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Don't let them promote you

Today has been good, in large part because yesterday was so bad. I've been "fire fighting" and trying to restore order after a number of things blew up on me yesterday. Even when I'm frustrated, setting things right always feels good.

Background on yesterday: In addition to feeling generally disillusioned and restless, I learned that some of my staff were stressing over changes (real and perceived) in the department in general and particularly related to their jobs. Once I had time to scratch the surface, I found out that there was something else wrong.

First, you have to understand my Law of Stimulus and Response: whenever a response is not proportional to a stimulus, there must be another stimulus. Therefore, if people are freaking out a lot over two or three changes, there must be something else in the mix.

So what happened? The real root is that information isn't making it to the staff clearly through one of my employees. For example, she claimed to be unsure of the rationale behind a policy change which she in fact suggested. Things like this make a real mess when people get so frustrated that they come to me for answers.

An additional wrinkle is that those most impacted on her staff used to be my staff when I was in her position a year ago. The staff in question are all dear people who worked their butts off a year ago, and it literally makes me sick to my stomach to think that they no longer feel honored for their service-- not to mention the fact that they don't feel honored by me because of how things have (not) been communicated to them.

Anyway, I spent some time yesterday and today talking with those staff members, and I still need to get time with my employee to address and try to correct the problem (maybe tomorrow). Having those relationships and hopefully a little faith restored is a good, good thing.

So, as James T. Kirk once said, "Don't let them promote you." The buck stops with me now, and in an effort to accommodate and support everyone, I too often end up taking a middle road that just pisses everyone off. That's the cost of sitting in this chair.

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