Action! Or The Lack Of It!

Lead, Leadership, Matthew Brandt, Keynote, training, Accountability Cop, AccountabilityAction! Or a lack of it!

By Matthew G. Brandt

Action or a lack of it! As organizational leaders or even line level employees, we hire into a job, any job….to do….something. Accountants hire in to keep track of the financial picture; Lawyers hire in to keep the organization out of legal trouble, factory line workers build, assemble something  Mid-level supervisors and even Team-Leads hire in to lead, to help their subordinates complete their jobs… and so on. We all hire in to do a job. In the end, is it about action or a lack of it!

To do something, means you actually have to be actionable. Be it working on a computer all day, planting flowers as a landscaper, carpenters swinging hammers to build a house….work means action of some form. Is it action or a lack of it!


So when we promote up to that first level of supervision; Foreman, Office Manager, Team-Lead, Head Widget Maker…. When our actions are measured more in the performance of those below us than it is in swinging the hammer or building the widget, why do so many new supervisors fail at the junction in their careers?

We’ve discussed in other articles about the authority in our jobs and why that piece is so critical to being a successful employee, supervisors or leader. If you haven’t read that, stop and do so now, it’s critical to know what actions are needed in your job description.

Action is really the backbone of the Three A’s triangle….Authority, Action, Accountability. The action piece is one of the key areas people fail at when promoted to their first supervisory position. We don’t teach our new supervisors very well all their newly granted authority and as such the actions we hold them accountable for. Before they were a great Carpenter, now as the Foreman they have to be able to hire the best crew, train them, manage their time, rate their performance, maybe counsel and even terminate them. A lot of organizations simply believe a good Carpenter will be a good or better Foreman or whatever the position you have promoted up to. Its about action, not the lack of it!

Learning To Lead

Not true! Not true at all! Supervisors, especially newer ones, need to be taught that they must take action early and often with their new team. It’s an entirely new set of skills that unless taught, we can’t expect them to absorb just because we call them by a new title today. Supervisors often fail to learn how critical and important their actions at work are. Then they promote up to mid-level managers and CEOs someday, without ever knowing or understand the actions needed at the first-line.

Sometimes action means confronting poor performers. Sometimes it means the necessary paperwork required to document either outstanding performance. And failing performance, and then having the ability to deliver that news to the employee (all action items.) Failing to act, as a supervisor means failing to do the basic required duties. Just as if the Carpenter might fail to nail a critical board to the framework, later causing a failure in the structure. Failing to take action at any supervisory level, may cause the same structure to fail. Action means doing….both positively and when improvement is needed.

Like what you are reading, join my professional network on Linkdin to read more!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *