Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Life Lessons of Leadership

My seventeen year old started a part time job in a factory. He was amazed at the ages of those who worked with him. This was a line operation, so whatever one person did, it would impact the rest of the team.

My son came home and explained that he was told to slow down, he was going too fast. He was making the others work too fast, they would get too much done and have to do more on the next shift.

My son was disappointed. He said he never wanted to work in an environment like that when he grew up. He said he was a leader and leaders don’t work slowly, they get the job done and move onto something else. He wanted to be in a motivating, productive and innovative environment.

I challenged him on that thought. If he was the leader of the line, or the plant for that matter, what could he do as a leader to change things? My son thought for a minute and came up with the following:

He would challenge the team to finish in a specific time frame and provide rewards like still get paid for eight hours if they finished in seven. Or accident and mistake free bonuses. This way he could create healthy competition and improve efficiency and productivity at the same time.

I was impressed. Even though his seventeen year old brain said OK to what the team wanted, he was able to step outside and look for alternatives. His next life and leadership lesson will be attempting the change the line...will he try? Or will he be respectful of the team and simply drop hints and examples?

No comments: