Lead your Leader
Works tough. Its even harder when you're in a position where not only do you work for others, but the procedures, processes and requirements are also not made by you, but rather by your boss or company. There were many times I wanted to make changes in my past job, but the routes I took we're never very effective due my focus always being on my own perspective. Eventually. After many attempts after different processes, discussions and reading books like "extreme ownership" it led me to the ones I'm sharing today to help you be more proactive.This weeks focus is leading your leader. The goal is to help you see past yourself and identify ways you can get your boss to see the direction they need to head.Stop using the emphasis "they"-
Imagine if you were griping about family to another family member and you consistently used "they" instead of addressing who the problem was. You'd quickly find whomever you were speaking to would want you to clarify who and how they were causing issues in your life. The same goes in business. The infamous "they" in the business world is an escape goat to complain, but not directly fix the issue. By addressing the person or group causing the problem, others may be able to better assist you. Being specific adds value and ownership to an issue.Don't Blame the Boss-
Too many times I've seen this occur, but from the perspective of the individual and not from the boss. There are times where your boss is at fault, but there is also likely many more times where the breakdown in communication fall under you. If you don't understand ask. If you feel like that's not probable due to fear of reprisal then you should really ask yourself if where you're at is where you need to be. Blaming the boss doesn't fix the problem is just selects an individual from which you have decided is at fault, but simultaneously will likely lead to zero changes. As the tried and true saying goes- be the change you seek.Support Your Leader-
I've never watched a game of football where the the offensive lineman stopped support the QB. I have however seen break downs in communication causing the QB to be sacked. Supporting your leader means seeing the plans through their lense. I call it the "10,000ft observation" its hard to see whats going besides whats directly in front of you if thats the only place you look. When running into problemsets or repeated issues try to first see how it may look different from there perspective, what role you play in the team, and how you can best be played to your strengths.Ask the Questions, Even the Stupid Ones-
Having a clear and concise understanding is paramount to completing a task. Sport teams are able to work so well together because they repeatedly go over a plan and then execute it flawlessly. There's A LOT of stupid questions asked during practice in sports. BUT, they are all accepted as everyone understands the need to know what they're job os if they're going to win. As I said earlier, if your fear is in reprisal simply address that the complexity of the task requires you to have absolute understanding. If your the boss I always found this qoute by Albert Einstein to be exceptionally accurate- "if you cannot explain it simply, you do not know it well enough."Take Responsibility-
You are in your position to get the job done. Not to be hired to blame others for ineffective communication. If they can't explain it. Find someone who can. If you don't know, ask. Successful people never wait around to be given responsibility. They make decisions and act. Your mindset must be the same even when face with a problem you believe is not your responsibility. You'll never hear a Marine Corps infantryman yell "this isn't my responsibility!" - in a gun fight... Though, likely, every aspect of what led them to the hostile area was likely due to the repercussions of other peoples actions. They still find a way to win. They do it by being decisive and acting...and that starts with you.
Leading your leaders is the hardest job a worker bee can do as it forces you to find new ways to open lines of communication, support the mission at hand and makes you responsible for the success or completion of the job. The reason why Smokey Bear says "only you can prevent forest fires" is because stating "only you talking about them starting forest fires will prevent them" has never stopped a fire nor has it enhanced prevention. Ownership of what needs to get done starts and ends with how you handle it.