Talk about goals as you stroll
Jim, Paper Machine #5 Operating Assistant for a paper mill in northern Ontario, Canada, told Session 7B of Turbo’s Leadership Development Lab:
“When I received my red dot and made the commitment to be 5x more enthusiastic about a project, I decided to spend 5x more time on the floor (what Turbo calls ‘Walk About Leadership’), talking and listening to the operators and millwrights in the maintenance group. I wanted to learn about their ideas and concerns. It had been hard for me to gain access to their world. I was determined to keep every conversation upbeat and positive, to focus on solutions and progress, not problems and setbacks.
“We talked about the good things that were happening in the mill, our progress and successes. I wanted the context of our spontaneous exchange to be ‘we are winning, things are getting better.’ I knew about our ‘two steps forward, one step back’ challenge. I wanted to hear their perspective. I wanted to be a non-defensive sounding board for their struggles with some of the changes they have been required to make. I explained the need for change and our goal of 388 in ’08. To my amazement, some were unaware of our goal. I put signs up all over the department (388 in ’08). The feedback was positive and my increased presence on the floor was appreciated.
“My 5x effort resulted in everyone being much better informed and understanding what the PM5 goal of 388 in ’08 meant.
“The lesson I learned from this experience is to never assume that everyone in my department knows and understands the department’s goals, especially if I have not done a good job of explaining them to all concerned. It all happens on the floor, so I
need to spend time and energy with all of our crews. It is important for the crews to see and hear me leading and coaching on the floor. I learned that being on the floor is my ‘vital few.’
“The action I call you to take is get out of your office and away from all the reports you feel are so important. Talk about your goals, why they are important, the current score, and their part in closing the gap for improved performance. Don’t assume everyone knows and understands your goals. Take every opportunity to spend time with your people and help them achieve the goals with your support, coaching, and leadership.
“The benefit you will gain is you will be respected. You will be better received and supported by your crews. You will be seen as a trusted resource that can help your team succeed. You and your crews will be successful in achieving your goals. You will create breakthroughs to new levels of achievement.”
New Leadership Development Lab (LDL) starting soon!
Stay tuned for more details.
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