So apparently tomorrow we get a new leader. I’m like you. I’m in the dark, here! (in best Al Pacino 'Scent of a Woman' voice). But I’m looking forward to the announcement. There is some excellent leadership at UKA; and I’m sure there have been succession plans in place for quite some time. So, hopefully, UKA can continue down the same trail it’s been blazing - and further establish itself as a truly world-class amateur sports organization (and trust me - there are fewer of these than you can imagine!).
Like all changes, there will be those who will not agree with the appointment tomorrow. And those who do not agree with the direction the organization will go. Challenged by change, they find comfort in the status quo. But status quo just means you are going backwards. As the rest of the world is moving forward. Faster than you can imagine.
There have been many challenges for the leadership of UKA over the last few years. There has been much in-fighting. Public arguments. Disagreements on organization direction. Accusations of favoritism. And even racism. But at the end of it all - we did OK. It’s been a pretty successful period for UKA. Marvelously capped off by a ‘super-Saturday’ that few will forget.
Tensions will continue to simmer. Disagreements will not disappear. I predict, in fact, that they will increase. At least in the short term. The path forward, though, will not change. Consistency is the key. Consistency in message. And consistency in action.
Today, in his excellent blog, Seth Godin writes about the ‘right path’ - ‘are we on the same team?’.
“Most of time, all we talk about is the path, without having the far more important but much more difficult conversation about agendas, goals and tone.
Is this a matter of respect? Power? Do you come out ahead if I fail? Has someone undercut you? Do we both want the same thing to happen here?”
A common issue within organizations is respect. And often a lack of it. Workers often feel disrespected. While bosses may feel they don’t get enough of it.
“If you feel disrespected, the person you disagree with is not going to be a useful partner in figuring out what the right path going forward might be.
Deal with the agenda items and the dignity problems first before you try to work out the right strategic choices.”