Turbo Leadership Systems

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Issue 87 To our clients and friends August 8, 2006
New Team Members Can Help You Win
Larry W. Dennis, Sr.
Turbo Leadership

Fresh, empowered associates can spark your team to win!

Raleigh, a project manager for a large general contractor in southern Oregon, told Session 4 of the Leadership Development LAB:

“When I was growing up in Astoria, Oregon, we used to unload tuna boats to earn money during the summer. Bumble Bee Tuna Company had a fleet of tuna boats that fished off the coast of Mexico and California for yellow fin and skip jack tuna. When the boats were full, they would come to Astoria to unload the tuna at Bumble Bee’s main fish cannery. The tuna boats carried approximately 1100 to 1300 tons. In order to unload the tuna boats, Bumble Bee hired crews of four to five people to unload the boats over a two to three day period. I was on one of the two crews that unloaded the Annie-M and Betty-M tuna boats.

The boats had two main hatches, one on each side of the boat that we unloaded from. One crew was responsible for unloading half of the boat through this main hatch. It was really a competition to see who could unload their side of the boat the fastest. From the main hatch there were about two hatches forward and two hatches to the stern. The tuna on board range from small skip jack (5 – 15 pound) to yellow fin (25 – 200 pound) tuna.

We started unloading the first day with an experienced crew and were pretty even with the other crew at the end of the first day. The second day one of our crew members did not

show up, so we had to pick another crew member. We had one guy who did not have as much experience as everyone else but seemed eager to work hard and wanteda chance to prove himself, so we selected him. He turned out to be a good, hardworking crew member.

At the end of each day the captain would run cold brine through the hatch that we were supposed to unload the next day so it would be thawed out. Somehow when we opened up the hatch to start unloading the second day, the tuna had not been completely thawed out. We had to work twice as hard to break the tuna apart so we could put them in the unloading bucket. We were really thankful to have our new hardworking crew member by the end of this day.

With the help of our new crew member, we were able to unload our half of the boat the fastest and won the competition. We were deemed the best crew.

“The lesson I learned from this experience is to pick “new guys” with less experience, when they are eager to work hard, help in any way they can to prove themselves. The action I call you to take is to embrace your new, younger crew members. Remember, they are eager to help and learn. Throw down a challenge and give them the chance to prove themselves. The benefit you will gain is you will have the #1 team.”


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