Regardless of the significance of the task, when we are called to lead a company, organization, department or work group, we are accepting the responsibilities of leadership and must be prepared to carry out our duties to the best of our abilities. Pure and simple, how well we carry out our responsibilities will have a direct impact on whether or not our team — which takes its cues from us — will succeed.
A few years back I was brought in by APM Terminals, a maritime ports operator, to start a management training program for entry level managers. During my break-in period, to learn about our corporate culture and gain insights into operations and safety programs, I would visit various port operations around the country. I would gather first impressions of the local leadership and their attitude toward safety and how they operated. In addition, I would catalog best practices to incorporate into our training program.
Upon my return to our home office, my boss would ask me to stop by and share my impressions with him. Invariably, he would ask, “Does he/she get it?” This was short-hand for what we both had experienced in the Navy meaning, “Does the terminal superintendent demonstrate the leadership to foster an environment where operations run efficiently and safely?”
My boss and I had learned during our Navy days leading up to senior status as commanding officers of warships that you could go aboard any Navy ship and within 15 minutes of crossing the quarterdeck, the entry point of the ship, you would gain a very good impression as to the leadership climate. As you were escorted up to see the captain, you would assess the professional attitude of the sailors, the cleanliness and smartness of all areas of the ship both interior and outer decks, the pride the sailors and officers took in wearing their uniforms, the way you were greeted and escorted around the ship by officers and enlisted, how security was handled and many more points that become evident. By the time you met the commanding officer, you pretty much knew what to expect. And after a 15 minute discussion of issues, you knew if “they got it or not.”
Don’t think I am being over simplistic. All those details that you can easily observe do manifest themselves in the excellent training and combat readiness of the ship. It has been proven consistently whether on Navy ships, well-run corporations, sports teams — you name it, when an organization chooses to perfect even the most minute details, a culture of excellence prevails that leads to a competitive edge — combat readiness, national championships or soaring profits. And it all starts with the person at the top.
When the captain or leader of an organization or team sets and keeps high standards, provides attentiveness to detail, training, coaching and nurturing young talent, promotes an environment of inclusive problem-solving and adheres to a code of accountability, the whole organization prospers!
Okay, Boss, do you get it?
Ron works with emerging leaders, execs, entrepreneurs and managers who want to sharpen their leadership skills and inspire their teams to achieve a level of performance beyond their imagination. He does this by providing high-impact, energizing programs that give the participants an opportunity to learn and practice the guiding principles of leadership that are crucial to establishing a success-oriented environment. You already know a lot about leadership, Ron helps you to amp it up and put it all together so that you use your abilities in a disciplined fashion every day to achieve results! His course participants are unanimous in their feedback, "I wish I had attended earlier in my career." He has also brought his Leadership Excellence Course to the Battleship North Carolina, where participants learn in a most inspiring environment how to motivate people, the power of integrity, the reasons for good feedback and many other defining leadership principles that help leaders and teams get to the next level and achieve results. You can check out some other course opportunities at AcademyLeadership.com. Look in the Raleigh, Greensboro, Charlotte and Wilmington areas.
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