Yes, we are talking about the class of people that excelled in their
youth sports teams, school, extra curricular activities, and in early
business life. These are the people that have always been successful
and incredibly productive. However, today they are overwhelmed with
non-productive work and distractions that keep them from doing what they
do best – the things that bring great results to the organization.
First in Commands should have the Freedom To Grow. What is keeping
them from this potential growth? Fear of implementing new ideas because
the company is frustrated with change is one area. How about Internal
problems with personnel and structure? Poor performance in the company
could be keeping them up at night. Oh, and repeated mistakes that cost
the company money is always a good distraction.
The distractions of business keep the FIC from being able to reach
his or her potential. The frustrations and struggles make the FIC focus
internally and they are hindered in their ability to meet their
The Second in Command is similar but it is usually the FIC that
causes the problems. A non-productive and “noise heavy” FIC will look
over the shoulder of the SIC. They will get in the middle of
productivity in the organization because they have a compelling need to
know what is going on. They will walk around the office and distract
people with questions and issues. The SIC will spend the majority of
their time following the FIC to clean up the mess. I have worked with
SIC’s that will tell you that they spend at least half of their time
following up, and dealing with issues caused by the FIC.
Now don’t get me wrong. This is NOT a FIC problem. It may seem that
way on the surface. This is a SIC problem that is masking itself as
the FIC being a bad person. The reality is found in how the SIC manages
the relationship with the FIC. FICs are compelled to do things because
they don’t know what is going on or they are not getting their “up at
night” items managed. When they feel like something is out of control,
they are compelled to check. It is the SICs responsibility to make the
FIC feel safe enough to get back to doing what they do best.
When a SIC does what they should in keeping that FIC safe (and
eliminates the noise), the SIC will have the freedom to ACT and perform
in the organization.
Many SICs tell me, “My FIC needs to just trust me and let me do my
job.” Well, the reality is that the SIC needs to upwardly communicate
and manage the business, and the FIC, in a way that keeps the FIC from
being anywhere near their job.
- FIC is focused and spending 80% of their time doing what they do
best. They are working in their unique abilities and talents and are
bringing great results to the company.
- SIC is aware of all the FIC’s issues and concerns. She is managing
the FICs perception of the business and communicating all the issues
proactively. She now has hours of time to get focused on the things
that need to be managed.
This is a productive leadership team. What a great example to the
rest of the organization. This is the example we need in the work force
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