Bound By The Chain Of Command
Yesterday, we launched the second EntreLeadership Podcast, and it’s taken off like crazy. Thank you to all who are subscribing and making it the No. 1 business podcast and No. 2 podcast overall. If you haven’t listened to it, click on the image to the right.
As part of the podcast, we’ve invited you to ask questions. Here’s a fantastic one from Tim:
I heard your EntreLeadership podcast the other day. Very nice. I enjoy something new to listen to from Mr. Ramsey. Now, where I work I am not a leader, manager or supervisor. I’m just a frontline IT support person. In the first podcast, you spoke about an employee emailing Mr. Ramsey directly about a ted.com presentation. Did that violate the chain of command at your company?
Where I work, if I emailed the service center VP (someone about four levels above me), I would be written up so fast my head would spin (due to violating the chain of command), and I even know the VP a little bit. If I wanted to send something to the service center VP, I would have to send it to my supervisor, who would send it to his supervisor, and on up the chain.
Also, when you do the leadership feedback meetings, how do the employees know what they say won’t be later used against them? I could see an employee thinking they would be marked as a troublemaker or as someone who is not a team player if they bring up something that is too critical.
I’m just looking for your input/feedback based on my experience over my career in the IT industry.
Peace be with you,
Thanks, Tim, for a great question. First things first, we don’t go by our last names. Just call us Chris and Dave. As for the chain of command, I think it is absolutely vital and Biblical. Jethro saw that Moses couldn’t handle managing all of the people, so he counseled him on setting up leaders over them.
Wisdom says that you can’t have every team member bogging down one leader. We recently discussed in one of our Leadership Council meetings that, for the sake of time, we would not bring up issues that could be addressed by a team member’s immediate leader.
The difference between our culture and yours is that our leaders are accessible, and our team knows it. Our leadership team has to be accessible to our team members. It’s part of our culture. Without it, we would have a lot of suppressed, unappreciated, do-the-least amount-to-get-the-job-done employees. We don’t want that! Therefore, our team members understand the need to respect the chain of command, but they know it’s not law.
As for the leadership feedback, we don’t keep a score of team members as troublemakers for telling leadership of issues. Instead, we fix the issues, or we show why it’s not one.
I’ve seen the environment that you’re in, and I know it makes you scared and cautious like a whipped puppy instead of on fire and ready to run like a thoroughbred. We prefer thoroughbreds around here.
Question: How accessible are you and your leadership team?