HVACR Business

APR 2017

Help hvacr contractors master the critical components of business management.

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27 HVACR BUSINESS APRIL 2017 www. hvacrbusiness .com TRANSFORM YOUR LEADERS 12. Impressive — so the crew responded well? Yes, very much so. It's a two-and-a-half-hour, all-hands-on-deck event. In fact, when we got to the Persian Gulf, my chief bosun's mate said, "You know, we've never done this at night," [laughs] so I decided from that point on, we would only refuel at sea, at night, and we became really good at it. Afterward, I realized it's 120 degrees in the Persian Gulf during the day and it's only 100 degrees at night, so nighttime actually made more sense. is was just one of the reasons we became known throughout the fleet as the ship on which everybody wanted to be. 13. What else did you do? Simple things, such as letting the crew know what was going on in the world. On the closed circuit TV, we'd put on the news and sports scores while they were eating and, in between, I'd flash up my leadership principles: commitment, cohesion, accountability, creativity and innovation. 14. Did you know the ship was not performing well before you took command? I didn't know the extent of the severity. When I took command, I was only allowed to talk to my predecessor and no one else. Honest, self- evaluations — especially regarding leadership — are difficult for many to assess with accuracy. I was, however, able to look at all of the statistics. Retention rates are a good indication of the health of a ship, and businesses for that matter, and they were very low. Additionally, the USS Benfold had one of the highest accident rates. My assumption going in was there was going to be a lot of work to do. Another name for that is opportunity. 15. How did you fix that problem? First, acknowledge it and own it. All this stuff goes together. If you have a high workman's comp rate or if you lose people, the problem's with you. Business owners need to know the problem is with them. I became involved in our safety programs. e other sailors saw it was important to me and it became important to them. It's funny how taking care of the small things helps the large things too. For example, we have our own fire suppression equipment onboard because, if there's a fire at sea, we can't call the fire department. We are the fire department. All the equipment has to be checked monthly and the technician has to sign their name. If there's no name and date on the tag, then the maintenance is overdue and hasn't been done. I'd walk down the Aegis Performance Group provides training for business. The training is unique and tailors solutions that will work for you, in your culture, in your world. HVACR Business subscribers are entitled to special pricing by visiting the link below. VISIT apgleadership.com/fuel-hvacr/ TODAY TO ENROLL! passageways and stop in full view of sailors and check the tags so they'd understand and think, "is is important to the Captain. It's going to be important to us." If it's important to the boss, it's important to the employees. 16. I always thought the military was about practice and repetition until things become second nature — is that how you managed? Command and control work for half of the training. e other half is teaching people to take action and responsibility in an interactive way. An Arleigh Burke-class destroyer is so advanced, we have an embedded training system on the ship. I could create a training simulation to which my crew had to respond. It's so sophisticated, it responds to their actions. It's so dynamic, command and control doesn't work. 17. What's the most fun you've had on board? Without question, it's "plane guarding" for an aircraft carrier. Planes have to take off into 30 knots of relative wind across the deck, so they line up on a destroyer or a cruiser so they can land on the flight deck. We're also there in case they crash so we can pick them up. On a no wind day, the aircraft carrier has to crank up to 31 knots, to get enough wind across their deck. We'd have to do the same, so we'd be at full power with all four engines online. e ship is rumbling. It's kicking up a rooster tail of water that's two stories high and F18s are flying overhead at a hundred feet — it's the loudest thing you've ever heard. It's difficult to describe how exciting that is, but I would do that job for free every day. 18. You've written several books on leadership — did their success surprise you? "It's Your Ship" was the first one and I really didn't know what to expect. A few neat things happened. I told myself if it was successful I was going to buy a Porsche. It made the New York Times bestseller list, so I found a 2001 Porsche 911 Cabriolet, which I still have. Next, Sports Illustrated interviewed Bill Belichick. ey asked him what his favorite leadership book was and he said, "It's Your Ship!" He's amazing because he takes players from everywhere and gets them to play together as a team, which has been my whole message. Finally, the success of my book was the impetus to create Aegis Performance Group (APG). 19. Can you tell me more about the APG? I try to motivate people to become better leaders, but leadership is tough. Typically, when the first trouble call comes in, you forget everything. I teamed up with Stacy Cunningham who put the academics behind everything I teach. Now we have a leadership program. It's a virtual, six-month program that takes just 15 minutes a week. e cost is modest and the coaching can be personalized. It's for leaders and employees. Let's say you have 25 employees — wouldn't it be nice to know what motivates them so you can connect with them better and give them the opportunities they're looking for? We try to reduce risk and help managers to understand who their people are and what drives them, and then they can make better-informed decisions. 20. How do you personalize the training? We give assessments based on your motivators, behaviors and thinking style. For example, there are three basic thinking styles: you're people-oriented, big picture-oriented or task-oriented. Most are two of these. Every organization needs to understand the personnel and their thinking styles. ey may be doing more harm than good if the owner has no big picture skills or their technician has no people skills. What we do is help companies understand thinking styles, behavior and motivation.

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