In talking with managers around the country one of the most often heard comments is “The workforce is stubborn and unwilling to change.” It seems that many leaders have expectations for the new additions to their teams. From teaching them the importance of arriving on time, dressing in an acceptable manner, not spending so much time on their personal phones to learning how to effectively communicate with their counterparts but to name a few. Every business leader talks about the difficulty of changing behavior in the new hires. They are looking for silver bullets to figure out how to get people to comply with their wishes. This inevitably leads to frustration and a work environment that is unhealthy for all.
I wish they would……Why can’t they……. How come they……If they just started……They don’t seem able to…. If these statements are coming out of your mouth or you are hearing these types of statements from your mid-level managers, you may be in a bad spot. The fatal pronoun as described by one of my favorite management authors (W. Stephen Brown) appears to be making a comeback. There is no “They” in an organization that has intentions of being successful. There is only “Us”. Period, end of discussion. I’ll add to the fatal pronoun list by including “Them”. Replace these words with like “Us” and “We”. We are after all, in this together. If “We” don’t it will doom all of “Us”.
My wife and I were driving the other day and at a stop light we saw, you guessed, it a person working the corner holding a sign that read “Just change please. Even a little will help!” I looked over and said, “Wow, he must be a manager.” To which my wife asked what I was talking about? I directed her to read the sign and told her that statement was one I hear all the time. Leaders asking people to change, to knuckle down, pony up and push through. I must admit that I too need to change. I have not arrived, I do not know it all. People always say they like or embrace change however most don’t really mean it. What they really mean is this, “I like change, but you change first. I like where I’m at”
As a leader one of the things that would help us all is if we would:
“Be willing change an equal or greater amount then those we expect change out of.”
If you find yourself muttering fatal pronouns from time to time not fully understanding why this multi-generational workforce is unwilling to follow you, you’re going to want to contact us. We can help.
www.transglobaldevelopment.com or firstname.lastname@example.org