Turbo Leadership Systems

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September 14, 2010 Issue 295 To our clients and friends

Building Accountability

Larry W. Dennis, Sr.
Turbo Leadership

Structured correction builds results

Dan, a superintendent for a large local construction company, told Session 8 of the Leadership Development Lab:

"We have had a drywall subcontractor on one of our projects who tended to approach his work in a somewhat disorganized fashion. Early on in the project, he asked me if we could change the sequence of work in the library building so that the framing, sheet rock, and associated finish activities could start at the top floor and progress down through the building. This was the exact opposite from what my original plan was, but I didn't see a problem. In fact, I saw it as an opportunity to enlist him in an effort to be more thoughtful, more organized in his approach to work. The change would be his idea, and as the Leadership Lab has been emphasizing, there is no better way to motivate and hold people positively accountable than to let it be their idea. The other key subs on site found this proposal acceptable, so the schedule was changed to reflect the drywall subcontractor's request. I was excited because it looked like we had found the answer to helping him better organize his part of the project, which is important to all the other disciplines.

"One day while walking the building, I noticed that the third floor had been completely finished. The second floor was in various states of completion with some framing missing. To my disappointment and dismay, I saw most of the drywall completed, however several areas had not been taped, the ceiling grid was left 50% complete, and no one was working on this floor. I progressed on down to the first floor, where the drywall sub's entire crew was hard at work.

"Keeping Turbo's 5-step correction

approach in mind, the next day after our daily coordination meeting, I pulled the drywall foreman aside and reminded him that the finish sequence had been changed at his request to start at the top floor and work our way down. Then I said, 'I noticed that your entire crew was on the first floor when the second floor was not yet completed.' I asked him what had happened. He had no explanation. I told him that when he approaches his work haphazardly, it is particularly difficult for the rest of the subcontractors to follow him around. It costs the other subs money in lost productivity. After a few minutes of discussion, he agreed with me and committed to having the second floor completely taped and ready for paint within two days. I thanked him for his cooperation and commitment to the success of the project.

"The lesson I learned from this experience is that the methods taught in the Leadership Lab, including the 5-step correction process, do work when I give them a chance. The action I call you to take is to consistently hold team members accountable in a constructive way. The benefit you will gain is the realization that you can effectively lead your team to seeing and doing their part in the creation of a championship team. You will soon make these methods so much a part of you that difficult or uncomfortable situations will be easy and natural to handle."

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