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In a CNN interview with Bob Wright, the Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer with the Wendy's corporation, he made a powerful statement that "their secret weapon was their people. Their people being their best and bringing their best to the customer was what made the difference in the Wendy's corporation". Organizational effectiveness, adaptability, responsiveness, and creativity is only as effective as its frontline workers. This is a guiding principle in the Stop & THINK safety foundation. The more we develop the workforce the more effective our organizational goals and KPI's will be.

Employee Ownership

Just as we depend on the legs of a barstool to support us, it is our frontline employees who are our support. As a leader you will never be more effective than the effectiveness of your employees.

It is the legs of a barstool that support us and hold us up, and in the same way our frontline employees are our support. The process to develop your employee base must include the three essential components:

  • Autonomy - The employee's ability to self-manage.

  • Empowerment - The employees authority and ability in decision-making.

  • Action - The employees ability and capacity to make significant and positive differences through action (ownership).

Leadership traits are within everyone they just need to be nurtured!

Bob Wright noted that leadership traits are within everyone they just need to be nurtured. This is the foundational element necessary to developing the workforce. We are all different with different capabilities and personalities. Encapsulating an in depth knowledge base of each employee positions leaders to identify varying leadership traits, and then nurture those traits into positive attributes for the organization.

Great Leaders have the ability to find the best in others and develop it!

Bob Wright also noted that another leadership trait was having the ability to find the best in others and develop that. Again this is yet another principle in the Stop & THINK safety foundation. Every leader recalls when they first stepped into a leadership role. The moment they assumed the responsibility of leadership everything that wasn't previously important is now vitally important all because the level of responsibility changed. If we then begin to change every employee's mindset that their value to the organization is far more than just the title and function they provide to the company, then we begin to change the culture of the organization. This is why it is vitally important that leaders strategically find the skills that each front line employee has and develop that skillset. This creates the ability to create a sharing of responsibility across the organization, which creates ownership wherein the employee base is as concerned about safety, quality, and production as YOU are.

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