Before I get started on the leadership lesson you need to know that someone really was interested enough to determine if you could nail Jello to a wall. After trying a number of different additives to strengthen the Jello they determined this:
“Our further investigation into this area leads us to state the following: Jell-O can be effectively nailed to a wall if you increase its density by reducing the proportion of water to gelatin in the recipe, or fortify it by adding more gelatin powder. Molding holes into the Jell-O or attempting to reinforce the holes was not substantially effective in increasing its ability to withstand stress. Apparently you can also nail Jell-O to a wall if you embed plastic mesh in it, or ramen noodles. Sliced fruit may increase Jell-O’s nutritional value, but makes only a minor contribution to its structural integrity when embedded.”
Here is the link to the site which documents the entire experiment. http://www.myscienceproject.org/j-wall.html
It seems from this experiment that Jello made in the conventional manner is pretty impossible to nail to a wall. To be successful you must change the recipe and reinforce the Jello with other things.
By doing these things you have a greater chance of your Jello looking like this:
Sometimes when leading a team, a leader finds that the original team recipe will not accomplish the goals and the team needs to be supplemented with additional resources. This is what a leader does; he is constantly monitoring progress, adjusting, and when necessary supplementing the team with additional tools or people.
So if you don’t want your team and your project to end up in one messy pile here are some thoughts:
- Make sure you pick team members who will complement each other with the necessary skills
- Make sure you have properly communicated the vision and it is understood
- Make sure you have properly planned the project and anticipated potential roadblocks
- When the project seems to be slipping off the wall, react quickly and decisively
Have a Great Masonic Day!
Have a Great Blahless Day!
An article about a one-way mission to Mars published in the New York Post caught my attention. The article was based on an idea by two scientists who believe that a trip to Mars would be possible and one of their reasons was it would cost one-quarter of the price of a “there-and-back” mission.
So this caused me to think; wouldn’t be great if dealing with an unproductive team member was as easy as sending them on a one-way trip, never to return again. Certainly in many cases, you as the leader of a team, may have that option and can just send them packing. But what do you do if you have no control over who’s on your team? What if your boss says they must remain on the team or if it’s a volunteer organization and they were elected to their position? What do you do then?
You then must find out why this member is not productive. There could be several reasons and you can begin by asking several questions:
- How well do I know this person? – Have I spent enough time with him to understand what motivates him or what makes him laugh or cry?
- Has this person been properly trained? – Was enough time taken to ensure that he knows his responsibilities and was given the information and training to succeed?
- Are there roadblocks or people interfering with his ability to do his job? – Have I, as the leader, made sure that significant impediments are cleared for him?
- Have I provided encouragement and motivation?
- Are the other team members supporting him and his efforts?
Answering these questions will help you understand why a team member is unproductive. Everyone wants to succeed, but sometimes things beyond their control or ability will cause them to appear unproductive. It is your job as the leader to train team members and anticipate possible problems for and solve them before they hamper progress.
So many times we complain about the non-performance of a team member without ever finding out why he or she is not performing. Spend time with them, understand their strengths and weaknesses, and help them develop a plan to carry out their assigned tasks.
Don’t be so eager to send someone on a one-way trip to Mars without first doing your job as a leader.
Have a Great Blahless Day!