The squeaky wheel get’s the grease. You have probably heard that saying hundreds of times from a hundred different people. It’s true that the loudest problems in your organization will probably get your attention but what if the loudest problem is really just a distraction from what matters most?
I see many leaders who spend most of their time running from squeaky wheel to squeaky wheel. They mean well. They are trying to address problems in the organization. They really want things to improve but the truth is that the squeaky wheels seem to consume these leaders.
The truth is that squeaky wheels sometimes consume me and I find myself believing that if I can solve that one issue all will be well in the universe. What I am learning is that the “volume” of a problem does not determine the significance of the problem for the team I lead. Sometimes problems are just loud and annoying and need to be properly framed and placed in the proper priority for the organization.
Here are a few things I am learning about squeaky wheels…
Squeaky wheels reveal an issue but you determine the priority.
Squeaky wheels may be loud but you determine if it is really a problem to solve or a tension to manage.
Squeaky wheels sometimes just need to be reminded of the vision and mission of the organization.
Squeaky wheels do not determine if your organization is effective because every organization faces problems.
Squeaky wheels do not control your calendar, you do! Give it time if it really matters!
Squeaky wheels can’t just be ignored because they just get louder over time.
Don’t allow squeaky wheels to intimidate you. This week put them in proper perspective, confront them, and realize there will be another one next week!
Dealing with challenging people can be, well, challenging! Sometimes squeaky wheels need to be greased or released!