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Take a Punch, Roll Out Motivation

By Darryl Stewart, Head of the Herd

I sat in the back of the room in Harrison Hot Springs last Friday at the BCCEO Network meeting as Doug Woollard, Interim CEO of Community Living BC, tried to dance around the fact that services to families and individuals were going to have to be cut at most every BC agency providing support to people with intellectual disabilities.  He refused to admit this was the case even though some simple math shows it obviously is.  He also made a poor showing and in the end hurried out of the room, refusing the gift for coming and uttering the words “keep it; you are going to need the money.”

For the dozens of Executive Directors and CEO’s in the room there was little solace in the fact that they had won a small moral battle with a powerful bureaucrat.  The reality they are all facing is that the government has decreed they must continue to deliver all services at the same level with reduced funding and they all must “find administrative efficiencies” in order to make this happen.

Guy throwing a punch
Photo by Irwin-Scott on Flickr

How do you continue to lead when something this negative is hanging over your head?  How should each of these CEO’s and ED’s face the week ahead?  Every good manager/leader knows that the way they treat people, the attitude they take to each situation, will set the tone for those they work with.

One proven strategy for engaging employees (and ourselves as leaders and managers) is to focus on a common enemy.  Perhaps Doug Woollard gave a gift to the leaders of BC Agencies with his pompous, closed-minded performance last week.  As I read between the lines of Doug’s words I heard the message that community based agencies are inefficient.  That “big brother” knows better and everybody better get in line.  What a motivational gift.  What an opportunity to focus energy and action to prove him wrong.

BC agency manager to team, “Let’s win the public relations battle with CLBC and let’s make sure we are running an efficient ship and prove him wrong!”

Any manager anywhere to team, “Let’s do things well and do things right while the other side sits around thinking they know everything, let’s prove them wrong!”