You’ll want to read part one of this blog posting which is right up there ^ 🙂


So here’s part two….

Now, right as we finished our last meeting, you were going to tell me your concern about talking to your leaders about the concerns you see in their areas of oversight. I don’t know exactly what your concern is, but here are a few (concerns) I bump into with CEO’s:

1) I don’t want to appear to micro manage
2) I don’t want my visit to signal the team is in trouble by the way the leader of that team reacts, to their team, after I talk to them
3) I don’t like how my thoughts get translated by the leader back to the team–I’m painted as “the bad guy.”  For example, “Dave is not happy.” Or, “Dave said……” Or, your words as the CEO are misconstrued.
4) When I speak, people scramble, but then a few weeks later, it’s back to the way it was


Here are a few ideas to counter the above objections:

1) You can’t do your selective observations, articulation, and implementation practice ONLY when there is a problem you’ve “heard about.” For this to work, and avoid the potential problems listed above, YOU HAVE TO DO IT REGULARLY. IT HAS TO BECOME PART OF HOW YOU LEAD. Then, people will stop seeing it as the, “Principal coming because we’re in trouble.”

Practice Frequency: You should make this a part of your weekly execution. Obviously there will be weeks you can’t. But that should be the goal. If you begin to integrate this thinking into your world, it will be easier than you think to do. For example, you’re across town at a meeting and you think, “I’m going to stop by one of the sites for my selective OAI practice.” You stop by, perform the practice and go on with your day.

My guess is you already do this. The difference is that you need to “intentionalize” your visit by practicing the first six steps (see the first posting in this series) when you are “in the painting” and the second six steps when you are with the leader(s) later. Try and have the meeting with the leader(s) the same week you visit their part of the painting–even if it has to be on the phone.

2) The way you frame the conversation with the leader (after your visit) will begin to change the way the leaders frame their words as they speak to their team about your issues.

TELL the leaders you DON’T want them rushing over and saying, “The big boss said…..” Tell them, I DON’T WANT YOU TO UTTER THAT PHRASE.  Tell them you want them to integrate your observations INTO THE WAY THEY MANAGE, NOT INTO A ONE TIME FREAK OUT SESSION. 🙂

Tell them NOT to rush over and have the conversation 30 minutes after you leave. But, rather to integrate your ideas over the next week or so–in order to create distance between your visit and implementation. The one change here would be if you have found a crisis. 


Part three on its way…