Have you ever felt undervalued? Thought your efforts or input didn’t matter? Do you sometimes you wonder why you work in a place that doesn’t care? Could it be that your leader has left you in the dust? Have they moved too fast to think about the fact they left you feeling this way? I recently had this experience.
When I decided to change color lines in the salon I had it all planned out in my head:
I knew my color department needed something, and I thought changing lines was one of the things that would make them really excited, and give them the tools they felt they needed. This was not an easy process to go through. I thought long and hard about making the change; I spoke to the colorist and staff before we made the decision and then pulled the trigger.
Then all that I thought was well-planned came crashing down on me.
What do we do with all the old color? What do we tell our current guests? What if we have people that are unhappy with the switch? DO we have all the education that is needed in this color line? Boxes are coming in and we have no barcodes in the computer? How do we communicate it with our guests or do we need to? And there is so much more and so many things that went wrong.
Wow, that was a painful reenactment!
This is just one scenario. I am sure this is hitting a sore spot as some of you are reading this.
This is a touchy subject for me. Planning is something that is clearly not my strength, but it is so necessary in order to lead others. I have a difficult time with all of the details; everyone needs to know where the heck you are headed! Most people have a hard time keeping up with me, so to have to slow down and take care of the navigation feels like nails on a chalkboard!
How can people follow you if they don’t have a map and don’t know what weather conditions are expected along the way? Not only the weather conditions – but what do we do when we hit bad weather? What is the back-up plan and are we prepared for the worst?
I had to learn some pretty hard lessons around this and am still in the process of learning more, such as:
- I didn’t enroll my team in the process from the beginning and ask for their feedback.
- I failed to have some key conversations ahead of time. For example, with the people I really care about and have built great relationships with – from manufacturers to the distributors.
- I didn’t think through all of the problems beforehand. I should have presented it to my team. They would have helped me come up with all of the challenges I had not thought about. I know 20 minds are better than one!
John Maxwell introduced me to this process called “Plan Ahead”. I know what you’re thinking: Dah! Of course you plan ahead! For some that comes easy.
I realize my gift is seeing the big picture and knowing how to get there, but I don’t quite have every little detail available to guide others. I like to put things into action, but I learned through this process that action comes after enrollment!
- Predetermine a course of action
- Lay out your goals
- Adjust your priorities
- Notify key personnel
- Allow time for acceptance
- Head into action
- Expect problems
- Always point to the successes
- Daily review your plan
Sometimes I take the boat off the dock and I am out to sea with only a few of my crew. I get so excited about the vision that I rally a few people together, get them really excited, and I start taking off. So what happens now? I am out to sea with only a few of my crew members.
I love change. I think people need change to grow. However, without good navigation you may never reach your destination. Or worse, you may reach your destination alone!
I start to (unintentionally) erode trust with my team. Yikes, I hate to say that this has happened more than just a few times. They think I left them, that I don’t care, or that I didn’t want them to come. Maybe they didn’t understand where we were going or why. Actually, I knew I struggled with this, but what I didn’t know was that it was okay.
I can still be in business and not be great at configuring the finer details. I just have to leverage my weaknesses by hiring the right people and continuing to work on it. Awareness around any area is how you get better. The more I create awareness around this area and continue to work on it, the more effective I’ll become and be a better support for my team’s success.