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What I learned this summer.

Think back to when you were in school. Did you ever get the assignment to write a report on “What I did this summer”? For me it was mostly about the books I had read that summer. Oh how things have changed as I’ve gotten older. As we roll into September, I started thinking about what I learned this summer.

The “same people” exist in all companies.
What I mean by that is, there are only so many different personalities (based on DISC, Myers-Briggs, etc). So everywhere you go, there you are.

Processes only work for repeatable tasks.
If you are working a “one-off” by the time you construct a process for it, the task will probably be done. Or as I’ve been told “OBE” / Overcome by Events

Be there for your people, they will be there for you.
As a leader, your job is your people. Protect them. Remove their obstacles as best you can. They’ll thank you for it. And when possible, send an email instead of calling a meeting. (And if your boss does that, please read the email…)

Most folks want to do a good job.
I’ve been working since I was 14 and I think I can count on one hand the people who purposefully wanted to do a bad job. People just want to do the right thing. They’ll get tripped up if they aren’t given the tools and guidance to succeed.

You can do more than you think.
But you need to listen to your internal voice when it says, “Slow down” or “Time for a break”. Olympic athletes take rest days. Farmers let fields rest every so many years. And God created the world in six days taking the seventh off. Just saying, there’s a pattern to consider following.

Multi-tasking means doing many things poorly.
Instead of multi-tasking, you should consider “multi-thinking”. Each issue you encounter needs your undivided attention. So put down the phone or turn off the email – and really pay attention to the “think” in front of you. You’ll make better decisions rather than getting swept away and risk being “OBE” yourself.

Listening skills are HUGE.
If you are going to multi-think, you need to hear what is being said. Look your folks in the eye. Hang on every word said. Ensure you comprehend their thought and intent. If you are on a learning curve for a new program – you really don’t have much room for error. It’s important to listen with rapt attention.

Paperless is here.
You can save a tree. In fact, you can save a small forest if you choose not to print that email. Technology has actually advanced to the point that you can survive without printing. (Sheer blasphemy!)

Never, ever, never, assume.
Always validate your assumptions. It is your responsibility to ask really good questions. You may not always have the right answer or even the answer – but by asking the right questions – you and your team can get to the right solution set.

Manufacturing is a team sport.
There are no “singletons” in Manufacturing. We are like the Musketeers, “all for one and one for all”. Whether that is between work stations or shifts, each team is inter and intra-dependent on the other.

And finally, what I learned this summer is;

No matter how bad the day. Tomorrow is coming. The clock is reset and you get another 24 hours.

That’s what I learned this summer. It went by quick. Granted some of these I already knew but they were brought to my attention during the summer and I wanted to share with you. Have a happy and safe fall as we settle back in.

Be intentional,
Melissa