There’s an Elephant in the Room

I remember serving on a leadership team as a twenty-something. It was long ago, but the memory is still fresh, because something happened that’s been repeated over and over since that time.

There was a strange person on our team. By strange I mean — she often said things that either didn’t fit the topic we were discussing, or she blurted out things that were inappropriate. Her self-awareness was low. This allowed her to make things awkward on our team due to her presence, chemistry and synergy in the room were diminished. We all walked on eggshells to avoid a negative situation.

I supposed this kind of person exists on almost every team. What made this situation harmful, however, was our leader. He failed to address it. He simply didn’t have the backbone to talk to the woman, and suggest appropriate boundaries or steps for her to take. The whole thing was hush-hush.

Well — you know what hush-hush translates into don’t you? It means conversations happen in secret behind everyone’s back. This isn’t healthy. Due to our leader’s poor skills, the performance of our team stalled.

The term for such a predicament is: “There’s an elephant in the room.” This phrase refers to any situation that’s obvious to everyone, but people are afraid to talk about. It usually happens when leaders are poor at managing teams.

In 2011, I felt it would be good to attack this issue in a healthy way. Our team plans to create a series of videos and discussion guides on some of the most common issues within teams today — and spark good discussion on how to resolve them. In this one-year subscription, we’ll cover issues like…

• What to do when teammates have low emotional intelligence
• What to do when you’re under a poor supervisor who doesn’t lead well
• What to do when you have a tough call to make and you feel paralyzed
• What to do when you start things but lack the discipline to finish

I’d love to have you join me. This is a one-year online mentoring community called: Leadership2Go. Our 2011 theme is none other than: “The Elephant in the Room.” To see what it’s all about, go to:


There’s an Elephant in the Room