Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Answering No The Right Way

When making decisions, you need to decide on what's right. If it's the right decision, it's the easy decision.

Before shutting down the manufacturing line for the holidays, multiple last minute production requests were being filled. The team who has worked super hard this past year made one request- Can we leave early Tima?

After a demanding quarter (including my Master's coursework) all I wanted to do was walk out early, myself.

So I flowed the request upstream to my manager. And for the first time the answer wasn't 'No'. At least- not directly.

The facility runs 24/7 with four different shifts supporting the goals. So the 'No' I received was in regards to fairness. The other shifts didn't get to leave early so why should we. There were exceptions that could have been argued but the bottom line was to be the model for the organization.

"The best inheritance you can leave your kids Is to be a good example." ~ Barry Spilchuk

Often times we lose touch with our brand and what's right because we do what others do. We forget to set the standard- the right standard, that is.

If you stand at the top of the mountain and look over the entire organization, it becomes easier to make decisions consistently. And at the end of it all, people start to appreciate the fairness.

So yeah we had longer breaks the last day and our productivity was probably a record low. But the remarkable part of it all was the team bonding that too place because of it.

"Let them just hang out. And chat," my manager told me. After giving him a funny look, he continued. "let them talk to each other, that's more important than the goals itself you know."

And indeed it was. One of the team members had brought extra decks of UNO cards and people were playing during their breaks. There were individuals playing and joking that have never said a word to each other in the past. The energy was high and the holiday spirit filled the air. People brought pizzas, cookies, and pumpkin bread and it felt like one family reunion.

So although we couldn't call it quits early, the hours spent on campus made it the best day of the year through demonstration of Trust and Respect by all the team members.

Happy Holidays and remember to do what's right. Someone will look back and be grateful for it.

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