Leadership Blog

Wise Leadership Principles from an Admiral

Vice Admiral Gerald Hoewing (Ret) is an internationally recognized leader who rose to the top levels of the US Navy.  Vice Admiral Hoewing, or Jerry, as he prefers, started his Naval career piloting aircraft such as the F-14 Tomcat (yes, the Top Gun jet fighter!).  He rose to Commanding Officer of aircraft carriers and eventually to Chief of Naval Personnel/Deputy Chief of Naval Operations, with responsibility for assigning more than 370,000 Navy men and women with an annual budget of $35 billion.  Jerry’s leadership responsibilities were of a global scale and long lasting. His wisdom and demeanor certainly demonstrate the qualities of a role model for a leader.  Jerry led an inspiring discussion on leadership that I was privileged to participate in, which is summarized for you here:

  1. You, as leader, are being watched, especially your character, your attitude, and your example.
  2. To lead, the leader must first earn the respect of the people.
  3. Leaders set the climate and the culture.
  4. Culture is the collective action of leaders, which is what you, as leaders, do.
  5. Communicate, communicate, communicate, constantly. You can’t over-communicate.
  6. Care enough to know the people’s needs and concerns, by listening, interacting, walking around, being out there, and transforming words into actions.
  7. Know how to engage the world’s new instantaneous communication systems, like the social media, to the organization’s advantage.
  8. Bad news doesn’t get better with time.
  9. Make sure your people know that what they do matters.
  10. Know yourself – your strengths and weaknesses.
  11. The health of any organization is dependent upon the leadership skills of the top.

Your leadership influence goes far beyond any directives and actions you make as the boss.  Your team emulates your values, behavior, and focus, which can be good.  Be values-based, be out there on the frontlines, and be the kind of leader you respect.

Next week, more wisdom from the Admiral.
… and Pass It On!

Quote from Vice Admiral Jerry Hoewing: “Pick a good role model, and then be the kind of role model you would want to be for someone else.”

Vice Admiral Jerry Hoewing

Vice Admiral Jerry Hoewing

For more info on Admiral Jerry Hoewing leadership contributions to our country, go to this link: http://www.navy.mil/navydata/bios/navybio.asp?bioID=146

Special Thanks to Dr. Steve Byrum of The Byrum Consulting Group, for introducing me to Admiral Hoewing.

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Zero Waste: From “Why & What” to “How & Now”

Remember Larman? …who first thought Zero Waste might be “out over our skis.”  And then, he and his boss, Jeff, along with Mike and Tina, became unwavering champions at Mohawk Industries for Zero Waste.  Their landfill haul savings was a respectable $35,000 but the manufacturing waste savings was awesome, approaching $1,000,000!

Time and again, the Zero Waste financial benefits far exceed any expected savings from reduced landfill hauls.  Seeing Larman recently, I asked if his team of over 200 is sustaining their target of less than 50 gallons per week of curb waste (apple cores, banana peels, etc.).  “You betcha!” was his emotional response.  Our society needs more like Larman, Jeff, Mike, and Tina, who move from “Why and What” to “How and Now,”…to quickly turn Zero Waste into habitual practices.

Moving from the “why’s and what’s” of previous blogs, below is a collection of best principles and practices on how to win “World War III on Waste”:

Best Principles

  1. Manage the Culture: Make Sustainability values-based and personal (ref. blog: frontlinefocus.us/?p=1086).
  2. Sustainability and cost benefits are mutually inclusive, for business and society.
  3. Organize the focus:  The Site Executive owns the success; find champions, like Larman, Jeff, Mike, and Tina; exploit small-group strengths.
  4. The best solutions are upstream at the “top of the pipe” with product and process design.
  5. ZERO Waste is not complicated, but it’s about managing the details of Zero tolerance.

Best Practices

  1. Define & Analyze the Baseline: Metrics, Culture, Housekeeping.
  2. Describe success; i.e. What It Looks Like.
  3. Identify Barriers: What in the pile is keeping you from Zero?
  4. Define a rigorous Focus Plan: What? Who? When? How? Now!
  5. Communicate & Educate: the Zero expectation; Key Messages; new processes; new-hire orientation.
  6. Segregation of Waste is the first step; make it simple and convenient.
  7. 40-Day Focus: a 20 minute daily frontline Sustainability coaching tour for 40 business days (ref blog: frontlinefocus.us/?p=1168).
  8. Audits: Executive “laps” on the frontlines; Self- audits; Expert audits.
  9. 24 X 7 Focus that includes sustainability at home.
  10. Keep the Focus Fresh, with communications and celebrations; jazz it up!
  11. Follow-up; Follow-up; Follow-up!

The web sites of USZWBC (http://uszwbc.org/) and Elemental Impact (http://www.elementalimpact.org/) are great sources to keep up with successes, best practices, and new ideas for getting to Zero.

…and Happy Birthday, USA! Remember to live out our responsibilities to this sustain this great country together …socially, economically, politically, and environmentally.  And then, after the BBQ, remember to recycle those bottles, cans, and such!  God Bless the USA!

…And Pass It On!
Quote from Scott Lutocka, Facilities & Sustainability Manager at Piazza Produce & Specialty Foods in Indianapolis, recipient of the 2014 USZWBC Gold Excellence in Zero Waste, again proving it can be done!  “I believe in their (USZWBC) vision and message as well as advocacy for Zero Waste.  We have a tough road ahead as we continue to try to convince businesses and communities that this is something that should not be optional.  It’s not rocket science!”

Piazza Produce's USZWBC Gold Excellence in Zero Waste Award

Piazza Produce’s USZWBC Gold Excellence in Zero Waste Award

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