Sunil Jain

June 19, 2024

Most decepetive problems in leadership

Two of the hardest problems to solve in computers science are :  naming of an object/entity and cache validation. 
Two of the hardest problems to solve in management are communication and prioritization. These are the ones also given least attention by leaders, as they appear to be deceptively simple and already been dealt with. 

Pretty much all other management issue stems from these two or related to these.
What do I mean by communication?
When to communicate, using what, to whom, how much and how often. 
What do I mean by prioritization?
Having no clarity on what is important, and in what order. 
All that seems obvious and straight forward. Isn't it?
Biggest headaches in management, like low productivity, morale, engagement, leader credibility, delivery issues, can all find their genesis in above two. 
Team members working on too many initiatives without clarity on which ones are important leads to the following issues(but not limited to these):

  1. Lack of focus and bandwidth issues leading to delivery issues, both in terms of quality and timeliness
  2. Leadership credibility issues: priority keeps changing, without follow thru on doing what we say we are going do results in lack in faith in leadership
  3. Too many unproductive and unorganized meetings and with large number of participants – since there is no clarity on which ones are important and who should be in there, better to be in all. Or none.
  4. Too many email and chat messages to everyone – since everyone is in all the conversations due to lack of clarity on the important and relevant ones. After sometime, these are simply ignored, as volume is too much to deal with, without clarity on which ones are important and ones that are not.

If there are consistent communication guidelines in place on how to communicate using what, to whom, how much and how often. It can limit the damage done by lack of clarity on priority. Ultimately though that in itself will not be enough. Everything will unravel if clear priority order is not established both in terms of initiatives and processes.
Lack of clear communication guidelines though will make everything twice difficult. 

You will have team members spending more and more time in unproductive meetings. Instead of well organized, prepped ahead meeting where every participant is fully engaged in the meeting, you will have multiple meetings on the same topic with little progress each time. Chat blowing up like crazy, everything appears to becomes ASAP and email will become almost useless. Ultimately delivery timelines and quality will suffer, even though team members worked more hours. Producing less, spinning more.