Before you climb a mountain, you want to do some exercises first.
Obvious advice for any would-be alpinist, but the same applies to anyone working in a dysfunctional organization.
The problems facing the organization may seem as impossible to solve as it would be for a out-of-shape couch potato to climb Mount Everest. And when that feeling sets in, change seems impossible and so people disengage.
Just the opposite may be necessary. You need to decide how you will respond to the challenge.
- Tolerate. Not every problem requires your personal involvement. You only become involved when the situation demands an intervention from you. To do otherwise what we call meddling.
- Leave. Intolerable situations demand irrevocable decisions. If the problem is so great — and truly beyond your control — you may have to exit the situation. No shame in leaving an organization that you cannot change and, as a result, is making you unhappy.
- Act. This is the choice for leaders. Seldom if ever can a leader say, “not my problem.” She must confront the problem and deal with it realistically. She must find ways to mobilize others to take action to find solutions. Leadership requires active intervention.
The bottom line is that none of us can control events. We may be able to influence outcomes, but not determine them. What we can control is how we react to such events.