Ask most leaders and managers if they achieve more when people pull together and chances are the vast majority will agree that is the case. Look for example how everyone comes together in an organisation when there is something like a major incident. When I found myself in role of the Executive Director in the NHS when a major incident was called, I was amazed at what we achieved quickly.
Everyone was focussed, everyone knew what needed to be delivered everyone wanted to do their best, everyone understood and appreciated that more of a directive style of leadership was needed. Everyone appreciated that time was tight and that every minute mattered.
Contrast this with what I will call the day to day routine. When it is business as usual people often work in silos. Rather than trying to do what is right, people get into competition mode, only wanting to do what is in their best interests or the interests of their group.
In the latter situation it is often personal egos and personal agendas that get in the way. Rather than standing back and thinking what is best in the given situation, it starts to be about what is best for me or my team.
When this happens it is easy to lose sight of the core purpose of why the organisation exists. This lack of focus on the core purpose can easily result in more energy and effort being given to being right than doing what is best for the service user or organisation.
Before you know it a huge amount of resource is looking inwardly. Point scoring becomes more important than giving the best possible service. The only perspective or point or view that matters is ours.
In the NHS this can extend way beyond a single organisation and start to be an issue across parts or all of the whole economy. Divisions can easily occur and the only person who tends to be negatively impacted is the person who the organisation is trying to serve.
So before you move on, consider whether egos are getting in the way of delivering the kind of results you know your teams and organisation are capable of delivering.
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