Turbo Leadership Systems

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Issue 49 To our clients and friends July 19, 2005
When Errors Are Made, Fix the Real Problem First
Larry W. Dennis, Sr.
Turbo Leadership

Get to the bottom of things first or lose a lot of money!

Gale, president of a structural steel contracting company, told session 5 of the Leadership Development Lab:

"In April 2003, I sent my installation team of four people to do a quick, 4-hour handrail install on the Interstate Max Light Rail project. When they returned at the end of an 8-hour day, I was stunned to hear that the job was just half complete. There wasn’t anything I could do except send them out the following day to finish the job. The second day, they worked another eight, a total of 16 hours, hours on what should have been a four-hour job. Even though the job had taken four times longer than expected, I was glad it was finally finished.

A couple days later, I received a call from the General Contractor we were working for on the project, pointing out that half of the anchors on the footings were not set deep enough. I sighed and the next day sent two guys out to pull the ill-set bolts and replace them with longer, deeper bolts. The over-run on this one site was off the scales and I could feel the profits dwindle to zippo. All I could do was just be glad the rails were finally going to be complete.

As soon as I was freed from bidding meetings, I headed to the job site to see for myself all was in order and completed to specifications. The minute I arrived and looked at the rails, I could see instantly that the rails were in the

wrong place. The wrong place! Every one of them would need to be relocated, bolts removed, concrete patched and the install started over from scratch. Wow, what a letdown, what a disappointment!

The lesson I learned from this experience is that when things start to go wrong, I can be sure the errors will be self-perpetuating. One mistake often is the signal of more to come if preventative steps aren’t taken immediately.

The action I call you to take is when you see early signs that things aren’t going as expected, as planned, check in quickly to see what the source of the problem is. Determine where your help and/or direction may be needed and before corrective action is taken, be sure you have all the information you need to fix the real problem permanently.

The benefit you will gain is that you will save time and instead of losing profits, you will eliminate future errors and make your budget numbers."

If you or anyone you know is a motorcycle enthusiast, they will love the excerpts from Larry’s newest book, Motorcycle Meditations – A Vision Quest to Alaska, which can be found in the June, July and August issues of Twin Magazine. The June issue goes on sale at newsstands May 10th. Pick it up, read it and share it with your friends!