Greetings GovLoopers (GovLoopies?):
In an effort to get the conversations flowing about leadership strategies that work, at work, from time to time we’ll post a ‘hypothetical’ leadership challenge here on this discussion board. Our goal is to ask what would you do as Government Leaders in a given situation.
As with all things leadership, this is an art – not a science, and there is no one right way to answer the question. Our goal is to get people talking, and considering these thorny issues from more than one perspective; maybe even to learn a leadership tactic or two.
Others should feel free to post their own “hypothetical” situations as well – I’m sure you all have amazing experiences where you can change the names to protect the innocent 🙂 I can’t wait to see what everyone comes up with!
Here is our first GovLoop Leader Challenge:
Ann is a supervisor of a team of 8 employees. Ann is a lucky manager – the majority of her employees are bright, enthusiastic and innovative thinkers, and all are very good workers who get their jobs done on time, and very professionally. Her team is mostly made up of Millennials that have less than 5 years of government experience, but there are a few individuals who are in the Baby Boomer generation and have worked in public service for over 20 years. Ann’s team has a great reputation throughout the agency, and Ann has a great reputation for building productive teams.
Ann is a good manager – she is committed to providing her people with career development opportunities. To that end, a few months ago Ann tasked Jim, one of her ‘young shining stars’, to be a Team Leader for an important project that has strategic impact on the division’s work. Ann thought this assignment would help Jim prepare for what she thinks is his inevitable move into management. Jim is ecstatic about the opportunity; he has a lot of great ideas about this project and is excited about implementing them. He accepts the challenge head on.
The rest of the team is not as enthusiastic as Jim is about his “Team Lead” designation. Ann has noticed resistance and resentment to Jim’s efforts from the other team members. She has also noticed that Jim, who has always been a high-performer, is struggling with the leadership aspects of being a Team Lead: he tends to bulldoze his colleagues, or just does their portion of the work himself, to meet deadlines and show results. This has lead other team members to be lazy, knowing that Jim will pick up the slack; and in turn, Jim has become resentful that he is doing all of the work on this important division level project single-handedly.
Though the work is getting done, it seems that Ann’s carefully crafted team is about to self-destruct! What would you advise Ann to do in this situation?