The Elephant in the Room

December 28, 2019 / Comments (105)

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
Maya Angelou

For the last 6 months I have been on a team which is planning what we believe will be very positive change for an organization. Even though this means taking on additional work outside of our regular schedules we are excited about the potential and very willing to put in whatever time it takes to reach our goal.  The CEO of the organization has been very supportive and consistently encouraging us to move forward with our plans.
That is until now. This week the CEO walked into our meeting and announced that another project is now taking precedence over our project in terms of funding and that we have to cut our budget by 1/3.

Some of the pieces of the old system were broken and have already been pulled out for replacement and we have no choice but to go ahead with our project. The team believes they have two choices. We can continue moving forward with the project as is and hope that we can get funding through another source, or we need to cut back our project to the point that when completed we will not have made any real progress and instead will be trudging along with another version of the same old system.

The Elephant in the Room
Now we get to what I perceive to be the elephant in the room. What has gone unspoken is that the CEO has become involved in the details of the project and is acting as the messenger between two different teams who are working at opposing goals. You may be thinking, so what, isn’t that the CEO’s job, to mediate between the groups?

In the short view, being involved in detailed budgeting discussions and playing messenger between teams may appear to be the role that the CEO needs to take in order to keep control of the finances and keep projects moving forward. However, in the longer view, what happens when the leader lets go of the role of the visionary leader and instead gets mired in the details.

What Happens When…
First, if a leader gets mired in the details and doesn’t hold out a strong vision then without even realizing it, and most likely not meaning to, the leader starts to take sides. Without a mutually agreed vision as a guide in the decision making process, people will always take sides.  It is a normal and natural response to see everything from our personal perspective. That very normal response by the leader sets up a competition of sorts and subconsciously encourages the team members or different teams to also take sides. When the teams take sides they can easily get stuck in thinking that there are only two ways to move forward, your way or my way. They can become blind to all the other possible solutions.

Second, without a strong vision being held up in front of people on a consistent basis, it is very easy for teams to get stuck working the same details over and over, arguing about personal opinions and never coming to a decision. When that happens, teams frequently bump up against time limits or get into a financial crunch. At that point there may be no other choice but to make a quick and expedient decision which generally only satisfies some of the people on the team. The team members who don’t get their needs met end up not as engaged and the organization as a whole suffers by being less effective and ultimately the decision that the team makes fails to truly meet anyone’s needs.

Finally what I perceive to be the biggest concern for leaders has to do with how the leader makes their teams feel. I know, I can almost hear you saying it, we are at work and we aren’t supposed to feel, or at least not show our feelings. But in real life we all know that it doesn’t play out that way. For instance, when the CEO walked in to our meeting after 6 months of supporting our plan and bluntly told our team that we had to cut our budget by 1/3 we immediately felt deflated and devalued.  The looks on people’s faces were at first flat and unexpressive as they quite obviously tried to contain their emotions. Then there was anger, frustration and fighting back. And then, worst of all, was the loss of trust in the CEO. How did the lack of trust show up? The team essentially ignored the CEO’s directive and started to talk about how they were going to work around it.

We all know that once a person loses trust that it is very difficult to rebuild. And we also know that without trust it is very difficult for a leader to influence people to take action. Very simply, without trust a leader cannot lead.

The Leader’s Paradigm
In coaching women leaders in technology, I have discovered that one of the most difficult things for leaders to learn is to value our role as leaders. For years we have been patted on the back and given promotions based on our technical knowledge or perhaps our understanding of process and of course, on what work we successfully complete. As a leader the paradigm for how we work and how we bring value to the organization shifts. We are expected to step away from the details and be the visionary, the encourager, the lead guide or perhaps the servant leader.

For many people, not just women, that paradigm shift can leave us feeling confused about our roles. We may feel like impostors, as though our work is no longer as valuable and by deduction that we are not as valuable. Or we may feel as though without the details that we can’t control what is going on and that can be a very scary place for a leader. It is a natural tendency to want to rush back into the details where it feels safe. As good as that feels initially, for a leader, that spells disaster.

As a leader do you ever feel like it is a struggle to get people to ‘get things done’? Do you ever feel a need dig into the details in order to feel comfortable and confident about a project? Have you ever lead a meeting where everyone either starred at you blank faced or were increasingly argumentative? If you find yourself in one of these situations then please, contact me, and let’s chat about how we can work together to build your self-identity as a leader and support you to

connect to your power,


Last modified: January 20, 2020

105 Responses to :
The Elephant in the Room

  1. Like!! Thank you for publishing this awesome article.

  2. I always spent my half an hour to read this web site’s articles or reviews daily along with a mug of coffee.

  3. RebeccaFef says:

    You are my heart: http://clickfrm.com/yG5A

  4. SMS says:

    Your site is very helpful. Many thanks for sharing!

  5. RebeccaFef says:

    You are my heart: http://clickfrm.com/yY5k

  6. Briandix says:

    can my dog take my cbd oil blosson cbd oil for dogs can i give more than than dosage cbd joint suppliment for dogs

  7. Briandix says:

    can you buy viagra over the internet buy viagra canadian pharmacy buy viagra online no prescription

  8. Briandix says:

    info on cbd dog treats how often should i give my dog cbd oil best cbd for dogs in pain

  9. Briandix says:

    buy viagra on ebay best site to buy viagra forum buy viagra on ebay

  10. Briandix says:

    cbd for dogs bad reaction cbd oil for dogs with addison’s cbd oil for dogs in sacramento

  11. Briandix says:

    benefits of cbd oil with thc benefits of cbd oil for cats benefits of cbd oil website to health

  12. Briandix says:

    10mg hemp cbd capsules cbd oil capsules in reno nv cbd isolate vs capsules

  13. Briandix says:

    benefits of cbd mdrcola benefits of cbd oil for acne scars cbd oil benefits for parkinson’s

  14. Briandix says:

    is it legal to buy cbd oil online in australia cbd online shops buy cbd oil online review

  15. Briandix says:

    cbd better than thc health benefits hemp cbd benefits pain relief what are the benefits od cbd oil

  16. Briandix says:

    cbd edibles review purchase lifestream cbd gummies best cbd and hemp gummies

  17. Briandix says:

    helpful resources super fast reply try these out

  18. Briandix says:

    More Info try this web-site hop over to this website

  19. Briandix says:

    she said recommended site you can look here

  20. Briandix says:

    click this site a fantastic read official website

  21. Briandix says:

    navigate to this site consultant visit the site

  22. Briandix says:

    browse this site site link click here

  23. Briandix says:

    learn this here now watch this video look at this

  24. Briandix says:

    investigate this site helpful site hop over to this site

  25. Briandix says:

    official site click this hop over to these guys

  26. Briandix says:

    here are the findings useful site my website

  27. Briandix says:

    additional resources navigate here try this

  28. Briandix says:

    browse around these guys Learn More more tips here

  29. Briandix says:

    site YOURURL.com this contact form

  30. Briandix says:

    find out here more info here site here

  31. Briandix says:

    the article on front page

  32. Briandix says:

    updated blog post her latest blog article source

  33. Briandix says:

    check that resource are speaking

  34. Briandix says:

    cbd benefits for bipolar benefits of cbd scientific studies talks on benefits cbd

  35. Briandix says:

    click this link here now review advice

  36. Briandix says:

    high cbd benefits cbd vape oil benefits cbd oild benefits

  37. Briandix says:

    find more information read more visit this site

  38. Briandix says:

    why not find out more bonuses other

  39. Briandix says:

    find out more linked here my latest blog post

  40. Briandix says:

    visit site visit this website click here for info

  41. Briandix says:

    cbd oil benefits for type 1 cbd benefits statistics cbd oil tincture benefits

  42. Briandix says:

    Source linked here go right here

  43. Briandix says:

    original site visite site click here now

  44. Briandix says:

    from this source weblink this post

  45. Briandix says:

    this content helpful hints try here

  46. Briandix says:

    visit the website click over here Get the facts

  47. Briandix says:

    click here to find out more helpful hints find more info

  48. Briandix says:

    what do you think image source websites

  49. Briandix says:

    more recommended reading you can find out more

  50. Briandix says:

    cbd benefits pamf cbd oil benefits list facts what are health benefits of cbd full spectrum

  51. Briandix says:

    describes it go right here click for source

  52. Briandix says:

    important source home read the article

  53. Briandix says:

    indica plus cbd gummies in tin cbd liquid gold gummies reviews cbd gummies for pain near me

  54. Briandix says:

    hop over to here linked here Read Full Article

  55. Briandix says:

    click this over here now page page

  56. Briandix says:

    have a peek at this site go to the website visit this site

  57. Briandix says:

    Visit Your URL check out your url have a peek here

  58. Briandix says:

    pop over to these guys his comment is here on Yahoo

  59. Briandix says:

    great site Full Report visit homepage

  60. Fantastic article post.Really looking forward to read more. Fantastic.

  61. Briandix says:

    view it now next see here

  62. Briandix says:

    his explanation read this post here his explanation

  63. Briandix says:

    resource index try these out

  64. Briandix says:

    helpful hints have a peek at these guys look at more info

  65. Briandix says:

    check my site he said click to find out more

  66. Briandix says:

    lowest price on front page check this

  67. Briandix says:

    That Site prev click now

  68. Briandix says:

    check this here see this

  69. Briandix says:

    Learn More Here website here

  70. Briandix says:

    about his great site click reference

  71. Briandix says:

    recommended reading page check my reference

  72. Briandix says:

    hop over to this website Get the facts article source

  73. Briandix says:

    recommended you read image source via

  74. Briandix says:

    websites site web this article

  75. Briandix says:

    look at here via click this link here now

  76. Briandix says:

    i was reading this blog link Full Article

  77. Briandix says:

    you can look here had me going Visit Your URL

  78. Briandix says:

    she said read wikipedia reference

  79. Briandix says:

    click here to investigate visit here learn more here

  80. Briandix says:

    try these out find more info have a peek at these guys

  81. Briandix says:

    have a peek here see Homepage

  82. Briandix says:

    try this web-site browse around this site official website

  83. Briandix says:

    straight from the source original site try this website

  84. Briandix says:

    official statement go to website use this link

  85. Briandix says:

    more info website link hop over to here

  86. Briandix says:

    check Web Site hop over to this website

  87. Briandix says:

    great site this hyperlink look what i found

  88. Briandix says:

    have a peek at this web-site see this see here now

  89. Briandix says:

    click now More Info useful source

  90. Briandix says:

    this page Website have a peek at this web-site

  91. Briandix says:

    what Google did to me this article read here

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial