Smeagol, in the Lord of The Rings trilogy, used to be normal, until he ‘succumbed to the ring.’ It’s an extreme example, but in many similar ways, we in corporate America also ‘succumb’ to our own version of ‘the ring.’ I call it the ‘Smeagol Syndrome.’
What are examples of the ‘Smeagol Syndrome?’ Here are a few:
- My priority is more important than your priority
- My role and contribution is most important
- ‘I know best’ so I should be the owner and not you.
- My department is more important than your department.
- My people are more important than your people
- …And the list goes on and on.
In principle, all employees recognize they operate under one company umbrella. Ideally, we should strive to do everything possible to be as collaborative and inter-dependent upon one another. As we all know however, it is much easier said than done.
In some cases, it feels like a scene from ‘West Side Story’ the ‘Jets are vs the Sharks!’ To prevent such a scenario, we have a responsibility to champion a sense of ‘One, unified’ Voice throughout an organization.
Here are 3 practical ways that can fundamentally transform organizations from an ‘all about me’ to an ‘all about we,’ culture:
I want to be clear with my following recommendations. ‘Practical’ does not mean ‘easy!’ If it were easy, all organizations would be much healthier than they are today around the unification front. Until we are ‘there,’ we should NOT settle for ‘good enough.’
To be clear, the following strategies require ‘buy-in’ from the highest levels to be most effective. Worse case however, applying these strategies directly to where you have influence can make all the difference in the world for your team.
- As realistic as possible, integrate the Company Strategy throughout your organization, from CEO and all the way throughout the ranks.
Everyone wants to feel like what they do make a difference. Companies that effectively inter-weave it’s strategies into the development plans of their people create workforces that feel
It’s simple, people who have clear line of site into how they are contributing to the company’s success are happier, period. On the same token, teams that clearly know what they ‘bring to the table’ versus another team, foster collaboration and inter-dependencies.
- Have both Individual and Team Performance Recognition efforts in place.
Recognizing individuals for excellent performance is important for sure. On the same token however, just as much emphasis should be placed on recognizing entire teams that exhibit stellar performance.
Though Team ‘recognition efforts’ are very prevalent in sports, it’s not that common in Corporate America.
- Get the ‘all about me’ individuals to join the ‘all about we’ effort or get them ‘off your bus!’
Wow, this strategy sounds pretty cold for sure. But the most healthy teams are truly ones where everyone has a healthy balance of ‘give and take.’ Long term team members who persist in the ‘smeagol syndrome’ (All about me) will eventually bring down the whole team. Do what you can to help them come ‘to the light’ and join the team efforts and if there are no signs of improvement, it’s probably time to get them off of your bus.
I’d Love to Help You, Really
Privately send me your challenges, questions and comments at firstname.lastname@example.org. I can’t guarantee I’ll have all the answers, but I will be candid, truthful and genuine at all times with you. All of us deserve to be inspired and joyful in our lives. We simply need to work towards it.
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