Leaders of old went to the face of the battle themselves: Julius Caesar inspired his legions against the vast armies of Overcorrection by leading the charge himself, risking his human flesh to the blades and arrows of his enemies; Alexander the Great rode straight into the enemy, into the heart of the Persian army, in the Battle of Gametal; Queen Elizabeth I was with the English army during their defense of England against the invasion fleet of the Spanish Armada. People are greatly motivated when they know that their leaders are beside them, when they know that their leaders confront challenges and challenge the odds.
Leadership is at its best when relayed directly to subordinates. It loses its effectiveness when delegated. The same goes with communication. The message is effectively sent when delivered directly to the receiver. It tends to be distorted when coursed thru other people. In the organizational setting, the sentiments of employees are filtered when conveyed thru the middle management. At this level, issues and concerns are screened or are altered so as not to merit negative feedback when presented to the top management.
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Hence, the concerns in the lower hierarchy of the organization are to completely resolved. This is what Joe and Larry wanted to discover. They wanted to experience how their company operates and what their employees have to confront every day in doing their Job. “We sell 2,500 cups of coffee a day, not because of the coffee, but because we have Dolores in there. ” Joey’s coffee-selling experience with Dolores and Larry trash-hauling with Janice showed that building a good relationship with customers is a valuable asset in any kind of business.
The ultimate goal is not selling your products or services – it’s how to make them return again and gain, it’s about creating patrons – it’s about building a good impression, creating a name. It also provided me an important perspective; in the words of Joe: “l know that I’m not goanna do great at every Job that I try. ” Humility should be an always present trait in a leader. Larry exercised this when he was working with Fred at the landfill picking up wind-blown garbage. A leader can effectively relate himself with his affiliates when he recognizes that he has weaknesses, and that he is only human.
He must also have an open mind, tolerant to criticism and different viewpoints. Though e was “fired” by Walter, Larry did not take it personally, but rather made it a learning experience for himself. In this manner, a leader’s compassion is evoked and nurtured. And I felt the same compassion that struck Joe and Larry when they found out that Dolores and Walter go through their Jobs with their own story of kidney problems. Dolores and Walter were an image of resiliency and strong will. “l let my spirit tell my body what’s goanna happen, what Imam do or what I’m not goanna. Legalized that there was much more to people than meets the eye. Learning their stories will help me in understanding them better. Phil has a similar story. Joe met Phil at a 7-Eleven bakery in Baltimore. They had a mentor-student relationship, and Phil demonstrated an essential trait that leader-mentors should have: patience. It was the name of the game. Joe may have committed some lapses, but he felt no pressure because Phil was patient with him, and he made the experience fun for Joe. Phil did not reprimand Joe for his mistakes, but rather taught him how to properly do his Job.
At that instance, a new insight has struck me: typical managers will tell you how it is done; leaders will show you how. An environment conducive to learning accepts that mistakes are inevitable; they are a part of the learning process – mistakes are the usual bridge between inexperience and wisdom. A coincidence, it was only fitting that a soldier teaches his fellow soldier, working together to achieve learning. But it was more fitting that an army sergeant teaches an army officer. Joe was a Field Artillery Officer, a West Point cadet and graduate, and Phil, a Marine Corps sergeant.
And like Dolores, there was more to Phil than meets the eye. He is a man of the arts. He was an aspiring artist, and he did not fail to impress Joe with his works. Phial’s story was like the drawings he created. Lines describe what he is, and the colors give meaning to them – they describe who he is. Was has an equally colorful account. He works the night shift in another 7-Eleven store. Like Phil, Was was not empty of aspirations – he was taking up his Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice, and his Job has been helping him realize his goals.
Joe was awed with the determination that emanated from him. It seemed that Was was full of hope, but his sentiments towards building a career at 7-Eleven got Joe in thinking: great people like Was do not see themselves developing in the company – they see no room for Roth. An impression career development must be created in order to attract and recruit people like Was. “The thing that Just absolutely hurt was the fact that he doesn’t believe that he has an opportunity with 7-Eleven.
Great people make great companies, and we can’t let them think the Job’s a dead end. We can’t win the battle without great soldiers. ” And great was Jackal – she takes the work of three to four people ad gets the Job done. Even though she gets no raise form the additional workload, she Just continues what she does – she does not concede from the challenge. Life is I guess what you make of it. And I want work hard, and I want the most out of life that I can get, cause I’m alive – that’s the most important thing. An organization is only as good as the people inside it. Ordinary people will make you feel and think that you are ordinary; great people will make you feel that you too, can become great. The role of a leader does not end at influencing people to realize the organization’s goals – he influences and motivates these people to achieve their personal goals, and he will be at the ready to help you. The ultimate goal of dervish is not realizing the organizational goals, but to create more leaders along the way.
It saddens me to think that in our country, leadership seems to be only present at the top; organizations here are more directed towards management – people are overly managed and underlet. It’s a relief to know that Joe and Larry were looking forward to mentoring people like Was and Jackal and create a career path for them. They were ready to support these great people in whatever path that they the highest grossing store in their system, and when Larry came to the recycling facility that Sandy worked in.
Like the dysfunctional light bulbs at Laurel’s store, we were presented with the reality that somehow, somewhere in the organization, a problem always lurks, and like the cardboards that caused the recycling machines to clog up and malfunction, these problems are reasons that create impediments for the organization’s growth. Like Laurel’s hesitation that the facilities maintenance team can fix the store’s problems, doubt will prevail when issues and concerns are not immediately resolved.
People tend to have apprehensions when they lack support and feel powerless over a situation, Just like what Sandy felt towards the cocking policy that Kevin, her manager, was implementing – a policy that Larry thought did not align to the company’s values. Like the dark storage room at Laurel’s store, the absence of light to an issue compromises people’s sense of security, and consequently, their self-confidence is affected, and ultimately, the trust with their organizations weakens.
Joe and Larry saw that, and I was impressed with Joe that he took the effort to bend company policies, Just to address the problem right away, and with the assertiveness that Larry showed Kevin when he told him that he do something about the docking policy. But nothing impressed me more than Gross optimism and Fried’s Jolly disposition. Both men can see positivist in every situation that they are confronted with. They loved everything with Just about anything. Igor loved the cold temperature in the storage rooms – it reminded him of home.
He did not hate that he only spends time with his wife two days in a week – because they will have less time to argue. He loved the way the mechanical lift moved – it felt like riding a roller-coaster. “My truck is my baby. You know, I love it like, religiously. If I would have long hands, I could hug it. That’s my baby. Fred loved his Job, eve though it may be considered repulsive by most people. He went to war in what he calls “the battlefield of poop”, and he enjoyed every skirmish that he experienced in it. “l kept trying to figure out what motivates him. He takes a Job that most people would consider nasty.
He turns it into something Just funny and fun; if we could all be that way, what a great company we would have. ” Igor and Fred showed their bosses how to appreciate every little thing that life has to offer them. Igor appreciated his first time in America. It created a survivor in him. I have never felt so blessed until I heard Igor tell his story of survival. His stiff Russian accent did not hide the soft side of this Khaki. “Do a Job that you love and you won’t have to work a day in your life. ” He personified this phrase, especially Fred, and they changed the way Joe and Larry will be looking at things.
As Igor states a lesson: “… You guys Just do not know how blessed you are. ” And true enough our executives knew they were, blessed because they had someone like Igor and Fred working within the organization. And great folks like them deserve to be rewarded. Great leaders have a great sense of gratitude. Dolores, Phil, Was and Igor changed Joey’s perspectives, and Sandy, Walter, Jackal, Fred and Janice share Larry their own views of life, and these people changed the life of our protagonists as leaders of their respective companies and as ordinary individuals.
And it was only appropriate that they change the lives of these people as Coos. Using their powers, Joe gave Was an opportunity and a sense of direction to grow at 7- Eleven; he was made into a field consultant, and supervises the operations of 10 a customer account manager, that gave her a hefty pay raise and made her bonus eligible, to sufficiently support the needs of her relatives living with her, and cover payments for her mortgaged dream house.
Phil was offered a position as freelance illustrator at the company’s advertising agency, and is currently building his professional portfolio as an artist, and Fred put his Jolly disposition into good use – he decided to work in a hospital where he used his positivist to inspire and lift patients’ spirits. In honor of Dolores, the company has started a donor-awareness campaign, to help other people with the same situation as her. Walter has become is company’s health mentor, and he motivates thousands of employees with health conditions similar to his own.
Sandy problem with the docking policy has been addressed and corrected, and both morale and production have improved. The plant that she was in even won an award for excellence in recycling. And Igor was presented his own 7-Eleven franchise, and is now his own boss – living the American dream. These employees never saw it coming. Indeed, the gesture of gratitude made by their Coos during their “great reveal” was really heart-warming. The insights, experience and wisdom that Joe and Larry gained from these people were much ore valuable than the rewards that they offered.