Have you ever stuck your neck out and get no support? Did the trust among that team start to break down? I've seen it happen first hand and Geoff Crane wrote an awesome post over at Papercut Edge about it. He called it the too-common cycle of apathy. The post hit a nerve with me. At my previous engagement, the Engineering Department was used to being railroaded by management. Promises were always made on their behalf and they found themselves working long hours and weekends. If they didn't make the goals, those who made the promises would never take ownership. If goals were miraculously accomplished, the same person(s) would jump into the spotlight. After I was brought on board, I didn't have a problem looking a Director or CIO right in the eye and telling them I disagreed with them. Sometimes they backed down and sometimes they didn't. But everyone at that company knew I was honest and would speak up if I didn't agree with something. Everyone knew I was looking out for my people, my department, and my company. I believe positive change rolls up hill, just as sh*t rolls down. Though I'm no longer with that team, I have no regrets for backing them up and providing support when they needed it most. Those who bullied so many are no longer there either. Though there was an attempt to silence my voice by decapitating my team, others in the organization saw through the ruse.
I think sticking your neck out is worth the risk. If I think you're right, I'll support you. By doing that, I build trust with my teams. With trust, my teams will do anything for me. With that, anything is possible. What can I say, everyone is happy but the party you had to confront in the first place. Yep, it's certainly worth it.
Thank you Geoff for getting me fired up. Now go check out his site!