Scott, Superintendent for a general contractor in Salem, OR, told Session 7A of Turbo’s Leadership Development Lab (LDL):
“The Newberg Dundee bypass is a very important project for our company. One of my Foremen on the project was not fully engaged. We can’t win, we can’t beat the bid unless everyone, especially a Foreman who runs our crews, is fully engaged. I had tried sort of ragging on him, “pick up the pace,” “is that the best you can do?” that didn’t work, I knew I had to try a different approach. So, in an attempt to get him more engaged I asked for some of his ideas. Not in the old ways I used to try like telling him he needs to work harder. I wanted to make some of the path forward his own ideas. This time I outlined clearly with more detail than usual, what we needed to accomplish, by when, and told him about some of the anticipated constraints, then asked him, “How would you do this?,” “What approach would you take?” then I listened, he had many good ideas. Some of his ideas, to my surprise, were original, not the way I was thinking we would approach some of the tasks. Instead of resisting his approach because it wasn’t the way I was thinking we would do it, I used his ideas.
By setting goals and using his ideas, I got him fully engaged along with his whole crew. He is showing up at the job early and is a lot more energetic when directing his crews. It took us three weeks to complete our first wall. By setting goals to stimulate competition, with my foreman fully engaged, it took less than two weeks to construct the second wall! That is a 50% productivity improvement.
“The lesson I learned from this experience is how important it is for me to ask my guys for their ideas and to see things from the other person’s point of view. I learned the importance of being an active listener. I saw that by combining several of the 15 Leadership Principles, #5 See Things from Their Point of View, #6 Be an Active Listener, #8 Let it be Their Idea, #10 Stimulate Competition, I can secure the engagement of everyone on my team, we have more fun and we are far more productive.
“The action I call you to take when you have someone who lacks engagement is to ask for their input, their perspective, be an active listener and use their ideas.
“The benefit you will gain is you will have a fully engaged team, beat the bid and make 33% more profit!”
Are you ready to become an Engaging Leader?
Fall Leadership Development Labs are forming now in Eugene, Wilsonville, Salem and Vancouver.