Shrinking Your Role May Actually Be Growing You

Shrinking Your Role May Actually Be Growing You

I had just assumed charge as the CHRO of a large corporation. And, as I settled in and listened to views and opinions about the function, I had some very interesting feedback about one of my direct reports - someone who indeed was competent and hardworking. But the feedback was that everything was getting delayed or held up at that point.


I observed the situation still more closely. There was an issue. The role holder was extremely persevering, but there was a flaw in the organisation structure and equally in the leadership style. The manager was inclined to check and question everything. The team had to wait for an approval before they could respond. There was an added or derived sense of self-importance. And the person was undoubtedly good.


I did share some counsel and feedback which was met with predictable resistance. “But I work so hard”, the person countered. And I responded, “Indeed you do! But even if God were in the role, He would have struggled! And I want you to succeed, not struggle.”


I restructured the role. Initially, there was a gloomy face, but the person got more productive. The feedback improved. And at the end of the year, he had an outstanding rating, though the person would challenge and debate issues with me. So, the person asked me why I had still rated him tops. And I smiled and said, “... because you still persevered, still challenged me and still kept faith in yourself and in me!”.


Sometimes, we all judge ourselves by the expanse of our portfolio, when we should by what we deliver against that portfolio!


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