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The Right Tools and a "Can Do" Attitude Get the Job Done!

Three Success Tips to Strengthen Performance Excellence

I was driving from Palm Springs to Los Angeles on a Sunday afternoon. Radio traffic flash--a washing machine had fallen off a truck and was in the middle of the freeway; the news announcer was advising caution. As luck would have it, a few minutes later there was a large piece of metal in the middle of my lane. I couldn't get out of the way or stop because traffic was too heavy and going too fast. I gripped the wheel, drove over the metal, and heard a loud clunking noise. I decided I better exit the freeway and pull off to check my car. 

 

Sure enough, I had a flat tire. Thank goodness technology provides excellent tools. I called the Automotive Club AAA to report my situation and request assistance using my Blackberry. I had no idea where I was so I was able to use the GPS on my Blackberry to pinpoint my location for the customer service rep. She was able to tell me what time a service technician would arrive at my car; I had a wait time of fewer than 20 minutes. Amazing!

 

The service technician arrived in a vehicle filled with all kinds of tools; many of the tools were in different sizes; the right tools were well organized and stored in his service van. He was prepared to tackle whatever the situation needed. His attitude was fabulous; he had a "can do" attitude. I thoroughly enjoyed watching him think through how to release my spare tire; it's attached to the undercarriage of my car. He demonstrated excellent trouble-shooting skills that enabled him to release my spare tire; he hadn't come across a spare tired stored like this yet. 

 

While chatting with him, I was curious to know how his skills developed. He shared with me that he attended hands-on training and then worked on service calls with an experienced technician for two weeks. He also told me he is always coming across new situations where he has to think through what to do and then decide on tools to use. Isn't this what most people need to be able to do on the job?

 

Three tips to strengthen performance:

  1. Equip your teams with thinking tools and processes that help them effectively "think through" new situations. They need to be able to: appraise a situation, troubleshoot, problem solve, make a decision, and brainstorm new ideas on the spot. Different thinking processes use different thinking tools.
  2. Do a thorough technology review to uncover new ideas to improve customer response times. Technology is not static. It changes. Opportunities emerge. Be ready to capture them frequently.
  3. Hire employees with a "can do" attitude and then train them and support them to develop excellent job skills.  

 

How does your performance stack up? How does your group's performance stack up? Are there gaps in how they use thinking tools and thinking processes? How well are you using technology to provide excellent customer response times and service? How would you rate each person's "can do" attitude? What are you plans for action to strengthen performance and by when will you accomplish it?

 

I think this example of excellent performance demonstrates many lessons for leaders wanting to work with and develop a team of high impact performers. What lessons are you taking away from this example?

 

LIFT Your Thinking ... until next time.

©Lynda Curtin, The Opportunity Thinker. Book Lynda to speak at your next event. Call 818-507-6055 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.