In response to the post, “The Harris County Incubator,” a reader writes:

“I am with ya on that one. Old-timers work as a true team always. Old-timers know the meaning of doesn’t matter if you like who is on your team they are still apart of the team and will be treated as such. Old-timers…yep they know what it takes to make any part of the job work. They don’t blame, they simply take up the slack and get it done. They don’t try to find fault they simply figure out how to get it done and it gets turned in on time. They figure out how to get it done without the finger pointing (not a team like behavior) and they get things done. Old-timers know that a team is human and therefore will mess-up. But you have to be there to help your team members when they mess up and fill in the holes they made so the team doesn’t go down but remains a whole team. Old-timers, we should all learn from them and their ethics of teamwork.”

SC Response
I have to admit, I can’t tell if you are trying to be funny or sarcastic. I’m going to take the high road and assume that you were attempting to make your point through humor.

There is no doubt that the old timers I was writing about focused on building great teams, but there was no question that THEY ran the team. And as a member of their team, you had responsibilities and you were expected to produce.

As for the credit or blame, there was little pressure because it was understood if something worked, they got the credit and if it didn’t work, they got the blame. And you are right, finger pointing was kept at a minimum, but the autopsies of failure were expected and brutally honest. Also, if you couldn’t produce, as with any team, being cut was a real possibility. It still amazes me when I go into a district and one year contracts, six month reviews, and ownership of your objective results seem to be fictional concepts. This is why I constantly remind leaders that the system produces what the system expects.

Paige, Brezina, Schaper and Neeley didn’t give a squat about my morale or self-esteem. But they did care about my continuous growth as a leader and the continuous, objective improvement of the performance of my teams. That focus continues to serve me well.

Think. Work. Achieve.

Your turn…


Budget Flexibility

When it comes to managing a budget, consider the lesson taught to me by three exceptional school leaders, Richard Hooker,…