At this time of year, many traditions and celebrations are observed. They range from secular to religious, from individual to group. Many are sacred to people and need to be respected even if not completely understood. For example: I wouldn’t be at all surprised to find that this message was read on a smart phone by someone in a deer stand, waiting for the elusive “30 Point Buck.” As the year comes to a close various religious holidays are celebrated that bring families and friends together in ways that can be both celebratory and sources of great stress. For a leader to ignore the disruptive potential of these activities can be both naive and insensitive.
At the same time as there are many opportunities for people to be focused on their personal and family traditions, year-end is often at time when things must get done. In the workplace, year-end production targets are often tied to various performance measures. In organizational and family life year-end includes all sorts of activities that are both important and distracting: preparation of food and clothing packages for those less fortunate; rehearsals for religious and civic celebrations; coordinating family travel; etc.
The leader is charged with both ensuring goals are achieved and that people are respected. This can be a fine line to walk. The challenge is all the more complicated by the great diversity of organizational constructs, family constructs, personal and cultural traditions. While I have my own traditions and experiences to guide me, I recognize my personal history is only a small slice of the world.
We’ll be exploring this topic further on Thursday, November 19 at the Mad Rooster Cafe .