As a manager, how often do you hear the phrase “Make it Happen” in your workplace? Translation: “Get it done, I can’t help you.“ Sometimes you hear it because your boss wants you to be more resourceful and independent. Other times, you hear it because your boss cannot help you, but still wants you to get it done. In the latter case, it doesn’t matter if you don’t have what you need – the pressure to deliver is forcing your boss to force you.
If you can be more independent and resourceful, stretch and get it done. If the reality is that you do not have the resources, support or what you need to get it done, how do you respond? Here are some things to think about. Look at the priority of this situation-does it warrant your attention at this time? If not, let it go and come back to it later. If it is a compelling priority, assess what is possible with what you have. Can you push a bit harder with your team and get it done? Can you do a quality job with what you have now? If the answer to these questions is yes, do your best and make it happen. If the answer is no, it is time for you to lead. Use your brains, innovation and manager smarts to figure out a path forward. Will you say “no, I cannot, but this is what I can do”? Will you ask for help? Will you come up with an alternate plan?
Next time you hear “make it happen”, be ready to lead.