Turbo Leadership Systems

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Issue 10 To our clients and friends August 10, 2004
Clear Standards Help Your Team Fly In Formation
Larry W. Dennis, Sr.
Turbo Leadership

Performance standards that are clearly understood up front eliminate the “I gotcha’ game.”

Tom, marketing manager for a food brokerage company in western Washington, told Session 8 of the Leadership Development Lab:

“Last week I asked our Beverage Specialist to design a flyer for our sales associates. We had just brought into stock four new juice products and I wanted to make sure the sales associates and our customers knew about the great tasting new items. The associate took the ball and ran with it. He designed a very nice advertising piece that had a great tie-in to our upcoming food show. Unfortunately, when the flyer went down to the advertising department for distribution, I received calls from our mail and graphics department telling me that the flyer didn’t meet our company standards. I inquired why and found out we needed to have our company logo and full address on all flyers. I decided that this was the perfect time to apply Turbo’s three step coaching feedback process. I began by first giving him full credit for the creativity he had demonstrated on the flyer and for his great tie-in to the upcoming food products show. Then I asked him if he had ever been told the company policy requiring that all flyers have the company name,

address, logo and phone number on them.

He said no one had ever told him that it was our policy, but agreed it made sense and went on to say he just hadn’t thought of it and said he would make the changes on the copy and get the revised brochure down to the production room right away. I thanked him for his responsiveness and told him that together we could hit our sale targets with this new item.

“The lesson I learned from this experience is when correcting someone who failed to perform a task, up to company standards, I need to first be sure they know what the standard to which the task must conform. If not, I need to explain what the standards are without making it a personal attack. The action I call you to take is before delegating a task, make sure you and your associate are aware of all aspects and standards required for the task to be complete successfully.

“The benefit you will gain is more empowered associates who can do more work in less time. You will eliminate rework, damaged egos and you will go along way toward creating the relationships needed on a high performance team.”