Turbo Leadership Systems

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Issue 12 To our clients and friends September 14, 2004
Clear Standards Help Your Team Fly Higher
Larry W. Dennis, Sr.
Turbo Leadership

Deligation is more than just giving people jobs.

Tom, marketing manager for a food brokerage company in Seattle, Washington, told Session 6 of the Leadership Development Lab:

"A year ago our company moved several associates to a new warehouse location. I was one of the people who was selected to move. The remainder of the team I supervised were staying at the old location. My plan was to split up my time between both offices; I basically worked every other day in the alternate locations.

I thought I was pretty successful at doing just that until one of my associates came to me, obviously frustrated, and said, 'You're never here.' I knew better. I knew that at least 40% of my time was spent at the old location in her building. So what was this associate saying?

"It hit me that the time I was spending at the old facility was not quality time. What the associate was telling me was not that I didn't necessarily need to spend more time at that location. She was telling me that I needed to make the time I spent at her warehouse more meaningful. The associate felt neglected because the time I was there left no time for her.

"The lesson I learned from this experience is the importance of taking a moment to listen to each of the people with whom I work. The action I call you to take is to honestly endeavor to see things from your

associate's point of view (Leadership Principle #5). When you do, what you observe may be deeper than just what they say. You will have what we call insight, the ability to see beyond the surface, the ability to hear the message beneath the words.

"The benefit you will gain is you will have better working relationships, more productivity, and increased profits for your company."

In the strictest sense this report is neither a correcting report nor a coaching report. It's really a report on how Tom had failed to conform to the standards of empowering delegation. Empowering delegation always requires that we make the expectations. That is to say, the person understands the results desired. No problem here, a great flyer that empowers the sales associates. Number two, that they have sufficient authority to execute the objective, no problem here. The associate had all the authority he needed to create it. The standards are clear and there of course is where the rub comes because in this case, Tom didn't know the standard that the company applied and certainly didn't communicate that standard to the associate and the knowledge that help is available, seems to be no problem with that. Following up to make sure that a person is on task. This was a short project and that was not required.