A formula for creating a work environment that yields success for you, your people and your organization. This book is for Managers, Leaders, Supervisors, Business Owners, and for those who are in charge of just a few people.
Have you ever thought about what it would be like if all the people you are in charge of came to work every day performing their work with enthusiasm, an attitude and desire to do great work, a desire to constantly look for ways to make improvements in their work, and have very little to complain about?
The answer is creating the right work environment. We think we can motivate people to make this happen. We may be able to motivate some of the people some of the time but can we motivate most of the people most of the time? Will they stay motivated? Let me suggest that we can’t motivate most of the people most of the time. But we can create an environment that motivates most of the people most of the time. You can do this by developing a professional working relationship with your people through true leadership and communication, true empowerment, documented best practice standards and procedures, reducing the need to handle people problems, establishing an environment that solves problems, and practice continuous improvement. I know this is easier said than done; but, I suggest if you know how you can do all these and it can become a way of life for you.
I had the good fortunate of creating and maintaining this kind of environment for years. I began my leadership role at age 29. After retiring and 38 years later I want others to have the same success I have enjoyed. Most of us were placed in charge of others with very little training. We had to learn the hard way maybe wasting years before we learn the right ways even if we ever do.
It seems like I have been in charge of something or someone about all my life. As a young boy, my parents placed me in charge many times. Being the oldest of 5 children was a natural to do this I guess. When I didn’t do so well by parents were disappointed and I was disappointed resulting in me growing a little more each time. My Dad must have thought that I was somewhat grown up when at age 10; he gave me a set of power tools for Christmas that would have been unheard of by most parents. As a parent and grandparent, I sure would not have done it. These tools could have easily cut fingers off. But my Dad, I guess, trusted that I would be responsible with them. I loved making things, especially out of wood. When I was 14 years old, I built a set of kitchen cabinets for my Dad and Mom. I did have some help and instructions from a professional cabinet maker but not a lot. I was so excited when I was able to get my driver’s license at age 16. But what seemed more exciting was when I was given the responsibility of driving a big milk truck. My dear uncle had a very bad accident that laid him up for a couple of months. Since his truck was totaled, he purchased a brand new Ford truck that I had the wonderful privilege of driving. To this day I can’t believe my Dad and my uncle would turn me lose with such a responsibility at age 16. Being available to help out right away probably helped convince them. But, it was not as easy and exciting as I thought. His son, who was a couple years younger than me, and I got up at 3:00 am every morning, picking up those old large, heavy milk cans full of fresh milk from the dairies, delivered them to the processing plant about 75 miles away, and returned home later that afternoon only to do it over and over again, 7 days a week with not a single day off for those 2 months. I suppose that made me grow up quicker than anything else. I suppose this kind of background helped me with my career of leading others for all those following years.
So, with my childhood and youth background, completing college, moving into leadership roles at an early age, and a lot of training, practice, and experience, I’m convinced that creating the right work environment is the best way to reach the success you want when placed in charge of people. As an example, one of the last positions I held before retiring was with a company that was doing great with product growth but was having trouble when it came to producing the product. Schedule performance was poor, customers and sales people were screaming for their product, workforce turnover was extremely high, and desperation was an understatement. What was so great was not the strong soliciting it took to get me to come aboard to run the operation, but going into that company with full confidence that all those problems could be corrected. It was not so much the confidence I had in myself but the confidence I had in the leadership principles. It was amazing how quickly people began to embrace those principles, how quickly things turned around, and how quickly turnover went from 80% to less than 5%. This was just one of many companies that I had the opportunity to help turn around.
This book can make a difference in how successful you can be with leading people. Read this book, apply these principles, and improve your chances to enjoy life and success the way I have and the way it should be.