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  • Supervisors — For smooth sailing, share your operating principles

    Before I became a supervisor, I watched and observed what supervisors did. Some things I liked and others not so much.  I vowed that when I became a supervisor, I would model the good actions I had seen in others.  One of the most important I felt was for supervisors to share, with their team, their personal operating principles.  By doing this at the first team meeting staff had the opportunity to learn more about you; it took the guess work out of getting to know you.

    Listed below are my operating principles which I have shared with multiple teams.  Even though I give the team the opportunity to suggest modifications, no team has ever done so.  I believe that is a reflection on the fact that these are universal operating principles.

    1. I will never ask anyone to do anything that I would not ask myself to do.  This means I am only asking for meaningful work to be done.
    2. If something does not make sense, ask a question.  Communication that is only one way is bound to end up causing confusion and wasted effort.
    3. When a piece of work has a due date, I expect it to be delivered.  I am not going to build in extra time into the due date.   I do not like to have to ask where things are.
    4. I like “net” communication.  Whether it is voicemail, e-mail or a face-to-face conversation, keep it short, sweet and to the point.  That means that you need to think a bit before communicating.  A stream of consciousness dialog is inefficient for both of us.
    5. I expect a high skill level in Excel, PowerPoint and Word.  As John Davidson said, “By not keeping PC skills current you are causing me to be more inefficient.”
    6. You need to demonstrate your understanding of and use lean/six sigma tools.  Defect recognition and correction are important.  If a defect happens in your process, I am looking for a corrective action plan.  A mistake is an opportunity to improve a process.  The same mistake happening over and over again is not OK.
    7. No whining: please bring solutions.  The complaint to idea ratio should be 1:10.  Everyone needs to vent now and again, but you earn the right to do so by bringing forward ideas and solutions.

    I am certain that each of you have a similar set of operating principles.  This is your opportunity to write them down and share them with your team if you have not already done so.

    If you would like to discuss them in person, I would be happy to do so.  Please call me:  1.585.329.3754.

    Published on November 28, 2012 · Filed under: Career Planning, Coaching, Goals and expectations, Leadership, Operational Excellence, Supervision;
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