Image by Pablo Elices from Pixabay
Avoiding Responsibility at Work
Lately I’ve had very frustrated executives in my office saying, “don’t say anything I just need to rant”. And they let fly.
The theme is (other) people avoiding their responsibilities. It takes various forms:
- Avoidance of conflict.
- Avoidance of decisions.
- Avoidance of leadership.
You’re Right, It’s Not Fair!
They lament about what they’re left with:
- The inefficient and unfair workaround. The lack of justice riles them.
- The time-wasting politics.
- The frustrating: “it’s like walking through treacle trying to get anything done around here”.
Or, as one of my clients says: “it’s like a zoo, so many elephants in the room”.
And that got me thinking about Jumanji. You know, where four high school kids embody an avatar after they are sucked into the Jumanji jungle game.
Leadership Lessons from Jumanji
As we learn in Jumanji, the only way the players can escape is to work together to finish the game.
- Yes, you have to play the game, you can’t sit on the sidelines… the rant clears the way for my clients to begin to work out how they want to play.
- You can’t break the rules… this is what my clients seem most upset about, the broken, albeit unspoken, rules.
- You’ll only succeed if you come together and play to each other’s strengths while acknowledging your weaknesses… it’s a work in progress, and each small win reminds them that it’s worth it.
That’s what workplaces are ideally like. Why aren’t they? It seems there are some handy leadership lessons from Jumanji. If we were to really learn from them, we’d know that yes, we do need to:
- Raise the stakes at work.
- Have more consequences management. There’s too much getting away with things.
- Build in more team rewards. Even if promotions are individual, that doesn’t mean there can’t be other team rewards to make cooperation worthwhile, even for the most ambitious, most competitive and most political member of your team.
That’s obvious. What isn’t, is why we don’t see it in more workplaces already. What are we so afraid of?
Want more leadership lessons like this? Check out one of my most popular blog posts ever: Leadership Lessons from Kung Fu Panda.