Turbo Leadership Systems

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Issue 51 To our clients and friends August 2, 2005
Golfer, What is Your Handicap?
Larry W. Dennis, Sr.
Turbo Leadership

Ask your team to always play on par

Theresa, a document control specialist for a large construction company in south central Washington, told Session 5B of the Leadership Development Lab™:

“In April 2004 I was working as a document control specialist in our corporate office. In addition to my regular duties, I had taken on the task of organizing our company golf tournament. This added duty during our busy season meant my plate was really full! The upcoming tournament was the largest ever, consisting of nearly 300 golfers, which required two flights, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. I had put out several notices reminding everyone to sign up early.

In spite of this, one of the shop sheet metal workers came in quite late one day and wanted to sign up for the tournament. I told him that the afternoon flight was full, and that he would need to be placed in the morning flight. His retort was that he didn’t want to golf in the morning and demanded that I move someone. When I explained to him that I couldn’t do that, he responded by wadding up his registration form, then cursed and threw it at me before stomping out of my office.

The lesson I learned from this situation is that sometimes people can be pretty self-centered and fail to see the “bigger” picture when reacting to a situation.

The action I call you to take is to let calm heads prevail and think before you speak.

The benefit you will gain is improved relationships and you will avoid unnecessary conflict in the future.”

I appreciate Theresa’s centered response to what she learned from this experience, and recognized that the behavior of the sheet metal

worker was wholly unacceptable. The responsibility of an empowering leader is to call people on unacceptable behavior. Anyone in management who may have seen this childish behavior had a responsibility to call the person on this, pull them into their office, ask them to sit down and say, as an example, “What I saw you do a minute ago isn’t like you. We have always been able to count on you to act more professionally than that. What happened?” Listening to their little story should help defuse the situation. Your next step is to calmly say, “This behavior is clearly unacceptable and will not be tolerated. You have put us at risk of possibly violating labor laws. This is of less concern to me than the blatant disrespect you have shown to a fellow worker who is, as far as I can tell, just trying to do her job. I expect you to sincerely apologize to her. If you can’t do that, we will have to consider other remedies.” These may not be the best words, the right words. The point, of course, is that you, as an empowering leader, must show zero tolerance for this kind of unacceptable behavior, which goes against the values, the vision of any company that values its’ employees.

If you or anyone you know is a motorcycle enthusiast, they will love the excerpts from Larry’s newest book, Motorcycle Meditations – A Vision Quest to Alaska, which can be found in the June, July and August issues of Twin Magazine. The June issue goes on sale at newsstands May 10th. Pick it up, read it and share it with your friends!

Motorcycle Meditations – A Vision Quest to Alaska has finally arrived!! Get your copy today!