Followership: Avoid Hallway Attacks of Your Leader’s Decisions


Part 3 of 3 Parts

Helena, the district manager, went into the retreat with a strong position against a reorganization plan the vice president was proposing.

“This new plan will flatten our organizational structure, reduce our overhead and allow us to be nimbler,” the vice president proposed. 

Helena responded, “As the plan keeps the same number of people, I don’t see how we reduce overhead.  A new customer-response team will likely meet our immediate needs much better.”

Following lengthy debates, the VP prevailed in his proposal.

“Afterwards,” Helena commented, “I had a problem.  My team knew I was against the VP’s proposal, but the VP clearly expected us to support it.”

Rule 1:  When you disagree with your leader’s decision, listen with an open mind and try to understand and accept the leader’s position.

Rule 2:  After the meeting, when others approach you and voice their disagreements, respond with something like.  “Look, the leader has made a decision, I am committed to its execution and it would be better if you took the same position.

After tough decisions, too many team members accelerate stress by continuing to campaign against the decisions in hallways and parking lots.  Effective teams bury their opposing tactics and channel their energies toward executing the plan. 

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