Recently, I visited Hope College to connect with our customer Greg Maybury. I arrived about 25 minutes early, so I stepped into our site trailer to find that our Site Manager, Marc Arthur was conducting his weekly progress meeting with the trade contracting team. It was a worthwhile experience. Marc is a seasoned veteran, and he had a detailed list of what was expected for the coming week for each trade. He made a point of gaining commitment from each of the foremen about their responsibilities.
Then, before moving to the next topic he asked the magic question: “Do you need anything from anyone else in order to complete your work?”
Most of the responses were, “No, we’re good to go.” In a couple of cases, there was a constraint identified that was quickly addressed. But the question is remarkable for the very reason that it keeps the team accountable to their commitments. Imagine the conversation about a trade that didn’t keep pace. We’re all human, and we’d like to point at the other guy that was in our way. But this powerful question glues the team together and eliminates the finger pointing.
It’s a good reminder of how effective leadership can eliminate barriers to productivity and help team members function more efficiently.