Look about your own house

by Therese Johansson

-How do you think the result turned out, I ask?
-What do you mean? Was it as a response from my customer, let's say the customer's name is Kim.

I have collaborated with Kim for a few years in leadership matters. This person is competent in his field and has a great desire that things go well for everyone around him. A common phenomenon among those I work with.
I explain to Kim that a few years ago he was incredibly successful in his field and made a lot of money. After that, Kim put a lot of time and dedication into uplifting others in other parts of the organization, outside of his own organization. The result, for Kim, was bad business and too few resources, while his "peers" had unstable organizations but with plenty of resources. Not a good equation in business.

No point in making fire for the crows!

The best thing Kim could have done for the company was to continue to focus on his business and resources and continue to create profitability in his organization and thus for the company.
When companies assign the wrong resources to the wrong position and then take competent personnel from their positions to provide support, then one should have the insight that there will be a consequence. I think it is so good to use sports as a metaphor in the business world. In football, for example, we have a position at each place. If you remove the team's best player and move it to another team, there is a consequence, which can result in losing the match instead of winning. It's the same if we have a player on the field who doesn't measure up. Then the performance drops for other players who have to focus on providing support instead of blossoming in their respective positions. In both of these cases, I consider it to be burning for the crows in lost time and commitment. In LEAN language, we could call it "waste".

Win or lose?

So how do you know when to look after your own house or be a good teammate? It is important to remove the blinders and see the real picture of how the situation looks, or as in the world of sports, how the playing field is. When we work in a healthy and sound organization with good leadership, we have a fertile ground for creating a helpful culture, where it can be of value, both for oneself and the company, to be a teammate outside one's own area. On the other hand, if we have the opposite, which is an unhealthy organization with a selfish and undeveloped leadership, I believe that the best thing we can do for ourselves and the company we work within is to focus on our own house and create profitable business and prosperous resources. We are so brainwashed that it is ugly to think about yourself. I train people in the old classic, first the oxygen mask on themselves and then on their child. Kim forgot to give himself oxygen first which meant everyone else could barely breathe but Kim didn't get any oxygen of his own…

Train your strong!

The difficult thing about being a leader is not putting out fires, but ensuring that all resources in the company train themselves to be strong in their positions. They train themselves to be strong by doing things themselves and learning from their mistakes. Mentorship is not running around and doing things for others, but letting others share in their competence and then doing it themselves, and through that getting their own competence. As a leader, you must be responsible for creating the conditions and then have the courage to let the resources themselves develop through your own doing. This way they get the learning they need to increase their potential. Sometimes as leaders we simply have to close our eyes and hope for the best with a small apostrophe that we as leaders need to do a risk calculation to secure the company. Some mistakes can be simply too expensive while other mistakes can be revolutionary good! Just stop being inside and poking too much, it only creates apathy. Be a good coach and increase the potential of your team on the way to success - with motivation!