In Chapter 3 of Harper Lee’s novel To Kill a Mockingbird, Atticus Finch tells Scout that “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view … until you climb in his skin and walk around in it.” Well, I consider that I should also apply this to my leadership.
Part of my job is to help organisations solve their business pain, be it at an individual level, a collective level or cultural level or at process and organisation level.
Today was dedicated to process, and the best way to understand a process is to get actively involved in it on the shop floor. To me, understanding a manufacturing process in detail, is climbing into the operator’s skin and mind as much as possible, through all phases of the process.
There is so much that seems illogical from a distance, irrational and it would be easy for me to voice an opinion about how it should be done more efficiently. However, by doing, by being in the conditions, I listen.
I also ask many questions, about why they do what they do, I ask them if they think they could do it differently and question, question and question again until we both get to a place of understanding. Only then do we work on solutions.
Today I walked in a person’s skin and got covered in grime. Together we collected dust and valuable information so this person’s job can evolve for the better: for the better for them, for the better for the company.