GET THEM WHAT THEY NEED – Imagine you are on the "Impossible Missions Force" from the classic TV show MISSION:IMPOSSIBLE. Jim Phelps, your team leader, arrives to brief you on the mission.
“Okay, this will be a tough mission but I am sure you’ll pull it off. The first thing you need to know is that each of you needs to be in Munich in the morning. Now, if you’ll recall, we’re over budget at the moment so I had to cut out all of the travel funds to keep us in the black… so you won’t be able to buy any plane tickets…but you still need to be in Munich in the morning.
When you get there, you’ll need to show a expertly-made fake IDs with your secret alias names on them at the border. They had better be perfect or the Immigrations Officer will have you arrested. Now, I know I cut out a Documents Expert from the staffing budget for this year but I am going to try and plan for one next year…but you still need your new IDs for this trip.
Oh, one final thing… when you get there, the most crucial part of the mission is to precisely measure the distance to the target within less than 12 inches from over 2 miles away. This is absolutely critical...that's why we always use our laser range finder. Oh, but if you’ll remember, it broke a few weeks ago and the repairs were going to be over $800! We’re a little short of funds until we get more in a few months so I haven’t been able to get the range finder repaired. But you guys have been doing really good estimating (guesstimating?) your ranges lately so I am confident you’ll do find this time, too. Now get out there and have a great mission!”
How many of you would think that you were being set up for failure? You would be absolutely right!
If you fail to get your people what they need at your utility, you are setting them up for failure…and your team knows it. How do you think that affects morale?
“Getting them what they need” might mean a tool…but it could just as easily mean training…or enough people to do a job right…or it could mean support from upper management when a tough but right decision needs to be made like laying off a bad worker who might be related to someone high up in the company. Your people deserve the tools to do their job right. The only thing left to be decided is whether you will provide them…or set your people up for failure.
ACTION: Get your people what they need to be successful. It is the only way for them to attack the mission with the confidence it takes to win.