The whole and its parts

The whole & its parts

Losing track

In the beginning, it was only a small problem.

Georges searched for ways to solve the resistance he noticed with Fred, one of the team members. It was Georges’s team and he was proud of their achievements. Fred was sharing his time between teams. He was engaged and committed to contributing to the joint efforts. And yet he rarely met any of the deadlines. Fred was concentrating on the work he perceived as most important while splitting his time between tasks.

As the year moved on, Georges became more and more occupied with the situation. The tension with Fred was growing. Georges tried to contain the situation, sought feedback, and reached out for help.

In the beginning, the help he was asking for made a lot of sense. Along the year it became repetitive. It seemed that the only thing changing was Georges’ growing concern. It had a direct impact on the time he invested in the given situation.

Georges had assumed that by solving the problem he was seeing he could solve the situation. He had perceived it in Fred’s behavior and tried to impact it. Even after many conversations, it didn’t work out.

But it had defined Georges’ strategy.

As the year progressed, the strategy remained in place. Every setback was met with a new tactic seeking to change Fred’s behavior. Georges was trying one thing after the other.

It was a steady slope.

George had been focusing on the problem he experienced with Fred’s behavior. He didn’t notice how every new tactic was moving him steadily down into the rabbit hole. It had shifted his focus away from his task to the problem he perceived.

Stepping back he realized, that his role wasn’t meant to change individual behavior. His task was to lead the team and help the team achieve its task.

Georges changed his strategy.


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