“You do a lot more good as the leader of a pack than you do as a lone wolf.” These words were spoken by Dr. Jason Bull on one of the last shows of this series, Bull. I have been catching up on Bull episodes while helping a friend recover from surgery. Unfortunately, Bull ended with the last season, which I regret, since I love the show. I missed most of the last season, so I am playing catch up.
What does this quote mean? What is the difference between the leader of a pack and a lone wolf? Well, hopefully, you know, and hopefully you find yourself as the leader of a pack and not a lone wolf. When Bull made this statement, he had been operating as a lone wolf, making unilateral decisions that affected others without getting their involvement or buy-in. Sure, he could do that, for he was the BOSS, the owner of the firm. But in doing so he ran off his star staff person, who was as important to the firm and its work, if not more so, than Bull. Some of you know what I mean, for you have worked with (“with” is a better word than “for,” although lone wolfs would think and would say, “worked for me.”)
In case you haven’t noticed, staff have had the upper hand since COVID. There are staff shortages everywhere, and that is affecting how we live and what we are able to buy, get, and have. It behooves management to do everything they can to keep the staff they do have happy. I am hearing too many disgruntled people who are at the verge of quitting, and unnecessarily so. Not because of money, not even because of lack of opportunity, not even because they do not like the work. What they do not like, in fact, abhor, is the politics! What is “politics,” you might ask? Haven’t we always had politics at work? What is different now?
“Politics” includes not involving staff in decision making, such as changing rules and policies without involving them, or worse yet, without even letting them know until they get caught in the change! “Politics” is not letting the staff know how important they are to the business, and how much the company and management appreciate them, that they are the necessary component of the company being able to stay in business. There is so much more, but that may suffice for now.
If you are in management, take heed. Don’t be foolish and let another staff person walk out the door for something you have the control to change. Understand that they can do without you, but you cannot do without them.
If you are staff, give management and the company the opportunity to change what they need to change, before you take your toys elsewhere, thinking the grass will be greener elsewhere; it often isn’t. Don’t be impulsive. Show respect. The same is true for management.
Someone wise (attributed to President Theodore Roosevelt) once said, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”
Show how much you care.