Five Whys for a Better Work Calendar Part 2 of 4

Five Whys for a Better Work Calendar

Part 2 in a series 4 blogs on improving your work quality of life.

Too many meetings? Ready to make a change? This excerpt from Reveille, book one of The Dominant Gene series may be just the motivation you need.  Main character Joel is being coached by Eve to look for value in his work calendar, and it’s making him very uncomfortable:

“So if I suddenly begin to cancel out of meetings, I can’t just say it’s a coaching assignment.”

“Why not?”

“Because WL doesn’t work that way. Our culture expects that I’m going to be overbooked.”

“Like an airline knowingly overbooking a flight.”

“Exactly. You know it’s not right, but you take your chances and usually end up on the upswing.”

“Do you…end up on the upswing?”

This was so exasperating. “No.”

“How is culture going to change if one leader in the company can’t?”

“You took the words right out of my mouth.”

Eve pauses, and I enjoy my rest.

“Let’s do a five whys exercise, Joel, so we can dismantle this. Why don’t you like this assignment?”

“It’s counter culture to being a director at WL.”

“Why do you think you can’t be the first one to change your calendar?”

“Because the company’s transformation doesn’t depend solely on me.”

“Why don’t you think you are a change leader?”

“I am, but more importantly, I need my job.”

“Why do you think you’ll get fired for doing your coaching assignment? Lora and Rick are the ones who sent you here, remember?”

“Because they say one thing and do another. She will say it’s safe to change, but I know the reality of her demands. And Rick, he’s down in the weeds with us, in those one-on-ones. They say they want agile, but I don’t want to be the one who’s fired, demoted or ostracized because they found out they really don’t want to be agile.”

“Why do you think they don’t trust the coaching process?”

“Past performance is the best indicator of future outcomes.”

Eve pauses again. I enjoy yet another rest. I feel like I wrestled her five whys technique to the ground. Victory over lean! Until she speaks.

“Thank you, Joel. We dismantled that one quickly. It goes back to trust, doesn’t it?”

Boom. “Yes ma’am.”


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