Holiday leadership learnings – snaky friends

Further to my earlier blog on holiday learnings and hidden skills, this is about Pedro, the backbone of our garden corporation. Pedro is a small boy; or girl we don’t know. He –as we call him Pedro- is generally calm and acts very rarely in a hectic way. He moves slowly and mostly tries to hide away from others, never volunteers to hold a presentation on a specialist subject, seldom surprises us and rarely says a word. In conflict situations, he’ll generally just walks away and avoids a serious clash. He just wants to live life on life’s own terms. Only when you trap him he’ll turn poisonously dangerous.

100_5251Here he is.  Those of you who know me better may think that the cynical lobe in my brain has once again overtaken a positive mind-set. Well, that’s not the case and when you think deeply, you’ll admit that also you have met Pedro’s in corporate life. They are plenty. Those that keep so calm in meetings, that rarely challenge you on anything; those that seem to agree with everything that’s going on. Always fulfil their job with dignity and mostly deliver on time. They are very quiet and although they have few input, they let you bring your change programme. He lets me mow the grass; as soon as he hears the engine starting, he silently goes away hiding under some rocky stones.

The Pedro’s of the garden as well as those from corporate planet don’t dislike you. They also don’t love you though; they just tolerate you as long as you let them do what they belief is right for their environment. They realise that you –the leader- are stronger and very likely more powerful. And they respect you in that role; as long as there is a minimum level of mutual respect. They can live with you and you with them as you realise they are your backbones for your team’s delivery and your personal career success.

Until the day you hit them in their core beliefs; until the moment they feel trapped. Then, then they react more heavily than any of the corporate anarchists in your team. Then Pedro will react vigorously and poisonously.  He’ll have a go at you and you’ll be cornered by him. When you touch his hart –or metaphorically his tail, then you have entered his zone of zero tolerance. In fact –knowingly or unknowingly- you have forced him to declare war. Your Pedro will explode in no different way than the Eyjafjallajökull; his venom will reach your heart with the speed of a space shuttle. Viper’s poison takes responsibility for a few hundred fatal casualties a year; venomous employees can kill hundreds of career prospects.

Do you know the Pedro-s in your team? Do you know your silent backbones and loyal deliverers? And more importantly, do you know their personal values and beliefs? Asking, listening and showing genuine interest is an excellent start.

And to all Pedro-s in the corporate world, apologies for having randomly chosen your name.

Picture credits: own picture
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