The average employee's perception of you, the leader, is that you are in control. But you know better.
You know that every necessary action and every well-laid plan depends on someone else to get it done. Regardless of rank, that person probably has a lot of real autonomy to execute - or sink - the effort. And it's often not the most obvious person.
One of the worst killers of progress is vague, hidden and ubiquitous. It's discomfort.
As you try to steer the organization toward a better place, how many of the critical inputs rely on:
- Someone else pushing a vendor to match your expectations, though he usually accepts whatever comes?
- Someone else holding a colleague accountable for weak performance, though she never ruffles feathers?
- Someone else making a call on a new type of customer (or talking about a different kind of product... or selling in a new way), though he sticks to familiar places?
When the plan makes sense, and you've clarified priorities, but nothing actually happens, discomfort is probably choking progress.
And while we're at it, what critical inputs are stuck with you... because you're not comfortable taking necessary action?