We have a phrase we sometimes use around Pitsco; we refer to ourselves as a ‘Company of Leaders’. The phrase has a nice ring to it. But let’s be transparent. What does it really mean?
Leadership is not only about C-staff positions, rousing speeches and revolutionary ideas. Leadership is also about pushing beyond what is expected, caring about quality and working with vision.
Leadership is based on many things, but for just a moment, let’s talk about the leadership trait known as the “willingness to solve a problem.”
A good example of problem-solving leadership occurred at Pitsco when Frank and Tim hatched a plan to speed up the manufacturing process for one of our products.
Pitsco manufactures maglev racers among hundreds of other education products. The racers require a special track, and each piece of aluminum track requires five holes to be punched at precise intervals. Because of our equipment limitations, these holes were drilled one at a time. Obviously time-consuming, the situation worsened if the measurement was off even just a little. In such cases, the piece was ruined.
Frank, a veteran machinist and supervisor of the shop for many years, and Tim, the current supervisor, decided to do something about it.
Their plan was to modify an old punch press into a machine that could punch all five holes at one go. The two men weren’t sure their idea would work. Every puncture the machine punches in the metal saps a little force from the strike and they were banking on the fact that there was enough excess force to accommodate their modification. After they modified it, they took the punch press for a spin. They placed a piece of the aluminum track into position and – Ka-chunk – it worked! What once took 10 minutes now took 30 seconds.
Frank and Tim practiced leadership by solving their own problem. Do you support and empower your employees to figure out their own solutions? Given the proper tools and permission, employees will amaze you with their brilliant ideas.
This is what empowered employees look like. When you stand among them, you will know you are in the company of leaders.
Hot Tip 10. Create a company of leaders.