The path to full engagement may be counter-intuitive.
James, Foreman, for a large plumbing company in Washington, told Session 6B of Turbo’s Leadership Development Lab (LDL):
“At Session 2, when I was assigned the ‘Pearl Project’(where you select a person you want to improve your relationship with), I chose my son, Seth.
“Seth, from a little child, was different in many ways. When he was five years old he fell off a deck while we were on vacation. He was life-flighted to a children’s hospital. He got a concussion and as a result suffered setbacks in his learning ability.
“About seven years ago a bus driver came to my house crying, telling my wife that she about ran him over. We have been to many doctors to try to get help for him. Teachers have just tried to push him through the system. His school work has been terrible. He never brought any homework home, never once did he get above a C in class.
“About six months ago my wife and I went to psychiatrist. The psychiatrist thought we were expecting too much from him. A week after we were given the Pearl Project, me and my wife started to praise him for the smallest things. We would ask permission to provide input. Then we’d tell him a small way he could improve, and predict a positive outcome for him. It was like a light bulb turned on. Suddenly, his school work became more important to him. He brought his homework home to have my wife help him with it. His attention to his projects at home are much better than they have ever been. I don’t think our family life would have turned out this good if I had not taken the Turbo Leadership class. Using Turbo’s 15 Leadership Principles has put an entirely new meaning into teaching our children.
“The lesson I learned is that I should never give up on anyone. There is always potential deep inside, and positive attention and encouragement can help find it. They may surprise me someday. Maybe not today, but one day they will.
“The action I call you to take is to begin today to provide encouragement and praise.
“The benefit you will gain is a whole new way to stimulate those you love and work with to a fully engaged performance.”
When James gave this report to his class of 30 Clark County managers every eye was riveted on him. There were gasps and damp eyes. Two weeks later he shared with his Leadership Development Lab that his wife received a call from his son’s teacher. She wanted to know what they were doing to make such a difference.