Change in another disguise

The question came up long ago when I advocated for a new part time WFH situation for a member of my team.

The question from my bosses:

“Well, how will you know he is actually working?”

I think I kept it to only a mental eye-roll, but I am not certain.

I broke my response down into a few components.

#1 – I trust my team member.

#2 – Our team shows they work by product not process. Meaning, we didn’t count time, we counted results. The result “proved” you were actually working.

#3 – We would iterate. Since nobody worked from home on any basis back then, we didn’t know what to expect. Instead of running away from the unknown, we decided we could just iterate on it. Experiment. See what worked. Tweak. Try again. Eventually we would have figured out how to make it work.

The idea was shot down. Likely it was shot down 5 minutes before the official pitch meeting started. It’s easy and safe to step on sapling ideas.

Here’s why this matters for you:

Working from home is just change in another disguise. We have been forced into this change by COVID-19, but there will always be something forcing change.

This “isn’t the way we have always done it” and I am glad we are getting pushed (though not happy about why). It gives us another chance to practice leadership.

by Jonathan Wilson

Jonathan is the Head Coach at Sandcastle Company, a Seattle-based leadership training organization. His first book, Future Leader: Rebooting Leadership to Win the Millennial and Tech Future [link], is now available. Jonathan regularly writes and speaks about The New Leader Way, leadership resilience, and the future of work. He has years of leadership experience in both the public and private sectors, a master's degree from Seattle University, and professional coach training from the University of Miami.

Filed under: Leadership

Published on April 17, 2020

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