Facing Reality – Pushing Forward When “the Boss” Won’t Help

Posted on April 25, 2012

In some project environments, organizational leaders get bogged down because they expect their managers, sponsors or other key stakeholders to take some action and it doesn’t come to fruition. As a result, initiatives that would otherwise succeed come to a screeching halt.

Resilient leaders who engage in Intelligent Disobedience understand that what will push any initiative forward is substantial purpose. Short of moving forward without knowledge of a significant stakeholder’s requirements, the smart leader will face the reality of an unresponsive executive – whether it is due to time pressures, knowledge gaps or priorities – and proceed anyway. An initiative that has a genuine and meaningful purpose for the organization will find its way to completion, if the leadership team takes initiative, making decisions themselves and communicating them, and seeks out other supporters for their wisdom, experience and judgment.

The most successful people in life do not wait for others, nor do they hang their happiness on the actions or reactions of others. Intelligently disobedient leaders embrace the same mantra; they are willing to take risks and move forward, as long as the purpose for an initiative is sound, pragmatic and reasonable.

  • Are you waiting for someone to make a decision when you feel confident you can make the decision and you know what you would do?
  • Do you have the capability to provide valid, sponsorship level input to the organization, but are holding off and waiting for the “actual sponsor” to do so, and waiting is delaying your initiative?
  • Can you confidently represent the business and articulate risks, but are waiting for approval from others?

If any of the above is true, are you unduly delaying your initiative? Could you not document your decision with the direction you are taking, and ask for counter direction if it is desired for you to proceed differently? You may want to consider this – the purpose of your initiative may depend on it!

Intelligent Disobedience Leadership provides workshops, coaching and consulting with a focus on courageous leadership through intelligent disobedience. We can help you and your teams design a community of practice which leverages constructive “intelligent disobedience.” For further information, email us at info@intelligentdisobedience.com.