Volume 26 May 21, 2003
Message From Charles Loew
Comments From Our Readers
New On The Maset Web Site
Helpful Hints from fellow Practitioners
Top Ten List
Feature Of This Issue
Second Feature Of This Issue
Coming in the Next Few Issues
Welcome to MASET News. A monthly publication dedicated to the communication between MASET and our many interested friends, customers and potential customers
MESSAGE FROM CHARLES LOEW:
Next month we are adding a new feature called QBQ! (The Question Behind the Question) QuickNote. This will replace the New Truths on Quality. I am sure you will enjoy the new feature.
We have added two new associates to our roster. Please take a few minutes to review their resumes and let us know if you can use their expertise.
Our feature article this month discusses how to create more overachievers from our many "average" employees. I am sure that you will find a number of great suggestions you can apply to your own situation.
Our second feature article has some great tips; especially ones that help you eliminate a lot of the waste and small irritants that face us each day.
COMMENTS FROM OUR READERS:
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"We at Company XYZ are very appreciative to receive the MASET NEWS. We particularly like your "Top Ten List" in the current issue. We are certainly pursuing those key learnings in managing both facilities of our Business Unit now. Your experthelp in facilitating CTR at xxx is sure to bear abundant fruit soon." Indonesia
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NEW ON THE MASET WEB SITE:
No additions this month.
HELPFUL HINTS FROM FELLOW PRACTITIONERS:
If you would like a discussion during a meeting to be more freely conducted, keep an extra chair handy for you as the facilitator to sit in during the discussion between participants. In doing so, they will participate more freely in the discussion. If you want increased control, simply stand up again, summarize the point at which the discussion is and take the meeting to the next level of focus.
TOP TEN LIST:
Key Learnings in -
IMPORTANCE OF WRITE WORD! (Part 1 of 2)
Mark Twain once said, "The difference between the right word and the wrong word is like the difference between lightning and the lightning bug."
Here are examples of what he was talking about:
1. Spotted in a restroom of a London office: TOILET OUT OF ORDER. PLEASE USE FLOOR BELOW
2. In a Laundromat: AUTOMATIC WASHING MACHINES: PLEASE REMOVE ALL YOUR CLOTHES WHEN THE LIGHT GOES OUT
3. In a London department store: BARGAIN BASEMENT UPSTAIRS
4. In an office: WOULD THE PERSON WHO TOOK THE STEP LADDER YESTERDAY PLEASE BRING IT BACK OR FURTHER STEPS WILL BE TAKEN
5. In an office: AFTER TEA BREAK STAFF SHOULD EMPTY THE TEAPOT AND STAND UPSIDE DOWN ON THE DRAINING BOARD
6. Outside a secondhand shop: WE EXCHANGE ANYTHING - BICYCLES, WASHING MACHINES, ETC. WHY NOT BRING YOUR WIFE ALONG AND GET A WONDERFUL BARGAIN?
FEATURE OF THIS ISSUE:
Transforming Employees Into Overachievers
Managers have more influence than we might realize.
By H. James Harrington
As managers, we usually think we have good employees working for us. Sure, there might be one or two who don't perform well, but, on the whole, our employees are solid workers. Poor performers don't last long, as we're quick to get rid of them before they contaminate the rest of the team. The remaining employees are those who put in a fair day's work for a fair day's pay. They are dependable, knowledgeable and trustworthy, and they do their job without complaint - but are they overachievers? Not really. Away from work, they're likely overachievers who excel at many things, but chances are that they have the capacity to contribute much more to your organization than they do.
It's the manager's job to convert good employees into overachievers, and the difference between fair managers and great managers is the ability to do so. Consider which of the following best describes your own managerial performance:
Occasionally exceeds requirements
Consistently exceeds requirements
If you are not an overachiever, reflect on your career and determine what you believe was your very best performance. Next, write a paragraph about why you believe your performance was outstanding. Then make a list of your feelings toward your manager at the time and how he or she influenced your thinking and actions.
Managers who can successfully develop overachievers share many traits. Too often, poor managers drive performance improvement with threats, bonuses, salary increases, mandated policies and trickery. But measures such as these only work for a short period of time: they don't produce long-term results.
Managers can bring out the best in their employees in many ways. Many consultants believe that being able to provide employees with a good understanding of the organization's visions is the most important, while others talk about open communication. Still others preach that managers must "walk the talk." These suggestions are all important, but none of them are the most important. Then what is the most important? My research clearly identifies that the key factor driving performance improvement, reducing turnover and encouraging creativity is management integrity.
Short-term results don't require leadership; management can bully employees into short-term performance. But it takes a person with a reputation for high integrity to drive long-lasting results. I look at integrity and character as cause and effect. If your employees don't believe you have integrity, you've lost your most important leadership trait. Managers talk about integrity in others but seldom evaluate themselves. Low integrity drives poor performance. Remember that each person with whom you come in contact every day measures your integrity.
Too often we encourage others to stretch the truth. We make promises and then don't deliver. Little half-truths and innocent lies all undermine your credibility and integrity. When employees are never quite sure what's truth and what's exaggeration, they spend a great deal of time trying to second-guess you. They soon realize that you won't stand behind them but will instead always look for the easy way out. True leaders have the strength to stand behind their people regardless of the politics of the situation. Managers who can't do so are two-faced; they tell employees they're doing a good job, but behind their backs the managers preach a different story. Their words and their actions are very different. They set performance standards for their employees that they can't meet themselves. They complain that the employees aren't working hard enough and then take the afternoon off to play golf.
Our employees will overlook our poor-judgment errors, but they will always remember our lapses of integrity. To stimulate overachievement, it's absolutely imperative that managers never compromise their integrity, or they will have lost their right to lead.
The first step in developing overachieving employees is establishing yourself as a credible manager with a high degree of integrity. This is the foundation from which we start to develop overachieving employees.
About the author
H. James Harrington is COO of Systemcorp, an Internet-software development company. He was formerly a principal at Ernst & Young, where he served as an international quality adviser. He has more than 45 years of experience as a quality professional and is the author of 20 books.
Harrington is a past president and chairman of the board of both the American Society for Quality and the International Academy for Quality. E-mail him at email@example.com. Visit his Web site at www.hjharrington.com.
Reprinted with permission of H. James Harrington. Article originally appeared in Quality Digest, September 2001, p. 18.
SECOND FEATURE OF THIS ISSUE:
ADVICE - ACTUALLY GOOD ADVICE!
A corporate attorney sent the following out to the employees in his company:
The next time you order checks have only your initials (instead of first name) and last name put on them.
If someone takes your check book they will not know if you sign your checks with just your initials or your first name but your bank will know how you sign your checks.
When you are writing checks to pay on your credit card accounts, DO NOT put the complete account number on the "For" line. Instead, just put the last four numbers. The credit card company knows the rest of the number and anyone who might be handling your check as it passes through all the check processing channels won't have access to it.
Put your work phone # on your checks instead of your home phone. If you have a PO Box use that instead of your home o Never have your SS# printed on your checks (DUH!) you can add it if it is necessary. But if you have it printed, anyone can get it
Place the contents of your wallet on a photocopy machine, do both sides of each license, credit card, etc. You will know what you had in your wallet and all of the account numbers and phone numbers to call and cancel.
Keep the photocopy in a safe place. I also carry a photocopy of my passport when I travel either here or abroad.
We've all heard horror stories about fraud that's committed on us in stealing a name, address, Social Security number, credit cards, etc.
Unfortunately I, an attorney, have firsthand knowledge because my wallet was stolen last month. Within a week, the thieve(s) ordered an expensive monthly cell phone package, applied for a VISA credit card, had a credit line approved to buy a Gateway computer, received a PIN number from DMV to change my driving record information online, and more.
But here's some critical information to limit the damage in case this happens to you or someone you know:
We have been told we should cancel our credit cards immediately. But the key is having the toll free numbers and your card numbers handy so you know whom to call. Keep those where you can find them easily.
File a police report immediately in the jurisdiction where it was stolen, this proves to credit providers you were diligent, and is a first step toward an investigation (if there ever is one)
But here's what is perhaps most important: (I never even thought to do this).
Call the three national credit reporting organizations immediately to place a fraud alert on your name and Social Security number. I had never heard of doing that until advised by a bank that called to tell me an application for credit was made over the Internet in my name.
The alert means any company that checks your credit knows your information was stolen and they have to contact you by phone to authorize new credit.
By the time I was advised to do this, almost two weeks after the theft, all the damage had been done.
There are records of all the credit checks initiated by the thieves' purchases, none of which I knew about before placing the alert. Since then, no additional damage has been done, and the thieves threw my wallet away this weekend. (someone turned it in). It seems to have stopped them in their tracks.
The numbers are:
Experian (formerly TRW): 1-888-397-3742
Trans Union: 1-800-680-7289
Social Security Administration (fraud line): 1-800-269-0271
COMING IN THE NEXT FEW ISSUES:
Ethics in Business
Design for Assembly
Customer Relationship Management
Key Account Management
Six Sigma for Small Business
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