Turbo Leadership Systems

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January 22, 2013 Issue 414 To our clients and friends

Setting Up Camp

Larry W. Dennis, Sr.
Turbo Leadership

This is the path to engaged performance

Ross, vice president of a Clark County, Washington commercial plumbing company, told Session 3 of Turbo’s Leadership Development Lab (LDL):

“In October 2008 I had teamed up with my Dad, several of my uncles and cousins (fathers and sons). There were a total of ten of us. It was the Saturday before the opening of elk season. We were there to set up our elk camp hunting lodge. The camp has grown over the years to become somewhat elaborate. It’s not uncommon to have some head scratching as we try to recall how the camp is supposed to go together. (Maybe it is time for us to document our process!)

“I had noticed several steel pipes lying on the ground back where we had unloaded the trucks. I didn’t know exactly where they went, but I did know that they would soon be needed in our elaborate tent assembly process. I wanted to help if I could, so I picked up the stray pipes and moved them closer to the assembly point. Two of my uncles noticed me moving the pipes and one exclaimed, ‘Wow, Ross knows what’s going on.’ My other uncle exclaimed, ‘Gunnar (my father), you sure got lucky with that kid on your team!’

“I didn’t accomplish anything great, but the recognition and praise I received for taking the initiative from two dear, respected uncles made my day! I wore a grin from ear to ear! How great it felt to be told that my small efforts contributed to achieving the goal of the team. Had they asked me, I would have done anything for my uncles at that moment.

“The lesson I learned from this experience

is that praise and recognition is empowering, and that I appreciate and respond positively to spontaneous, heartfelt praise from those I admire and look up to. The action I call you take is first earn the respect of everyone on your team and then be sure to notice and praise the small or seemingly insignificant contributions your associates make to the accomplishment of your goals. Be on the lookout for any and every example of team members who seize the initiative, who act without being directed, instructed, or told what to do, those who care enough to get the ball rolling without being told what they need to do next. The benefit you will gain is people will willingly move mountains for you if they know each shovelful of dirt is appreciated. People want to work for a leader who notices, values and appreciates their individual contributions.”

The word on the lips of concerned managers today, the question they are asking is, “How can I create an engaged workforce, an engaged team of dedicated associates?” If you are one of those who is scratching your head wondering about the answer to the mystery of creating engaged team members, hunt no further. Just reread Ross’ story and follow his recommendations.

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