The most frustrating question in the world
No, it doesn’t have anything to do with World War II. This is the question that inevitably comes up after your project is just about to be implemented and go live.
You are in a meeting and someone asks the question Why Wasn’t I Involved?
Wait just a second, you think. We have been working on this initiative for over 6 months. We have had meetings out the kazoo, you have received sign-offs from the city, county, state, executive team and yet it never fails. Like clockwork, right before you pull the trigger you are hit with “the question”.
Now, in reality, it’s not really a question at all. In fact, it’s an indictment. Like, you didn’t involve me and if this thing fails don’t come crying to me. Don’t expect my help if you go forward.
This technique is actually used quite effectively by everyone from the entry-level clerk to the President of the company.
Here are 5 different versions of the Why wasn’t I involved question.
So what is a leader to do when it seems the odds are stacked against ever getting any change implemented?
While you can’t really control how people respond to change, you should be able to ensure that no one is surprised. That happens through effective communication. So this is what I suggest:
Finally, keep a good sense of humor, you’ll need it.
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Dwight Grant is a seasoned businessman with over 30 years of leadership experience. He lives in CO where he enjoys whitewater rafting, mountain biking and spending time with family.