Single Point of Failure

Several months ago, a friend of mine took a new position as a project manager with a large company. I ran into him last week and asked how things were going. “I like what I am doing,” he replied, “but the manager who hired me is now in a different role, and my new boss…well, he’s a real piece of work.”

I asked him to elaborate.

He went on to tell me about one of his peers, who was battling a severe disease and was needing to take medical leave. “I heard my manager refer to this guy as a ‘single point of failure.’ And if I heard him, others did as well.”

Clearly, this manager did not consider how his words might impact others on the team.

As leaders, we need to remember that it is not just what we say to people; it’s what we say about others. Everything we say and do is observed by others, scrutinously. We build the best teams by using this stage to empower the team through humility and doing the right thing.