They really had no choice. They could have said “no,” but it would have been the end, or at least severely damaged the careers of each leader. The powers that be had decreed that the organization would be reorganized with both leaders holding responsibility for different parts of the team.
This transition was loaded with land mines. The two leaders had entirely different personalities, experience, and skill sets. The team could easily polarize and splinter into turf wars. Alliances could form, resulting in low productivity and self-protection strategies.
Both leaders knew the dangers, and both wanted nothing less than a highly cohesive team with the aim of accomplishing the overall vision, mission, and goals of their organization. That is why they decided to lead by example.
They began weekly, and sometimes, daily meetings. They challenged each other and allowed for honest conversation. Each leader was willing to give and compromise when needed. Both were more concerned with the success of their team rather than his or her personal agenda.
The results are in: Their team is going through a difficult transition with the skepticism and fear that accompanies most organizational changes. However, because of the intentional transparency and authenticity of these two leaders, the team is moving through the change in a healthy way.
Hard questions are being asked and answered. Each leader is a strong advocate for the other. They are seen as two leaders who are willing to demonstrate servant leadership.
Consequently, the critical attitudes are diminishing and the team’s fear is waning. The team is not just listening to the words of each leader; they are observing the actions of two strong and effective influencers.
There are times when we cannot control the circumstances in which we find ourselves. We can always control how we respond to those circumstances. Choose to lead with the best interest of those you lead in mind, and you will make a difference!