"Three weeks ago I was in the back shop making my morning rounds saying 'Hi!' to all my guys when I was blindsided by my mechanic tech. He was complaining, 'This is broken!, This is wrong!, This sucks!' The griping went on and on.
"Before he could go on any further, I had to stop him as I noticed the other employees around him. I said, 'Hey! We aren't going to continue to have this conversation, if you want to talk about this later and in private, we can do so.' He was upset.
"An hour or so later, I pulled him aside and explained that we can't talk like that in front of the other guys as it could discredit both of us and our entire shop. He said he understood, he saw the harm he was doing by acting so irate, and agreed he wouldn't do it again.
"The lesson I learned from this experience is taking a stand helps those around me open their eyes. I can teach my team the lessons I've been taught in the LDL.
"The action I call you to take is to free yourself of the fear of confrontation. Don't be afraid to go into action. When standards are violated, the right thing needs to be done.
"The benefit you will gain is improved morale. Your team will look forward to coming to work and performance will continually improve."
I love this short story because it is real world. It would have been so easy for Cody to lash out and his behavior would have been just as unacceptable as the behavior of the complaining tech.
You as the leader have the responsibility to set the standards both by what you say and what you do. You must call your team to the high ground by leading from high ideals (Leadership Principle #1). When you lead from high ideals you then earn the right to appeal to "their noble motives," (Leadership Principle #15) "talking like this in front of the other guy, brings discredit on both of us." So today, to "be the best me in 2023", be professional in all your interactions. Set professional behavior as the standard for your team.
Am I a builder who works with care,
Measuring life by the rule and square?
Am I shaping my deeds to a well made plan,
Patiently doing the best I can?
Or, am I wrecker who walks the town,
Content with the labor of tearing down?
Larry W. Dennis, Sr. is available for private, in-company leadership development programs.
Please contact Larry at 503-329-4519 or Larry@turbols.com for more information.
—Larry W. Dennis, Sr. President Turbo Leadership Systems