I often get asked to come and help an organisation or business when they are going through a conflict crisis.
The wheels are falling off, and they ring me to help them get through the crisis.
After being briefed by the leader, the first thing I do is meet with all of the parties for a confidential venting session. This helps them to get clarity about the issues and to get some stuff off their chest.
One of the questions I always ask in these venting sessions is who is the boss? It sounds like a silly question. Surely the leader who engaged me is the boss – but the reality is that often a completely different person is deemed to be the boss of the office or workplace.
Sometimes two people are vying for the position of leader/boss.
What this tells me is:
- There is not a lot of clarity about vision, roles and responsibilities and expectations; and
- Someone has stepped into the void. If the leader is not leading effectively, someone else will step up and lead. If two people try to fill this void, then there can be war.
Every organisation needs to have a boss or leader. An orchestra needs a conductor; a beehive needs a queen bee; dogs need a pack leader.
One of the roles of leadership is to make everyone feel safe; safety comes from knowing where you stand, knowing where you are going and knowing who you go to when there is a problem.
Every organisation needs structure, rules and most importantly, an effective leader.