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Lead, Follow Or Get Out Of The Way Are All Valid Options

October 27, 2017

When you are told to lead, follow or get out of the way, all three options are valid.

Lead: No one really worries about this. There are plenty of books on leadership.

Follow: Yes, this can really be a valid option. We are doing a big project that involves moving physical phones on agents desktops to moving to an complete software based “soft phone” solution. The soft phone exists “in the cloud.” It’s online.

I’m the project manager. When we cut over to our new environment we will no longer need the physical phones. My team wants to know when we will need to pick up the phones from the production floor. Honestly? I don’t care. i’m more than happy to let another department make that decision. I want it done, but I don’t want to take the lead.

Get out of the way: This is actually a valid choice too. In the case of my project, a question arose today that got directed to me. Not only was it something I didn’t want to manage, it wasn’t even something I wanted to track. I sent an email saying, “IT has no opinion on the matter. We don’t really care.

Especially with this big project there is the dangter of scope creep and the idea that if it happens at all, I need to be right in the middle. I tend to attempt to fall into that trap. That means I look for times to say, “Not my circus. Not my monkeys.” Or, I’m not part of that decision tree.

Remember the next time you are told to lead, follow or get out of the way, that anyone of the three could be a completely valid option.

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren. 

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