Everyone knows someone who lives by the saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
I believe this is a dangerous lie, especially within organizations.
OK. That may be a bit of a overstatement, but I do think such thinking holds teams and organizations back from experiencing break through moments.
Buying into such rhetoric gives us permission to “pass” on challenging the status quo.
As long as our teams are performing to expectations, general benchmarks, etc., then we can pat ourselves on the back and move on to more pressing matters. The fundamental flaw in this thinking is believing that only things that are broken need to be fixed.
Every office has at least one mean person. It sounds silly, but it’s true.
Mean people exist everywhere. It’s not just in an office setting. But there is something about office politics, the pressure to perform, and personal doubt that provide a fertile environment for mean people to thrive. Life is, after all, survival of the fittest, right?
Let’s define mean.
Mean people are not confrontational, direct communicators. The office is a melting pot of different personalities who must learn to get along. Some people are better at verbalizing their ideas than others. We all communicate in different ways and should learn how to best do that with a variety of people. (Note: This is the “magic” of management.)
I’ve tried to learn from every manager I’ve had in the past. Some have been good. Some have been not so good. (If I’m honest, I’m sure there are plenty of people who place me in both categories.)
My favorite managers have been people who wanted to invest in my thinking and creativity—even if my formal job at the time was very mundane and predictable. One way they did this was by giving me reading assignments that opened me to new ways of thinking, new perspectives, and helped me see the world through new lenses. I’ve tried to carry on that tradition now that I manage and lead teams of people.
Driving people along a production schedule is one thing. Teaching people to think differently multiplies their value and improves the strength of the team.