Are You a Quality Leader? Do a Check Up: Part IV

images-4The following are principles 10 through 12 of the 12 Principles of Quality Leadership.

I suggest you use them in this way: Read the principles and deeply look at yourself and your department. Then answer the questions.

What have you learned?

What are you going to do about it?

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THE TWELVE PRINCIPLES OF QUALITY LEADERSHIP (Principles 10-12)

  1. ENCOURAGE CREATIVITY THROUGH RISK-TAKING AND BE TOLERANT OF HONEST MISTAKES.

We will never get creativity and innovation from our employees when we tell them they cannot make mistakes. All that we know about people tells us that creativity is chilled and repressed in such an environment. It is not easy to accept honest mistakes. The price we pay for zero defects, however, is zero creativity. Many of us have been working together for many years. We all remember each other’s mistakes and failures. Without forgiving and forgetting we will never be comfortable in the workplace.

If we don’t permit honest mistakes new ways and ideas will never be tried. It’s simply too risky in an authoritarian organization. Quality and creativity is the result of a constant process of trying and improving.

  • How do you see quality and creativity being related?
  • How would you encourage more creativity in your employees?
  • What barriers might you encounter?
  • What would be the steps you would take to creatively improve a system and overcome those barriers or obstacles?
  • What is an honest mistake? How would you demonstrate leadership to your employees in these situations?
  1. BE A FACILITATOR AND COACH. DEVELOP AN OPEN ATMOSPHERE THAT ENCOURAGES PROVIDING AND ACCEPTING FEEDBACK.

A leader’s job today is different. It is challenging and gives us opportunity for personal growth because it has such new opportunities. Being an effective Quality leader is being a coach, a teacher, student, role-model and, most important, a champion of the new philosophy. We are in the business of helping people develop and experience personal growth. Our employee’s goal is to deliver a quality service to our citizens by being responsive and sensitive to those citizen’s needs. We can model this behavior by being responsive and sensitive to our employee’s needs. All this can only be accomplished in an atmosphere of trust, honesty and openness. Part of this process is honest feedback. An honest feedback system is essential for the creation of a quality organization. Feedback is for the improvement of the receiver. It is not designed to make the giver feel better by venting. Venting is sometimes necessary, but don’t mistake it for feedback. Leaders have consistency of purpose — a vision as to where they are going. Leaders develop the competency of their people. They are committed. Their employees know where they stand!

  • What is coaching? What is the difference between telling and coaching?
  • Can you think of a time when you were coached to do better How did you feel? Why?
  • Which is more difficult, giving or accepting feedback? Why is that?
  • How could your workplace become more open?
  1. WITH TEAMWORK, DEVELOP WITH EMPLOYEES AGREED-UPON GOALS AND A PLAN TO ACHIEVE THEM.

This principle tries to capture the importance of progress and moving forward with a team effort. We plan where we are going and establish agreed-upon ways to achieve that goal with input and discussion with our employees. We help create a vision. Our job is then to gain alignment of that vision with our practices. We can do that by coaching our employees toward excellence — not by telling and controlling them. Long-term goals are essential to the performance of a quality organization. Once goals are set it is critically important for leaders to follow-up and, at least weekly, if not daily, coach employees to success. There is a technique used to achieve maximum performance of individuals and is frequently used by athletes to capture world records. It is called visioning, mentally picturing yourself achieving. For example, jumping higher or running faster or further than you have ever done before! Organizations need to create similar visions and plan accordingly.

  • Think of something that needs to be done at work; something you are responsible for. How could a team approach be used to accomplish this?
  • What are your personal leadership goals for this year How could a team from your unit be used to help you accomplish these goals? What measures of success could you use?

These principles and much more can be found in The New Quality Leadership Workbook For Police, by David Couper and Sabine Lobitz ($20.00, published in 2014 and contains over 201 pages).