After getting one of the most important contacts required to get the project moving, the project began to move at a faster rate. We, the guys who submitted poems, decided to move as fast as possible because we just taught that the vice-chancellor might retire at any moment so we simply had no time to waste.
While we were working on the project, I wanted to delegate without giving anybody a fixed position that will box that person into a corner. One of the things that a lot of people use as their excuses for laziness is the job specification that was laid out for them. They will not do any other thing simply because they have been told some specific things to do as holders of some offices. I wanted to avoid this. I really wanted to raise a versatile team and because I had not known them well enough I felt that the first thing to do was not to assign positions. I wanted to run the team for some time on varying delegation so as to be able to test the ability of the people in different capacities.
They wouldn’t let me go too far with this. One morning a few folks in the team of 7 key guys coordinating the project came to my house to discuss the issue of job specification through offices being assigned to each person. I would have been happy if the real intention of their hearts was about the responsibility but it was simply about the position and not the responsibility. I allowed myself to be pushed, a great mistake that so many other leaders make, so I called for a meeting. The purpose of the meeting was to conduct an election just as they had requested. I did not vote in the election so that they would not have the impression I was trying to sideline someone. It was a free and fair election and everyone on the team clearly saw who won and who did not win.
Immediately the elections were concluded I also made another important mistake. There was someone on the team who had given us a link that was vital to all that we were doing. This person didn’t have a pleasing personality to a few other people on the team. Even the ones he related with still had one or two things against him but I decided to keep him in the team by compensating him with a position so I created an office that we did not initially agree on. Though there were a few promptings to do what I did but the most important thing was that I was the leader of the team and all decisions concerning the team ended on my table. This decision cost me the entire team!
You will be amazed that keeping one person on the team can make the whole team ungovernable for you. Now when I teach in seminars and I have to talk about team building I always tell them that you should never bring on board the person you cannot fire! If you have one person you don’t want to fire as a result of sentiment, that person may rise to a level where the only alternative to firing that person is for the organization to die. I did not let go because I taught of what the person had done. I wanted to appreciate him for that contact he gave but in doing that the organization crept on until it died after the first project that brought us together.
…to be continued.