Garrett, Assistant Manager for one of the west's fastest growing tire retail and service organizations told Session 6B of Leadership Development Lab (LDL)™:
"At Session 2A of the Leadership Development Lab, I chose Brad as my 'pearl'. Gaining more confidence and leadership skills as we continue through the class, I knew it was time to go into action. As our assistant store manager, I make my office anywhere I can clear off a counter top. In this case, it was leaning over an engine under the hood of a customer's car. Brad was plugging away underneath the hood, I strolled up and leaned under the hood to have a chat.
"I started with a compliment, 'Hey, Brad, you're doing an awesome job here, you really know your stuff.' I transitioned to a probing question with another compliment, 'I see a lot of potential in you. Why haven't you inquired about learning more of the store management tasks?' I could see he was a little hesitant to say anything (maybe for fear it was a trap). After what seemed like 15 - 20 minutes (but, was probably 30-45 seconds of awkwardness) he spoke up. His response focused on how much stress it looked like I was under and how he didn't want any of that stress. He thoroughly enjoys working for our company, our shop and was afraid taking on more responsibility would make him bitter towards the job. I was taken a back at first, saying nothing, trying to process what I had just heard. We continued talking for about 20 minutes. Back and forth asking questions and listening (Leadership Principle #6).
"By the end of our talk we agreed that my stress level was too high, our shop has talented people, and Brad agreed to think about learning more of our company's business processes. I admit the conversations didn't go as I expected. Even though I was caught off guard, whether I realized it or not, I received an answer to my question. I told Brad, 'I'm working on myself as a person to reduce my stress level' and I would always welcome his input and help.
"The lesson I learned from this experience is the importance of proactively initiating inquiry with my team. I am living in a fantasy world if I don't step up and ask the questions that need to be asked, to find answers, and work toward a solution.
"The action I call you to take is be brave, don't let fear control you. Push your fears aside, ask the question, and take the action you need to move forward towards a better you.
"The benefit you will gain is the knowledge you need to make the next step in your personal growth and development."
Check out next week's Turbocharger Issue #785 for Karate Kid: Volume II
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Becoming aware of the 'blind self.'
—Larry W. Dennis, Sr. President Turbo Leadership Systems