While preparing for a speech, I recalled this saying a client once shared with me: “When the water level lowers, the rocks get exposed.”
This refers to how leaders often don’t see the problems in their organization when times are good. Only when times are difficult (water level lowers) do the underlying problems (the rocks) show up.
Don’t wait for the water level to become low before knowing where the rocks lie on your team or in your organization. Eliminate them now to avoid hitting bigger “rocks” in the future.
Here are only a few examples of rocks lying beneath the surface:
- The underperformer you don’t notice.
- The product or service you provide whose true price costs you dearly and you don’t know it.
- The longtime customers you’re about to lose because not enough attention is paid to them.
- The antiquated technology employees are telling you about, but you’re not listening.
- The manager on your team who is generating poor morale, but you don’t see it.
- The emerging leaders who are searching for another job because no one is showing them the future in your organization.
It’s a challenge to find the rocks beneath a high-water level, but if you take the time to think about possible obstacles, ask great questions to identify them, and watch for red flags, you’ll see them clearly.
Here’s to clear sailing throughout the year.