Blue-Collar Leadership & Supervision
I’m excited to share with you a preview (Chapter 1) of the second book in my Blue-Collar Leadership Series. The first book, Blue-Collar Leadership: Leading from the Front Lines, was written as a tool and resource for developing the front line, entry level team members that are so often underdeveloped and overlooked in the blue-collar workforce.
This book, Blue-Collar Leadership & Supervision, will be a tool and resource for developing those courageous people that step up and accept a position of leadership, most often, without ever receiving any formal leadership training. They’re simply expected to lead. And, they do the best they can. This will help them grow beyond supervision and management. Once they read this book, they will know what it means to be a leader and how to become a more effective leader.
Then, they will have a choice. Will they settle in for being a traditional supervisor or manager? Or, will they become a high impact leader that also supervises and manages?
Expected ship date is 8/1/2016. You can pre-order a signed copy now and save 17% or simply enjoy reading this first chapter!
IN THE BEGINNING…
THE CHALLENGE OF NOT KNOWING
WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW
“Principle-centered people are constantly educated by their experiences. They read, they seek training, they take classes, they listen to others, they learn through both their ears and eyes…they discover that the more they know, the more they realize they don’t know.” ~ Dr. Stephen R. Covey
The more I learn the more I become aware of all that I don’t know which leads to more reading, learning, and applying, which leads to an even higher level of awareness of all that I don’t know. It never ends.
I call it “dumber by the book.” Sure, I learn more with every book, but I also become aware of so much more that I don’t know. As I read to increase my knowledge and understanding, I also feel less knowledgeable “dumber” overall because I’m now aware of so much more that I don’t know but need to know. It happens with every leadership book I read.
In his book, The 8th Habit, Dr. Stephen R. Covey illustrates our “circle of knowledge,” what we do know, as a solid area in the shape of a circle. He also refers to the “circle of ignorance,” what we don’t know, as everything that’s along the outside edge of our “circle of knowledge.” If we knew those things, they would be in our “circle of knowledge.” But, we don’t know about them. We’re only awareof them. So, they remain in our “circle of ignorance.”
I like to call the edge of the “circle of knowledge” the perimeter of awareness. Along your perimeter of awareness, you find those things that you’re aware of but don’t yet truly know and understand.
There are also many other things you need to know that are currently well beyond your perimeter of awareness. They are in your area of ignorance. At the moment, you’re completely unaware of them and won’t become aware of them until you expand your “circle of knowledge.” There’s a good chance you’re expanding yours right now if you’ve never considered what I’m sharing with you.
When your “circle of knowledge” expands, your perimeter of awareness will automatically expand too. As it does, you become aware of some of the things in your area of ignorance. Those are the things you didn’t know you didn’t know. You still don’t know them. But at least now, you know that you need to know. In other words, your awareness has increased.
If you choose to learn about those things, you grow and cause the cycle to repeat. If you choose not to learn about them, you’re done growing. When you’re done growing, you’re done. At best, you stay where you are. At worst, you begin to slip backwards and get passed over by those that choose continuous growth.
The more we know, the more we truly realize what we don’t know. It’s interesting how learning this principle provides us with a new perspective of what’s going on within us and others.
Those among us that think they know it all, don’t know much at all. They have a tiny “circle of knowledge” (about the size of the period at the end of this sentence) which explains their tiny perimeter of awareness. Because know it alls don’t know much about anything, they’re not aware of how much there is to know about everything. Therefore, they think they know it all. They’re not necessarily dumb people. They simply have an extremely large area of ignorance.
You can consider your “circle of knowledge” generally. Or, you can consider it very specifically. As you read this book, you’re increasing your “circle of knowledge” very specifically relative to learning leadership principles. Leadership can be defined simply with one word: INFLUENCE.
Here’s a simple illustration of the principle of knowledge and ignorance related to my leadership growth:
After 20 years in the manufacturing industry, I resigned from the corporate world in 2008 to launch my own Lean Manufacturing Consulting firm. At the time, I had worked my way up to the position of Lean Manufacturing and Quality Manager reporting directly to the Plant Manager.
My first 10 years was spent as a front line, entry-level factory worker (CNC machine operator) doing the hard work and responsible only for myself. Then finally, I began to work my way up after starting and graduating from college. Much of that story can be found in my book, Defining Influence.
I worked my way up from the bottom to second from the top with only one formal leader above me on site. What’s interesting is that I never received any leadership training. NONE! However, I was asked to and expected to lead others. This happens ALL the time. It may have happened to you.
When I resigned, I was responsible for leading hundreds of people. Few people reported directly to me, but I was responsible for getting them to buy-in to process improvements, endless change, and to improve quality.
I wasn’t exposed to leadership training until I resigned. I had done well. In my 20 year career, I had been promoted 14 times. I thought I knew a lot about leadership, and I did. But, I still didn’t know what I didn’t know. I was clueless in that area.
Formal leadership development was in my area of ignorance. A friend gave me a one hour leadership audio. In other words, he placed it on my perimeter of awareness. I listened to it and expanded my “circle of knowledge” which also expanded my perimeter of awareness, and I began to know what I didn’t know.
Odds are high that this may be your first exposure to formal leadership development. Either way, I plan to place a few things on your perimeter of awareness. I hope you’re ready?
“If you have already been trying hard, maybe trying harder is not the way. Try different.” ~ Dr. Henry Cloud