to go first so you can j̶u̶d̶g̶e̶ I mean, trust them.
That’s part of what makes it really hard being a manager. When there’s a problem, your name comes up! It’s easy for employees to lay blame on you for any problems happening in the office. And sure, relationships are a two-way street. It can feel unfair when that team judgement lands on you.
But guess what? If anything is going to change, it’s your role to move first, to build that trust, to take that risk. That’s part of being a leader.
Being a leader is a huge amount of work. No question. You are required to be different. You are required to be more patient, ask better questions & positively engage with people, even if they can’t — or won’t.
If someone’s going to change a negative situation, it’s you. You can hope that someone else will step up, but you can’t bank on it. Employees may not think they have the authority or influence, and they may not. They may not be aware of the boundaries or might be worried about losing their job. When something needs to change, it’s our opportunity as leaders, in the words of Gandhi, to be the change. You are just as human as the rest of the team, just as nervous or afraid of making a mistake, perhaps. And therein lies the real opportunity to model, to invite, to engage, to learn together with your team. To be honest about the challenges, direct in your willingness to change them, and open about your invitation to them to help and support the process and the people on the team. They will follow your lead regardless of how you behave, so chose a behavior worthy of following.
How are you supporting your team today?