I started leading people at the age of twenty-one. Nine years ago I decided to implement a meeting with my team members that only gave them the chance to tell me what was wrong with my leadership. Yeah, give that one a try. I set up thirty minute meetings with each team member individually, which really would probably only last what…three minutes? I mean come on…how bad could it be, right? So I brought in the jewel of my team, Teresa Duke, and let her know that the time we had was just for her to tell me what was wrong with me. It wasn’t for me to say anything about her. It went something like this:
CLo – “Readyyyyyy go”
TD – “Your communication stinks”
CLo – *GULP* “uhhhhh….what’s that now?”
TD – “Your communication. We don’t know what’s going on.”
CLo – “Uhhhhhhhhh…what do you mean”
TD – “You know the thing with the stuff? (she mentioned a specific instance that I can’t recall) We don’t know anything about that.”
CLo – “Uhhhhhhh…I just assumed you knew;”
TD – “That’s the problem. You assume that we know what you know.”
CLo – “Please leave while I curl up in the corner and suck my thumb. Thanks for coming in today.”
Okay, maybe I didn’t say that last line. But I probably wanted to. It was a leadership changing moment for me. The realization that I wasn’t sharing enough information with my team to make them successful. I began that day making changes with me to help them know what was going on. What to expect. What to plan for. You see, an amazing thing happens when your team doesn’t have information, they become paralyzed. Yep, without leadership, without direction, they don’t know where to go and what to think.
If you’ve read the information on Nanny, then you know that the doctor gave us some information on how, and what percent the brain heals at. It was an important moment for us. You see, until that point, we felt like we knew nothing. We were standing there day after day wondering if at any moment she was going to open her eyes, look at us, and say, “OUCH! THAT HURT!” Or, will she wake up? And while there’s no way he could answer either of those questions, he at least gave us something that helped us face each day. She will be better than she is today, but it will take WAY longer than we were thinking. Even though that was no guarantee, it gave us information that we could use. Information to go forward with while we wait patiently for God, we’re at least not paralyzed just…waiting!