When the obvious leadership call is the wrong one.

“Management rounded on the nurses and saw they were all tired looking. Their response? Cut the over time rate. “

I had no idea what that last sentence meant when I heard it the first time too…

I was sitting with a friend who told me about his wife’s working situation at a hospital.

“What do you mean?”

For the last few months, management had put in a special overtime rate for the nurses at their hospital. When they walked around the building, they found that the nurses looked tired. Discerning eyes decided that they couldn’t have tired nurses because of patient safety. The added pay for overtime was then canceled.

Sounds about right, doesn’t it? Great leadership decision, right?

Except, maybe not. Here’s why.

Maybe the nurses are tired from working too much overtime because they aren’t making enough.

Maybe your base salary isn’t sufficient to meet their needs.

Maybe by cancelling the overtime bonus, nurses will actually work more hours, not less.

Leadership isn’t about solving obvious problems. Leadership is about big picture perspective to get to the root of a problem.

So the next time you see an obvious problem with a quick solution, so what my boss used to tell us.

“Measure Twice, Saw once.” That’s what a leader does.






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