We were in the middle of a very important, super complex project. The expectations and the pace were high. The room for failure and excuses was nonexistent. We were seeing delays, feeling stress and dealing with challenges due to data integrity issues and unclear lines of communication under a deadline that couldn’t be negotiated. (Sound familiar?)
In this environment, one employee continued to thrive. In this messy, complex, traction-less environment, she was a source of clarity. She helped the team articulate its decisions. She seemed to understand which topics needed to be dealt with and would raise issues quickly. She built relationships rapidly. She was trusted, a strong communicator uncompromising when it came to sharing truth with leadership. She maintained a sense of humor which was counted on to keep the team’s energy up as the project wore on and people began to fatigue. Her presence was noticed as leaders began referring to her as the “invisible glue” of the project.
Creating clarity, assessing impact and coaching others through difficult circumstances, these are the skills she leaned on to help the team. These are the invisible skills on which all those trusted to lead change rely. It’s not about a perfect model, an elaborate tool/spreadsheet, or the perfect presentation template. Great change people are a force for clarity, meaning, and compassionate action.
Does your team need more invisible glue? Start by looking for where this work is happening on your team. Retain the glue you have. Who possesses these skills? What are you doing to recognize and reward those who are getting this stuff done? It’s tremendously valuable and just because you can’t count it, doesn’t mean it doesn’t count. You can also build these skills. We can help.