Managing a team comes in many different forms and requires a lot of different skills, check your ego at the door and rethink how you’re promoting responsibility in your organization.
Several weeks ago, I had two experiences that reminded me of the nature of responsibility; and management’s role in promoting and sustaining a responsible workplace.
First, a student of mine sent me the following email, “Coach, there is next to no sense of responsibility here. Nothing happens when dates are missed, goals are ignored, etc… I may be going bonkers. Can we talk?” We talked.
Second, I was at the 10 am production meeting of yet another client when Dave, the day shift production coordinator made the following report to Mark, the plant manager. “Mark, the critical shipment to Quality Industries went out first thing on schedule. Raul and his crew got it 100% completed. It has been picked up. But Mark, you need to know that Raul had to work 32 hours of overtime.” At which Mark replied, “What is wrong with Raul? Didn’t he read the notice from the home office we got just this week that costs are over budget and for the rest of the year there will be no hiring, no expedited freight and especially no overtime? What is wrong with that guy? Can you get me his home number?” Dave responded, “I knew this would be an issue, so I asked Raul what happened. He told me that 4 of his crew, who carpool together, got into an accident on the way to work, a serious one. None of our guys were hurt, but the other driver was drunk and two of his passengers were taken away by ambulance. The guys said they would be a couple hours late, at least, and probably miss the entire shift, while the police investigated it. So, Raul held over 4 people from swing shift.” Mark replied, “Well let me advise the boss; there will be hell to pay by someone.” Dave interceded and said, “Hold on Mark, before you make that call, you’ll want to know this overtime was not just regular overtime but double time and a quarter. He only had a few minutes to decide and had tried to call you; but said no one picked up. It was 10:50pm.” Mark exploded “Holy shit, how am I supposed to explain that? This may cost Raul his job.”