Getting up to Speed

I bought a new car last year. It has been fun feeling the car respond, listening to the silent purr of a new engine. Give me an open road and I’m tempted to see how quickly I could get from 0 to 80mph. OK, I live in Portland, so that is unrealistic, but I do feel the urge to see what my car is capable of.

Isn’t that a little like taking on new staff and seeing how quickly you can get them up to speed in their new jobs? In the old days you had to ‘run a car in’ at slower speeds and gradually get the engine loosened up for performance.

Sometimes we need a jolt of some kind to let our staff perform in their new roles.

It is typically the leader’s complacency and excuses that get in the way of letting team members take responsibility and flourish early in the game. I have a client who struggles with this, feeling uncertain that his staff are ready to stand on their own.

Are you like that?

Have a look around your department. Do you have people in new positions and some who have been there a while and still have not taken over their “new” roles? If so, you need to ask some questions:

Are you clear about the outcomes they need to achieve?

Are you holding the process up so you stay stay in your comfort zone?

Who is doing the extra work as a result of not handing all the duties over fully?

What message are you giving your staff about trust?

Are you modelling the behavior of a change agent or a stick-in-the-mud?

What small change can you make today to get the process moving?

Do you want to continue driving the old model? Or are you ready to do some real driving?

If you are ready to get up to speed, announce your decision and enlist someone to hold you accountable.

I am a master at helping senior leaders get unstuck! Email me today at

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