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Problems we cannot allow to get in the way.

The following are problems or issues that I have observed over the years that have a tendency to get in the way of accomplishing our goals.

_ Being late. Better to be an hour early than a minute late. Your level of commitment and dedication is displayed partly by how well you show respect for your fellow commanders and your boys. It is extremely disrespectful to arrive late. Everyone is busy, everyone has other commitments. Of course things happen from time to time, that is why you plan to be early to allow for the unexpected. We make time for what is important. Being late is a statement of the importance you place on the other people involved.

_ Not doing what you say you are going to do. If you agree to do something, just do it, otherwise don’t say you are going to do it. If you find that you cannot accomplish what you agreed to do, then present the challenges and renegotiate as soon as possible. Being “too busy” is not a valid excuse for not getting something done. We are all busy. We make the time to do what is important to us. If it is not important enough to make the time, then don’t agree to do it in the first place. Anytime you accept a task or a goal, make sure it is a SMART goal. Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Rewarding and Time based.

_ Standing around when there is work to be done. There is a time for everything. Be aware of what should be done and what you should be doing. Don’t wait to be told what to do. Look around and figure it out for yourself or ask someone else what should be done.

_ Roles and responsibilities are unclear and/or overlap.

_ Individuals feel they are not recognized or rewarded in relation to their specific contribution and effort.

_ Influential senior managers have no desire or incentive to rock the boat. As a result, change and those that crave it are viewed as threats and blocked or worse.

_ Leaders are reluctant to develop their people for fear of creating rivals.

_ Teachers, laypeople and church leaders get little or no honest feedback on their performance.

_ Needless bureaucratic and obstructive administrative systems get in the way of the real business of the organization.

_ Internal, inter-functional conflicts are not confronted, and these escalate.

_ Rumors and gossip abound.

_ New starters are left to ‘sink or swim’. Induction is seen as an event and not a process.

_ There is no sense of urgency where this should be seen.

_ New ideas and innovations are suppressed by a management that feels it must be the source of all that is creative and praiseworthy.

_ Key decisions are taken without consultation or perceived consideration of those most affected – no thought is given to the fact people will support what they helped to create.

_ Too long passes between deciding to do something and the implementation of decisions.

_ Rules and procedures are openly broken with impunity.

_ Too many people play the ‘that’s not my job’ game – doing the bare minimum and displaying a lack of concern for their colleagues.

_ Even relatively minor decisions are made at higher levels than is sensible. People at all levels are typically un-empowered to make their own decisions without reference upwards.

_ Praise is rare, particularly from senior managers, who if ever seen, are felt to be remote and uncaring.

_ Meetings proliferate, often without purpose or structure, with too little happening as a result to cause those who take part to feel they were a good use of time.

_ There is little or no enthusiasm for learning and development, especially amongst senior management who lead by poor example, and know it all thank you very much.

_ Training courses are not based on learning and development needs.

_ Things move so fast that nothing stands still for long enough to get real value from efforts and initiatives that could have significant impact.

_ No support, and more likely discouragement, awaits those who want to put into practice, the new things they have learned from training.

_ A major distinction exists between success and effectiveness within the organization. Thus, successful people may well not be effective, and effective people are neither recognized or rewarded, and therefore unlikely to achieve success.

_ Capable, highly competent people leave the organization without making the positive contribution they wanted, and very often end up achieving their ambitions somewhere else.

_ Poor performance is not confronted – for fear of what? There may be a culture of ‘acceptable underperformance’ – letting inadequate achievement, collective or individual, go when it really needs to be tackled.

_ Willing horses are overloaded with work because they are dependable, and in contrast, unreliable people are given less or nothing to do, because they can’t be trusted to do it right.

_ The organization is dependant upon a small number of doers.