Let's be honest for a minute. Leading is hard. Sometimes impossibly difficult to the point that despite our best efforts, we simply don't know what to do in the moment. When we're dealing with a crisis, or a struggling team member, or external pressure, we can fall into the trap of identifying someone as the source of our troubles versus understanding all of the facts first.
Rookies Are Obvious
This behavior happens most commonly when new leaders (from supervisor to CEO) are not comfortable handling confrontation. These well-intended folks typically do not understand that because they are uncomfortable with a situation, it does not mean they are supposed to rush to judgement simply to make themselves feel better.
These are usually the same leaders that are passionate about culture, and teamwork, and advocating for an environment that is supportive, open and innovative. Here's the catch...because they are not willing to push themselves into areas where they can manage their discomfort, they end up looking foolish.
Leading the way to make changes for the better is admirable. However, avoiding the hard work necessary to understand issues before making judgements; getting (more) comfortable dealing with perceived problems slowly and methodically; and ensuring that the messages delivered to the team are well thought out and clear are absolutely essential.
Here's why...no one stays if the leadership team of an organization behaves like a bunch of rookies.
How About You
What new leaders are struggling in your company? Who needs your coaching and support; and, who needs some candid feedback about how they are really perceived? It's up to us as leaders to stand alone and make it happen.
I'd love to hear from you.