A recent situation at the Kentucky New Era in Hopkinsville, Kentucky shows how when team members understand that it is okay to assume leadership and take action that the end result is a better product for the customer.
Taylor Hayes, the Publisher and CEO recently sent the following note to me and his staff about the actions of Windy Ezell, an employee in the business office who turned reporter/photographer for the day. Taylor’s commendation places it all into perspective and is an excellent way of drawing attention to such meritorious service. We have been working with Taylor and his team for several years now teaching and coaching the management and employees about team collaboration and participatory management. The learning seems to be well underway. We are very proud of all of them.
“I hope everyone saw where Windy Ezell had provided the news department with a photo of a wreck last week on the Boulevard.
Everyone knows Windy works in the business office which provides all the necessary administrative support our organization needs and not the news department. She could have been like most of us working outside the news department and simply driven past the accident not even realizing there was an opportunity.
I am thankful she was thinking beyond her everyday routine to see the need and opportunity to take a photo that our audience may have interest. This action should be a lesson for all of us, including myself … just because a task does not fall under the scope of our everyday job, does not mean we cannot assist and provide ideas and service for other areas of our operation.
In fact, for our company to be competitive and successful today, we all must be thinking in a more unconventionally sense … be thinking about how to build our audience and build onto our customer base. Whether it is stopping to take a photo, turning in a news tip, soliciting someone to become a subscriber, communicating with advertising about a new business, or simply forwarding an idea that could generate revenue, cut expenses, or save time.
As I have said so many times over the last number of years it will take all of us to meet the challenges and seek out opportunities in today’s business world … not just me, Chuck or your department head. I thank Windy for recognizing a need and taking action.”
The “Leaders” Decision-making Process
Research shows that leaders follow carefully a 5-step process when making decisions.
1. Leaders analyze the overall situation before making tactical decisions. They objectively review ay situation and leave their emotions out of the model.
2. Leaders set specific understandable and actionable objectives. They focus themselves and their team on the mort important things to get done first.
3. Leaders develop alternative actions. They understand that all options and actions must be explored, considered, discussed, pros and cons assessed and only then do they narrow down their tactical decisions,
4. Leaders identify the adverse consequences of their actions. They are capable of thinking through the worst while planning for the best.
5. Leaders select solutions and resolutions that are actionable. They understand that they must focus on those actions that are attainable with the resources they have.
L. Darryl Armstrong
ARMSTRONG and Associates
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