I shared the following tweet, looking for thoughts on “getting everybody on board” or building consensus:
Anyone have a good article on not necessarily having 100% buy-in from staff but consensus?
— George Couros (@gcouros) October 23, 2017
I recall being a new teacher, attending one of my first faculty meetings, when we were informed that a budget surplus meant that each teacher in the district would get a $1,000 raise, effective immediately. I was elated!
It didn’t take long, though, for reality to set in. As the meeting ended, I heard veteran teachers complaining about how unfair the $1,000 per person raise was because it meant a smaller percentage increase for someone at the top of the scale than it did for a new teacher.
“What’s going on,” I wondered, “when people are unhappy about getting an extra thousand dollars?”
That experience taught me an important lesson about leadership: No solution, not even an extra thousand bucks, will please everyone. If everyone is happy with you, chances are you’re not doing your job well.
Wow…that story opened my eyes.
A few reminders from this story about leadership and anyone trying to help people deal with change:
- Even when you are trying to do something good, people will find flaws.
- When others see that you are trying to do something good, people will especially look for flaws.
- A consensus is hard to build and no matter what decisions you make. Not everyone will be on board. If your focus is on the people you serve, then you will be okay.
This is not about being open to criticism. I think when we challenge the ideas of others in the pursuit of finding a better way, this is essential to the growth of our organizations and individuals. I recently saw a quote (I can not find the source but just know it is not mine), and it said something along the lines of, “When we look to have a discussion, we are in the pursuit of better ideas, but when we look to argue, we are looking for a winner and loser.”
One last reminder…you can’t change people. You can only create conditions where change is more like to happen. Let your light shine bright and stay focused on those who you serve and why you do what you do.