Top 10 Leadership Blunders: #9

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Top 10 Leadership Blunders: #9

Encourager-In-Chief: October 2nd, 2019

Keeping helpful information to yourself.

Years ago, I was doing some team building training with one of my clients in Knoxville, Tennessee. The company printed checks. One of the problems they encountered was the plate they used to print checks kept getting waterlog marks on it, which were coming off on the checks. This is a major problem because the quality of the checks suffered. This went on for quite some time until one day the first shift production team told me that they had solved the problem. The plate manufacturer provided large zip-lock type bags that would seal out any moisture on the plates and remove any water marks.

While this was good news, I discovered something very interesting. When the first shift learned how to solve the problem, they never communicated the solution to the second shift, who was still contending with waterlog marks. Not only that, but this company had plants in five different states. None of the other four were aware of the solution either.

As a leader, or even as a team member, you have a responsibility, not only to yourself, but to your team and your organization to add value and solve problems. Think about it: Five plants with two shifts each. By making sure every person in the entire organization had the information to solve this problem, the first shift in Tennessee increased the value achieved from the solution from 10% to 100%.

Sometimes people have a fear that if they give away valuable information, they will become less needed in their organization but, in reality, the opposite is true. The more information you can share, the more value you add and, even if your organization no longer needs you one day, there’s plenty of others will be happy to snatch you up. Remember, part of leading is being willing to share non-confidential information with everyone.

There is no such thing as job security. You will be employed by us as long as you add value to the organization and you are continuously responsible for finding ways to add value. In return, you have the right to demand interesting and important work, freedom and resources to perform it well, pay that reflects your contribution, and the experience and the training needed to be in play here or elsewhere.
- Kirby Dyess, Intel

(This excerpt is taken from my Ultimate Team Building and Empowerment Workshop seminar. )

I encourage you to order my Become a Leader Worth Following audio program, which also covers this lesson in much greater detail.

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