Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Jockeying for Position

A friend of mine shared his recent experience setting up to facilitate a technical strategy meeting. He notice that he was getting three types of email from the team:

  • "Here is a list of people to invite..."
  • "You don't need to include the following people..."
  • "Please don't forget to invite me."

This is clear evidence of lack of true leadership in the team. There may be someone on the team with the leadership role, but they are not exercising it properly. Multiple people recognize the leadership void and are trying to step into it. This is a dynamic doomed to fracture this team.

I am also seeing that some of the people don't trust that the existing leaders will represent them in the meeting. This is a group of people that don't feel secure. I suspect most of their resumes are on the street.

I preferred to see my friend focus on addressing this leadership problem before the strategy session, although this wasn't practical. Instead, he needed to go into the meeting recognizing that he had to step into the leadership role for the session to have any hope of avoiding useless jockeying. This team needs a firm hand to support them toward progress rather than discord. Don't let this team be yours.

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