Management Articles


Leadership and Change

By: Joe Rodriguez

Joe Rodriguez, President of Global Innovation Leadership, Inc, is a busy international consultant, seminar leader and professional speaker in the areas of new products and services and business performance improvement.Global Innovation Leadership, Inc offers consulting, coaching, training & facilitating in the area of performance management for growth and profitability. You can reach it at: PO Box 770430, Miami, FL 33177. Phone: 305-256-096; Fax: 305-378-8459.

During a recent Improvement Project, we were struggling to make any significant progress in a certain area of the plant. Suddenly, the manager at that time left the company and a new manager Don, took over the operation. Interestingly, Don had expressed a great deal of negativity at the very beginning of the plant wide initiative; using statements such as "weíve tried it already, it hasnít worked." After a few weeks in his new assignment, Don showed his commitment to change, and his employees placed their trust in him. The project quickly resumed its momentum; the sudden difference being the level of faith the employees had in Don and his authority.

To move an organization to change we depend on mobilizing the knowledge of the workers to align it with the goals of the enterprise and in the relationships created determining the ability to work together. This ability is dependent in Trust and in Commitment.

Don was consistent, caring and competent. He had worked in other areas of the plant and had, over 20 years acquired a reputation for being trustworthy in the eyes of management and workers. He showed he cared by looking into employee suggestions and implementing them. He showed he knew the products, the machinery and that he had become a Lean Manufacturing convert. In short, he took a group of disgruntled employees and made them into a team. He achieved this by dealing with the social aspects of the work environment as well as showing them the direction and the need to change by adopting Lean Manufacturing.

Don followed the following principles:
  • Created an Environment of Open Communication. Respect, information about the company, the jobs, the products should be readily available.

  • Lead by Doing. Managers should not think of himself as being superior, it is more important to be involved and helpful at every level.

  • Truth. Honesty is vital in employee relations. Always tell employees things that will affect them or their jobs.

  • Rewards. Be liberal with praise and small rewards.

  • Mistakes. Be quick to admit mistakes. Donít be afraid to lose face, employees will respect your honesty.

  • Consistency. Above all, be consistent. Apply the same rules to everyone. Show favoritism to no one.
Trust and Commitment are the essential elements for the success of the organization. Only some leaders have the ability to create the environment for success however, all can learn to follow the basic principles and be as successful as Don was.

© Copyright 1998, 1999, 2000 Global Innovation Leadership Inc.

Other Articles by Joe Rodriguez

The author assumes full responsibility for the contents of this article and retains all of its property rights. ManagerWise publishes it here with the permission of the author. ManagerWise assumes no responsibility for the article's contents.


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