Which Way to Change?

“Which Way to Change”
published in Talent Quarterly, 2017.

“I’m not sure whether we have a leadership problem, or a team problem,” my client’s panicked call began. “But either way, we have a problem.” John (not his real name) had reached out to me in hopes of finding a solution to his most pressing dilemma. Not that he was unqualified to solve it himself: He had started a technology company, grew it rapidly, and then sold it to a bigger company. After several years in a corporate environment, he left to take a leadership position at a midsize technology firm.

Given his experience in startup, fast growth, and established corporate environments, John had seen it all. And even he couldn’t tell who was responsible for his quandary: the leader or the team. I knew the answer, but I knew he wouldn’t like it. “It’s both,” I told him, because it’s near impossible to have one without the other. “They’re symbiotic. What’s the impact of the problem?” John’s reply: “An amazing amount of wasted potential.”…

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