Good stuff happens and bad stuff happens.
The measure of a person or an organisation is in how they react to the “stuff”.
If someone makes a mistake at work, big or small, and tries to hide it, blames other people, blames the world/circumstances/the weather or anything else… then that says something about the person. If they “own it” AND take action to correct or ensure it doesn’t happen again… then that says something different about that person.
If there is a problem at work and the boss blows a gasket, blows the situation out of proportion, publicly blames the culprit(s) and causes undue stress… then that says something about the boss’s leadership. If the boss accepts that mistakes happen, provides a “measured response” and life gets back to normal quickly… then that says something different about that leader.
It is the same when an organisation messes up. They need to own it.
Where this is all a little different, but similar, is with government.
If companies mess up, break the law or otherwise cause problems then the relevant government bodies should address the situation with those companies. That is why we have regulations and governmental bodies to oversee them.
When a government has a knee jerk reaction against a whole industry sector because of the actions of a few companies then you have to wonder about the leadership, perhaps you even begin to question the motives. Is this a political move to appease a set of voters or is this the right thing to do?
In Ontario we saw McGuinty’s government bring in legislation (Bill 139) focused on a whole industry sector (the staffing industry) because of the actions of a (very small) minority. Rather than deal with the few rogue problem companies they caused hardship to a whole industry sector … and we wonder why the Ontario economy continues to struggle!
Last week the Canadian Federal Government reacted with a similar “knee jerk”, voter appeasing reaction, related to the Temporary Foreign Worker program. A whole sector is being adversely impacted rather than the government dealing with the companies involved.
There are a number of problems with overreaction …
- You lose credibility.
- You lose support.
- You lose control.
A measured response when “stuff happens”, commensurate with the severity of the “stuff”, will always be received more positively, is the right thing to do and will demonstrate positive leadership traits.
Don’t overreact, understand the root of a problem and develop a response that addresses the issue.
Avoid the temptation to use a sledgehammer to crack a nut!
Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
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