Figured this would be a logical follow up as it was lightly touched on in last week’s blog discussing change. In particular, beneficial change and being an agent of change.
Being an agent of change is a tough task as it unfortunately puts one in a precarious position, many times even making them a target. Many times upper level management does not see the worth of an agent of change, instead they see people complaining about them and naturally assume they are the problem.
An agent of change does their homework. They do not offer up ideas, improvements, and solutions in a haphazard manner. The idea that everyone else is doing it, so we need to do it, or because they are trying to propagate into a kingdom building exercise is never a driver.
The driver is primarily what is best for the success of the organization and the long term positive impact from improvement.
My grandfather had a saying about the premise of throwing out ideas and jumping in direction that is not well thought out, “it’s nothing more than throwing shit at a wall to see what sticks, it may stick, but it’s still shit.”
As a manager, when one has people coming at them with complaints about another employee one cannot ignore them. When those complaints are completely ridiculous and frivolous is when it signifies a problem, however that problem is not necessarily the person being complained about.
I would rather have a good agent of change over several purveyors of shitty office politics. Change agents tend to bring more to the table, be productive, and produce quality work, bringing many more benefits than those flinging mud on others as self promotion.
If those complaints are ridiculous and bordering frivolous, dig deeper into what the employee being complained about brings to the table and the benefit to the organization. Sometimes those complaints can lead you to beneficial and positive assets that should be retained, while at the same time leading you to the ones who should not, even if they are other managers.
So, if you are a manager and have multiple people complaining about the one individual, dig into it and find out what is really going on.