Turbo Leadership Systems

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Issue 42 To our clients and friends May 31, 2005
Trust Is At the Heart of Synergistic Teamwork
Larry W. Dennis, Sr.
Turbo Leadership

Crying wolf can leave you in tears

"Cy, an industrial shop foreman for a large construction company in south central Washington, told participants at Session 5B of the Leadership Development Lab™:

Since our crew often works with more than six project managers and several field foremen at the same time each with different scheduling needs, the main requirement when they give me a job is their best guess as to when they will need the completed work so we can insure on-time delivery to them. With this information in mind, I can adjust crews’ schedules and hours to assure that everyone’s jobs are completed as needed and delivered to their job sites ‘just in time’.

I was given a job by one of our project managers and told the finished parts would be needed in two weeks. He insured me that there was no overtime bid into the price quoted for these parts. Since we were very busy I had to adjust manpower and worked some of our crews overtime on a different job. When I completed the assembly I called the project manager to let him know his parts were ready. He then told me that he didn’t really need them for two more weeks. He said that since we were buried in the shop, he wanted to make sure that his job was done on time. This false emergency deadline caused many inefficiencies and unnecessary costs for our business.

The lesson I learned from this experience is when I deal with this manager in similar situations I need to give him plenty of reassurance about his jobs. Even though I have always completed his jobs, all jobs as required, it wasn’t enough to make him confident that his job

would be completed on time this time.

The action I call you to take is to keep your promises and if you find you can’t deliver on your word, renegotiate delivery dates early. When you are working with others, trust them to do what they say they can or will do unless they give you a real good reason to treat them differently. Clarify up-front agreements so expectations are crystal clear, and promises are stated energetically.

The benefit you will gain is you will earn the respect of the team members involved and you will be able to put more focus on your own job, trusting that the other person has things handled. You will be contributing to an in formation team that easily outperforms your competitors."

This is a sad story and it may take a while for Cy to trust this team member who cried wolf. Trust is at the heart of teamwork. Without trust there is no teamwork, without teamwork you have no synergy and you lose the 71% advantage geese enjoy when they fly in formation. You and your firm cannot, will not, compete successfully in the long term without the advantage gained when trust is the framework of all team member interactions.

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!