Double your capacity

Jeromy, shop lead for a sheet metal fabricator in Clackamas, OR told session six of the Leadership Development Lab,

“At the beginning of summer, I was given a job that was going to be an extreme challenge for me as our Shop Lead. This was not your typical do-it-every-day project. It was a tool fabrication project for Intel, an American multinational technology company.

“The project would require exceptional craftsmanship to meet their exacting specs and a sharp eye for detail. At that time, I was the only person in the shop with the level of experience required for this kind of rigid detail to every precise measurement. No one had ever had to work to these rigorous standards. It became obvious pretty quick that the daily and weekly challenges for this project were more than I could accomplish by myself. I needed help!

“Juaquin was an apprentice that had worked for me. He had always asked me for an opportunity to learn more and to do more. He was a perfect ‘pearl’ and perfect for this challenging project. So, as we know all 15 Principles were in play.

“I started with principle #1 ‘Lead from High Ideals.’ This leadership principle is the foundation for all 14 principles that follow, it is my favorite, and most effective. So, I had to ramp up my daily communication from the casual conversations about what we were doing today to very specific, detailed explanations of the day’s work. Intel mandated exacting expectations so it was important for us to be precise in our conformance to design.

“I patiently told him how to make the parts of the assembly that I knew were new to him explaining what I was doing as I went along. Then I watched him as he did it, coaching when I felt he needed correction. Finally, I took a step back and asked him to do the work one more time while telling me what he was doing.

“Don’t criticize was always in the back of my mind. I chose to praise, coach, and encourage as he made progress. This took a lot of my time and took me out of production. But it all ended with success!

“Not only are we on schedule but we are ahead of schedule. Joaquin has shown great skills and great attitude. What a pleasure to watch him grow.

“The lesson I learned from this experience is when I take the time and put forth the effort, my crew will want to take the time and put forth the effort. We have more than doubled our capacity to do this kind of demanding work.

“The action I challenge you to take is to step up. We all need to develop, train, and trust others in all areas of our work and life.

“The benefit you will gain is a high performance team. You will realize the thrill of seeing your team grow and discover building people provides even greater joy than the pride you take in building things.”

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