Inspire or Perspire – Part 1
In a recent Harvard Business Review Blog, leadership traits were examined in an attempt to find out what made some leaders more effective than others. Many common traits were typically found in good leaders, such as:
They set stretch goals with their team
They spent time developing their subordinates
They engaged in highly collaborative behavior
They encouraged those about them to be more innovative
I had to stop at that point in the blog and wonder how many maintenance and reliability managers display just these four traits?
For example, how often do maintenance and reliability managers share departmental goals with their team members? How often do they solicit input from their team members about what realistic goals should be set and then what would be a reasonable stretch goal for the department?
Consider if the goal was to improve PM compliance. If the current compliance metric showed 50%, what would be a realistic goal? What would be the timeframe? The manager may want 95%+ compliance and have that goal achieved in a year – but is that realistic? By consulting with the maintenance and reliability team members, the consensus may be to achieve the 95% compliance; the goal should be 2 years. The team members may feel that 75% should be the goal for year one and the 95% should be the goal for end of year two. The maintenance and reliability manager may want results delivered faster than that, but are they willing to compromise and use the team’s input?
Perhaps the maintenance and reliability manager would use the team’s input for the goals, but set a stretch goal of 75% in 9 months and the 95% as a stretch goal of 18 months. This would indicate to the team members that the maintenance and reliability manager had accepted their input and reset the goals to something that the team felt would be achievable.
The issue here now becomes management style. How many maintenance and reliability managers have a collaborative maintenance style versus a “command and control” or “dictatorial approach”? With the changing of the maintenance and reliability workforce from the “baby boomers” to the “Generation X and Y”, how many managers are willing to adapt or change their management styles to be more effective leaders.
More to come in Part 2…