Should I Stay or Should I Go? What do you do when you disagree with management?

As a leadership speaker and author, I get this type of question a lot.

I work in a company with poor management. Employees are frustrated and apathy is widespread. Should I confront management about this or just look for another job?

The real question is: When do I know if I should stay at my current job or look for a new one?

I began to think about this after someone else recently contacted me for advice.  He works for a local government department and has had a long, successful career.  Lately though, he has been frustrated the top-down approach of everyone in management.

His question was simple; do I question leadership or do I just stay quiet?

The problem with questioning authority is obvious.  You might get cross-threaded with management which could lead to termination or getting passed over for future promotions. Staying silent, however, can lead to frustration, dissatisfaction, disillusionment, and disengagement.  This, of course, can also lead to termination or getting passed over for promotions.

I imagine a lot of people find themselves in this situation.  If I look back on my career, I can recall times when I strongly disagreed with a management decision but kept my mouth shut to preserve my job and my advancement prospects.  It was very frustrating and my ability to lead others suffered because of it.

“Next generation leaders are those who would rather challenge what needs to change and pay the price than remain silent and die on the inside.” ~Andy Stanley

Andy Stanley’s quote from his book, Next Generation Leader: 5 Essentials for Those Who Will Shape the Future, was the basis of my advice for my friend.  Remaining silent and dying on the inside is no way to live your life.  It’s probably time for him to talk to his boss and voice his concerns but it needs to be done in a respectful manner.

“Question authority; but, raise your hand first.” ~ Alan M. Dershowitz

 If you find yourself in this situation, it’s fair to question leadership, but do it in a way that is private, respectful, and considerate.  You may find their explanations make sense or they decide to make changes based on your feedback.  In this case, you have resolved the conflict in a respectful manner and can go back to enjoying your job.

If, however, you find they don’t appreciate being questioned or their answers don’t make sense, it may be time to start looking for another job.  And that’s OK too.  It’s better to fully understand your situation and know it’s time to go than stay at a job where you will be unhappy and dissatisfied. Plus, it’s always easier to find a job while you still have one.

Consider the words of Andy Stanley and don’t remain silent.  It’s acceptable to question leadership, but do it in a way that is private, respectful, and considerate.  Their answers will make it very clear what you should do next.

Pre-order my new book All in the Same Boat: Lead Your Organization Like a Nuclear Submariner.

A Sense of Belonging

Can you remember a time when you felt like you really belonged?

For me, it was the day I became a submariner.

During the pinning ceremony, the gold dolphin insignia was placed on my uniform signifying I was a qualified submarine officer. That insignia told the world I belonged to an exceptional group of people qualified in underwater warfare.

It was one of my proudest moments, and it’s an important identity I have kept my whole life.

So what about you? How do you feel when you really belong?

There something powerful about that feeling. It’s in our human nature to want to belong, to be part of a tribe. The problem is that this feeling is missing for so many people. Unfortunately, COVID has even made the situation worse. Young people, especially, are feeling increasingly disconnected.

It’s in our human nature to want to belong, to be part of a tribe. Click To Tweet

While we are connected more-and-more virtually, we are becoming disconnected both physically and emotionally.

Human connection was a primary topic in my conversation with Gabriel Klingman on my recent podcast episode. Gabriel was a manager at Starbucks for nearly a decade. One of the things he observed about young people is that they had a real “longing to belong.”

He also observed that, if you could create an environment where they felt like they were part of something special, it unleashed their potential as an employee. They became dedicated to what they did because there was a feeling of belonging.

He observed that belonging drove performance, especially with younger employees.

Creating a sense of belonging is an integral part of leadership. As you build your team, you need to consider if your employees feel like they belong to something special.

Have you created an environment where it’s special to be part of your tribe? Or is it just a job?

Work has the potential to be more than just a four-letter word. It can be where people can go, have friends, and strive together towards a common goal.

Work has the potential to be more than just a four-letter word. Click To Tweet

For some people, it might be the only place where they feel like they belong. They might have a troubled home life, but when they come to work, there’s stability. I know for me, my business feels more like a family than a company.

The question is, how can you create a culture of belonging within your team?

Creating a high-performance culture and a high-performing team requires a feeling of belonging and connection.

I challenge you today to think about how you can create a tribe with a true sense of belonging. It will help your employees reach their full potential and help you become a more effective leader.

Listen in to my whole discussion with Gabriel Klingman here.

I have the watch

 

P.S. I understand many who are reading this have bosses who don’t understand the value of people and relationships. For those of you with bosses like this, I am offering a new service. For just $10, I will anonymously mail a copy of my book, “I Have the Watch: Becoming a Leader Worth Following,” to your boss with a personal note. Click here and enter the discount code BOSS at checkout.

The Difference between a Great Team and an Elite Team

Something happened at my company three weeks ago that confirmed we are moving in the right direction. And it has nothing to do with our financial performance.

In our daily morning standup meeting, a founding employee announced she was pregnant with her first baby.

The reaction from the rest of the employees told me everything I needed to know. There were smiles, shouts of congratulations, clapping, and something even more powerful, tears.

I looked around and saw many of my employees crying for joy over this exciting news.

The response confirmed something I had been feeling for a long time; we were becoming more like family than a company. There was a bond developing that was special, and it was something I hadn’t sensed since I left the military.

We were becoming more like family than a company. Click To Tweet

Building a business for the past five years has felt a little like us against the world, but lately, I feel like the world doesn’t stand a chance.

My recent podcast guest, Dr. Larry Widman, confirmed what I suspected. My employees were displaying one of the essential characteristics of an elite team – love.

Let me explain.

Larry is a high-performance psychiatrist and an elite mindset coach. He works with CEOs, professional athletes, Olympians, and NCAA teams to develop the mental skills and mindset to push performance boundaries.

He said something on the podcast that stood out.

He explained that love plays a vital role in building an elite team. And this is consistent across every type of organization, from Navy Seals to NCAA National Champions.

It’s all about relationships, connections, and love.

The best teams move at the speed of trust. Click To Tweet

The best teams move at the speed of trust. They are willing to fight for the person on their right and their left because they care deeply about them.

Love is the one consistent ingredient that helps propel a team from great to elite.

So the question I would have for you today is, where are you in your organization?

Are your employees in it for just a paycheck or do they have deep relationships at work? Are you moving at the speed of trust?

If you’re not exploring how love can boost your performance, you’re missing out. You’re never going to have an elite team without the power of relationships, trust, and love.

The elite teams, the best of the best, the national champions, and those dominating their markets are the ones who demonstrate love for each other. They are the ones fighting shoulder-to-shoulder for each other every day.

If you want to look inside an elite team’s culture, listen to my podcast interview with Dr. Larry Widman.

I have the watch

 

P.S. I understand many who are reading this have bosses who don’t understand the value of people and relationships. For those of you with bosses like this, I am offering a new service. For just $10, I will anonymously mail a copy of my book, “I Have the Watch: Becoming a Leader Worth Following,” to your boss with a personal note. Click here and enter the discount code BOSS at checkout.

 

 

 

 

[Photo credit Jamie Schwaberow/NCAA Photos/Getty Images]