Empowering leaders look for teaching moments
Mark, supervisor for a Clark County commercial plumbing contractor, told Session 5 of Turbo’s Leadership Development Lab (LDL):
“Yesterday afternoon I saw my ‘pearl,’ Mike, struggling to support some cast iron pipe in a wall. I immediately jumped in. ‘Let me show you how to do that.’ As he watched, I did it with a lot less effort and time than it was taking him. I was proud of myself and said, ‘There you go,’ then walked away. I had walked about 100 feet when it hit me. ‘Ah crap! I forgot to use Turbo’s 3-Step On-the- Job Training Process.’ Instead, I had just shown him how and walked away. I had skipped the last two steps. So I turned around, marched back and apologized to Mike for my behavior. I hadn’t handled the situation correctly. As I thought about it, I could tell that when I hung the pipe for him, he really didn’t understand what I was doing and he was a little frustrated with me. I asked him if I could share some of what I have been learning at the Turbo Leadership LAB. He agreed, so I shared how I was supposed to us the 3-Step On-the-Job Training Process with him instead of my old habit of just doing it. I then explained Turbo’s 3-Step On-the-Job Training Process and asked him if we could try it to train him in how to easily install supports for the cast iron pipe. He humored me and we went through the 3-steps – trainer says / trainer does; trainer says / trainee does; trainee says / trainee does. By the end of the three steps – it took a few minutes - we were both kind of laughing and joking with each other. Only a few minutes before there had been tension because of me not utilizing the opportunity to make this situation a ‘teaching moment.’ This time when I walked away, I left behind an empowered team member who has more respect for me and for himself; an associate I have rapport with, an associate who can perform one of his basic functions
at a much higher level of efficiency.
“The lesson I learned from this experience is to own up to my mistakes (Leadership Principle #11 – When You Blow It, Show It), and to ask forgiveness when I blow it with a team member. I also learned how empowering it is to my crew members when they feel I care enough to stop and take the time to provide meaningful training. The action I call you to take is to practice utilizing Turbo’s 15 Leadership Principles. Practice, practice, practice, and make sure you’re practicing correctly. The benefit you will gain is the most important attitude toward you that you can ever strive for – respect - the respect of your crew, the respect of those you work with, and for you, this respect will breed trust, the most powerful characteristic of every high performance organization.”
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