Posted on September 03, 2021
Sheree struggled to sleep. The day before had revealed some trends in the financial reports, that, should they continue, would create serious implications. And this bothered her.
Sheree loved her job as General Manager. Having worked for her boss, Brian, for the last decade, sometimes she felt like she owned the company. With a penchant for numbers and perfection, she often experienced the inward jostle of "how good was good enough," which in turn created heightened anxiety. Known for her hot head and impatience for (what she called) "stupid people", she was gradually learning to ease off the control pedal and appreciate the team for who they were, not just for what they did; but never held back from walking the wrong people to the front door.
"You've got to pay attention to these numbers," she emphatically told Brian, ignoring his cue to leave him alone when he’d said he got in early, specifically, to “try and get some shit done before the interruptions started". Brian wondered how early he’d need to arrive to be free of these impromptu meetings. It was 5 a.m. and Sheree was also trying to get an uninterrupted run into the day but it was just too tempting having him there and not needing to compete for his attention for a change. "We can't keep being focused on the next big thing," she told him. "You've got cranky customers who are waiting for you to call them back; you throw grenades into the mix when I'm trying to bring stability; there's no cohesiveness from leadership which creates conflicting messages to the team; Steve is exhausted from trying to run so many projects and if we keep going as we are, these mounting job profit losses will force our doors to close. Oh, and did you know that Sarah and John were caught by security having sex in his office the other night. The place is out of control."
"What do you suggest?" Brian resignedly asked. He trusted Sheree with his life and knew she had his best interests at heart. "Well, our pipeline is full for the next 16 months so let's take some time to focus on stability and profitability. Make sure our customers are happy, our team is working at an easier pace and that you start being the leader again. The team needs you and the last thing we need is to start seeing our good people going elsewhere. And start getting your life back in order. Your wife asked me last week what her husband's name was, so she sounds like she needs some attention too."
Brian knew she was right but felt deflated. While he resisted the urge to feel a total failure, he left her office with an agreement to work with her as she had suggested. But Sheree wasn't so sure. She had engaged in these discussions with Brian over the years and while he temporarily heeded her advice he always reverted to his adrenaline-fueled ways. Perhaps...today might be different.
While Sheree and Brian are fictional, they demonstrate the demands and challenges of leadership. If managers have the freedom and boldness to express opinions with humility, and the senior leader is open to criticism and change, a powerful leadership force comes into play. If you would like to discuss your situation further, feel free to reach out. And, as always, thanks for reading.
PS. To read about Brian, (the first in the series), click here
*Photo by RODNAE Productions from Pexels
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