Turbo Leadership Systems

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March 20, 2012 Issue 372 To our clients and friends

Making Directions Stick

Larry W. Dennis, Sr.
Turbo Leadership

Please let it be their idea!

Glen, a purchasing manager for an HVAC company, told our Leadership Development LAB (LDL):

"A couple of weeks ago, I had an opportunity to try what was for me a new employee correction method I had learned in the LDL, as well as utilize some of Turbo's leadership principles. We had received some small dimensional copper tubing in bundles wrapped with filament tape in the middle and on each end. Filament tape is used because it is very sticky and durable. It takes a sharp knife and a lot of effort to remove it. My instructions to my warehouseman were to de-band each bundle and put it in its respective, well-labeled storage slot in the copper tubing rack. I came back awhile later and noticed he had put the copper tubing in the correctly labeled bin areas, however he had only cut and had not removed the sticky filament tape.

"Rather than using the usual 'but' method, which is to compliment a person for doing something right and then disempowering them with a 'but' correction statement, I decided to utilize the Turbo method outlined in the LDL, along with Leadership Principle #8 (validate their ideas). I asked him to help me pull a copper tubing order, making sure he pulled the tubing which he had incorrectly racked with the filament tape remaining.

"As he struggled at pulling a tube out of the rack, I asked him what he thought was causing him to struggle. He told me the filament tape was sticking to the sides of the tubing, making it difficult to slide the tube out of the rack. Then I asked him what he thought we could do to solve the problem. He responded, 'If we completely remove the filament tape the tubing will slide out much more easily.' I agreed, and told him that was an excellent idea. When I got back from lunch I noticed he had removed all of the filament tape from every bundle.

"The lesson I learned from this experience

is that rather than using the disempowering 'but' method, I could correct performance by using leadership principles and the proper correction procedure together. I learned that when associates come up with solutions to problems on their own, with a little guidance, they are committed to the solutions and take action to implement those solutions immediately.

"The action I call you to take is don't react too quickly when a performance correction needs to be made. Instead, utilize Leadership Principle #8 (Let it be their idea) as you make the necessary correction. Through this process you will empower your team to peak performance.

"The benefit you will receive is engaged employees who perform to high standards. They will feel enthusiastic about their work processes, and experience the feeling of knowing they are a significant part of your team."

Thanks, Glen, for your great example. It is true; team members may resist our ideas, suggestions and direction, and they will always defend with conviction and devotion their own ideas, their views, and their plans of action.

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