I can’t stand skim milk! To me, it tastes like water and I don’t like it. It’s weak to me. Whole milk is placed into a centrifugal separator where fat is extracted (basically everything good about it) to produce what I think looks and tastes a lot like cloudy water! There is a force in business that can act a lot like the machine used to produce skim milk and it’s called indecision. Indecision dilutes your effectiveness as a manager or executive and leaves your team with a bad tasting experience. This is skim milk leadership.
I know the negative side effects indecision can bring to a team because I operated as a skim milk leader for years. You can read more about that here. Sometimes I would delay an answer to buy myself time in hopes they’d come to a solution on their own (fear). Other times I would ask them what they thought should be done (shifting responsibility). I’d also talk about all the aspects of the problem without providing an answer (avoidance). My inability to make a call resulted in my team doubting I could help them, that I had their best interest in mind, and that I truly cared for them. The worst part of the ordeal for them was I thought I was pulling it off without them knowing I was wishy-washy. Skim milk leadership. If you’re suffering from indecision like I used to, register for your free strategy session here. I’ll help you bring solid decision-making ability to the table, starting now.
“Can we go this direction?”, “Here is the direction I’d like to go, are you good with that?”, “Here are the facts and this is what I think we need to do. Can we move forward?”. All questions or variations of ones we’ve been presented with at some point as the person responsible. When a team member comes to you looking for an answer, it’s normally because they can’t move forward absent of your decision. In that moment, they are looking for an answer: yes, no, or maybe. Skim milk leadership won’t solve their problem. Here’s how you can confidently move forward in those moments with a decision.
W. Shane McKenzie is an executive coach and leadership mentor who helps leaders achieve greater effectiveness and become more fulfilled in their work by facilitating positive changes in their leadership behaviors. Join the Leadership Transformation Roundtable to get your copy of the questionnaire I use to discover how close my intentions match the reality of those I lead.
What others are saying about W. Shane McKenzie
"I would recommend Shane’s coaching to any leader. He has a refined process that allows leaders to see things in themselves that they might not be able to see otherwise."- Mel Munoz, Physical Therapist Assistant and Grad Student
"Shane is a trusted friend and advisor who is passionate about people, life and developing leaders. I love his zeal for growth and how he exudes professionalism in every way. He is a tremendous leader and executive coach."– Sky Streety, BusinessExecutive and Management Consultant
W. Shane McKenzie is an Executive Coach and Mentor who specializes in helping successful leaders leave their job to own a business using proven strategies to minimize risk.