Hunting for better ways
Jarod, project engineer for a mechanical contractor, told Session 6 of Turbo’s Leadership Lab (LDL):
“At Session 3 of the LDL when we were asked to choose a ‘Pearl,’ someone we wanted to improve our relationship with, I chose Andy, who is the project manager for the general contractor on our current Temco Project. Andy took over for another project manager part way through the project and immediately started flexing his muscle with ‘the way it was going to be.’ He rubbed me the wrong way from the very start, so I was always on the defensive with him. I can’t honestly say that he’s a bad person, but I had developed a good working relationship with the previous project manager and Andy came in and changed everything to ‘his way.’ The original project manager was really hands-on when it came to receiving their equipment. We worked very effectively together, getting incoming trucks unloaded quickly. Now I found myself unloading trucks with their equipment by myself because Andy was spread so thin.
“I knew that for this relationship to work and for us to improve our efficiency, I was going to have to be the one to make the first move. I found myself complaining about Andy a lot to other employees. This got me thinking about Turbo’s Leadership Principles that could help me improve our relationship - #3 – Don’t Criticize, Condemn or Complain, and #14 – Begin With Yes, Yes. I was defiantly violating #3. There was nothing I could do about how he wanted to run his side of the project, so I decided to change what I could control by applying these two easy Leadership Principles. After I shifted gears, I asked myself, ‘What can I do to begin to build a good working relationship?’ Gifts are always good, so beginning to pay positive attention to him with a few pounds of elk and deer burger didn’t hurt either!
“Over the last month or so I’ve found that Andy and I have been working well together. We have developed a system for
receiving e quipment and steel that works for both of us. Following Leadership Principles #3 and #14 has helped me generate a better working relationship with Andy and it’s getting better by the day.
“The lesson I learned from this experience is that when I change what I can control for the better, everything else becomes easier to accomplish. The action I call you to take is when you find yourself in a situation where the other person is making your world and life difficult, start by changing the things you can control. The benefit you will gain is a stronger working or personal relationship with that person. You will have less stress and your life will be more productive.”
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