Volume 17 Number 7 - July 9, 2019


We've all heard the story of the NASA janitor, who when asked what he does for that organization replied, "I help explore space." Listening to that, it's easy to see that he wants to do a great job and goes home knowing he contributed positively to the world.

I've met many in manufacturing who don't know how the product they make is used, or why aspects of it are especially important to the customer. Or how the world is better because of the product they make. They do know that making daily output goals is important to them keeping the job.

That's no way to live.

If your production workers make output goals, if your sales people make the targeted number of calls, if your accountants process transactions accurately, if your HR employees file reports on time, is the world truly a better place?

The best leaders not only communicate clear goals and priorities, they also manifest why they matter.

Those who believe that workers only show up for a paycheck likely don't provide any more reason than that. Teachers and firemen are in professions driven by passion and commitment. Those professionals know that being trained and ready, providing what is needed when it is needed, and working hard to ensure their goals are well met at all times entice them to do a great job. When the environment makes it very difficult to perform well, they leave the job.

Your employees may not have grown up knowing they want to work in manufacturing. Regardless, their first day on the job with you they want to learn and do a great job. It's your responsibility to ensure those motivations don't deteriorate.

I encourage you and your leadership team to provide an environment that inspires each member of your team to be passionate and committed while working for your organization.

Please don't settle for "because it's their job." It's not. Their job is to earn their paycheck.

Your job is to ensure they receive much more than that.

Motivation is intrinsic; you can't motivate people. But you can give them reason to care intensely.

What answer would that NASA janitor give if he worked for you?

The Starting Pistol

Jerry West:
"You need lofty goals. Then cement it with a great work ethic."

The Tape

Rebecca Morgan:
"No one in your organization should have the goal of simply getting through another day at work. How specifically does your personal leadership support lofty goals for each individual?"

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