Have you ever leaned toward avoidance when you haven’t delivered because you “know” the person you must speak to is going to be disappointed? Getting past this block can be difficult.


Here’s our “wow” for this week: This Wow! goes to two team members who tend to be troubleshooters and do-it-yourselfers. You did it! No, not what you expected. You crossed a barrier for you—and got in touch with me even though you did not have the news/deliveries you wanted to give. Now we are moving forward again.

Why is this “wow!”? We attract people who have a strong desire to get things done and figure stuff out on their own. These traits are huge strengths for the rather big roles within our lean business with flat hierarchy. But, oops, these traits can become weaknesses when deadlines are missed.

A driven person often finds it difficult to discuss something when it is not done right the first time. Instead they lean toward “failure is not an option” thinking. And, gulp, it can be worse when the person you have to speak with is … the CEO.

If you are not this type you may not be following this Wow! If you are this type, and you recognize it, you will empathize…and be proud of like I am…when a driven person can get beyond their inherent “don’t communicate until it’s done” mindset, get clarity and move forward.

Why is it important? Not checking-in at scheduled times is the wrong action. To have regular check-in points does not mean there is mistrust (in you) to get stuff done (even if it is now late); It is a matter of courtesy and understanding to those who are waiting, and who may even have some answers that will help you get whatever it is done.

Your mindset says you would rather not communicate with someone who will be disappointed. Yet, disappointment is most quickly discarded when meaningful next steps are worked out swiftly. Disappointment is increased when there is no communication. In fact, lack of communication, especially when scheduled, appears as a lack of respect for others.

Throw out your memories of working with past managers who would put you down personally. Throw out your paradigm of only telling the CEO what you think they want to hear.

We do not hover here. We have no micro-managers here. We do not dwell on blame. We “trust but verify.” If as a leader I have not communicated our tone clearly enough, let me say it again.

Here standard operating procedures, deadlines, the daily status (email, with chat if needed) and the scheduled check-ins are in place to keep us on track and on time. When communication breaks down the distraction and interruption can ripple far and wide. Verification is a time for discovering and completing; never for blaming.


Congrats, to you both! You are back on track. There is no failure in re-alignment, and doing so swiftly leads us all to success.

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