Turbo Leadership Systems

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Issue 100 To our clients and friends November 7, 2006
Self-Reliant, Empowered Crew
Larry W. Dennis, Sr.
Turbo Leadership

Trust your team; they will step up

Todd, controls division project manager for a large general contractor in eastern Washington, told Session 9A of the Leadership Development LAB:

“My crew and I meet every Monday morning so that I can give everyone their schedule and duties for the week ahead, except for this past Monday. I wanted to take the whole week off to work on my new house, so the Friday before, I decided to pull the crew together for a pre-week planning meeting. I laid out the things that needed to be accomplished the coming week and asked them how they thought we should go about achieving everything that needed to be done to keep our jobs on schedule. I must say I was very surprised when everyone began to talk about their individual strengths and weaknesses, the things they individually do best. Then the guys began to divvy up the upcoming weeks’ work according to their individual strengths.

Normally, when I take time off, my cell phone rings non-stop all day from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. At the end of the entire week, I had only received two phone calls. Two, contrasted to two dozen minimum. This is a world’s record! I must say not getting the calls made me just a little nervous.

The following Monday when we got back together, not only had all the items on the agenda been taken care of, to my amazement, all of the paperwork was completely filled out. The guys went well beyond what they normally do. They followed through on the details of many things that they would have normally left to me.

The lesson I learned from this experience is the power of inclusion. Getting buy-in and ownership by pulling everyone in to preplan our work week and giving them the freedom to speak up to be part of the decision making process gave the guys a sense of selfworth, a greater sense of ownership and responsibility. They took greater accountability for their tasks and my job is much easier and less stressful as a result.

The action I call you to take is to involve your crew, your team in even the smallest of decisions. Create an atmosphere of inclusion and democracy; don’t run a dictatorial monarchy. The benefit you will gain is your crew will become a real team. By having each member owning their jobs, you will move them from employee to partner. You will produce more success and your department will make more money.”


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