Heroic lead­er­ship

The Smart Manager - - Are You Mindful?quality -

On a Sun­day af­ter­noon, I re­ceived a long-dis­tance call on my land­line, from the Vice Chair­man of a trac­tor man­u­fac­turer in North In­dia. He was calling from his fac­tory, where he, his wife, and the sur­viv­ing work­force had locked them­selves in, a few days back.

As ex­plained to me, two com­pany buses that trans­port the work­ers back to their homes had been hi­jacked by Khal­is­tan sep­a­ratists. They had shot to death all work­ers in the two buses. A blood bath.

Soon there­after, the Vice Chair­man and his wife had en­tered the fac­tory with trucks full of food sup­plies, and sealed the gates. Their mis­sion was to keep the morale of the work­ers as in­tact as pos­si­ble. They cooked meals to­gether. They slept at the fac­tory. They coun­seled in­di­vid­u­als. The fac­tory was kept alive run­ning with the in­ven­to­ries on hand.

The in­ven­tory was now over.

Although a hard­core en­gi­neer, the Vice Chair­man also nursed a very ac­tive right brain. He saw in this cri­sis an op­por­tu­nity to train his work­ers on Qual­ity Im­prove­ment. He had a cap­tive au­di­ence that had the time. On this Sun­day morn­ing, he had just com­pleted a par­tic­i­pa­tive work­shop on ‘How to Iden­tify Chronic Prob­lems’. His Bi­ble was Ju­ran’s Qual­ity Hand­book, sec­ond edi­tion.

The im­me­di­ate re­al­iza­tion af­ter this first ses­sion was that en­gag­ing the right brain of work­ers had a ther­a­peu­tic im­pact. He needed to share this find­ing with some­one.

The sag­ging morale had been sub­stan­tially re­ju­ve­nated.

lessons learned

01 02 03 04 05

06 07 em­ploy­ees are the big­gest as­set of an or­ga­ni­za­tion treat your work­ers with ‘love’ and ‘dig­nity’ lead­ers should walk their talk lead­ers should have an ap­ti­tude for train­ing lead­ers should also be coaches on skills and coun­selors on be­hav­ior suc­cess­ful lead­ers have un­con­di­tional sup­port from their re­spec­tive spouses en­gag­ing the right brain for cre­ative ideation has an amaz­ing abil­ity to recharge peo­ple ■

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