I know the owner of a snow contracting business, who has had some nice success over the past couple of years – growing his business. He has expanded his geographic area of responsibility, added a good number of new customers, and has been able to supply a high level of service to the new customers (as well as continuing to provide quality service to existing customers). Managing the service providers has become problematic as there are considerably more of these service providers servicing sites not close to his base of operations. This past year he purchased some software to assist with managing the work. Unfortunately, he has one person in the organization who was dead set against this “advancement” and has stifled the company’s ability to implement this software (and the resulting benefits that come with such advancements). He has not been able to convince this individual to “play well with others” in his organization. Unfortunately, the software sits in a corner of his computer innards, vegetating and not producing any benefit for the company and its growth strategy. Paralyzed by this individual, it’s time to cut this person loose and implement the program he KNOWS is right for his company.
This is not “leadership”. Sometimes, one must make a tough decision to benefit the entire group. The growth has not slowed in this organization, but the ability to track what happens in the field is strangled by the efforts (or, rather the lack of effort) on the part of one individual who says (in essence) “I can’t grasp what you are doing, and therefore I will ensure my place by not allowing you to continue on the path you have selected”. As the leader of this group, it is incumbent upon the owner to do just that – lead. Of course, encouraging dissenting opinion, and spirited conversation and debate is also a sign of a good leader. But, once the leader makes a decision, all parties must get in line and support the ultimate decision – as a group and as a team. Once it became clear this one individual could – and would – submarine the growth plan, it is/was time to let this person seek opportunities elsewhere.
It’s like a cancer that begins to form. Cut it out early, and the rest of the body (team) will likely benefit. And – if there is trepidation about eliminating one person in a group, thinking the entire company may go under due to the loss of this one personality – the team has not been set up properly.
It’s time this person leaves the bus – and then real progress is possible.