In a journey of continuous improvement, there are times leaders travel albeit on a wrong lane. Wrong lane journey is when there is a total disconnect between the leader and followers. Wrong lane journey often result in failure to achieve set goals and frustration while trying to resolve persisting challenges. The clear evidence that the journey is turning to an awful experience is when things begin to fall apart, team members trade blame, and aspirations become a mirage.
So why do leaders travel the wrong lane?
- They often forget that followers are on their trail. Every leader must be conscious of the gap between them and their followers at every point, and ensure the gap is bridged. The truth is that the push to achieve result in the short term raises the velocity of a leader’s actions to a very high degree whereas followers crawl at average velocity. When leaders and followers start journeying at different speeds, one or the other branches off the lane and loses touch with the rest of the team. Leaders must slow down and pull up subordinates to catch up with their speed, and must constantly ask themselves “am I travelling too fast or have I lost team members in the process?
- They fail to see red flag signals. Leadership bent is a case of focus. The focus of leaders sometimes are on the outcome or desired results instead of the process that creates the result. The process that creates outcomes are seldom unpredictable, thus creating variations and unplanned occurrences. When a leader fails to recognize these red flags which portend danger or failure, they veer off into the wrong lane and end up putting the blame on team members.
- They fail to ask questions. Questions are tools leaders use to procure feedback and get the thinking input of team members into any concept or project. Through questioning and sincere responses from team members, a leader is better placed to cure blind spots that could adversely affect a plan or its implementation.