12 Chapters
Medium 9781626569225

3: Feedback and Concerns

Kincaid, Matt; Crandall, Doug Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth: not going all the way, and not starting.

—BUDDHA

WHAT’S THE MOST DIFFI CULT “TRUTH” you’ve ever had to deliver to someone? Think about it for a moment before you read on. Whom did you have to talk to, and what did you need to tell him or her? Did you actually do it? How did you feel, physically and emotionally, before the conversation? How did you feel afterward?

Our guess is, whatever this conversation entailed, you tried to use the right words in the right way; maybe you even practiced beforehand or sought advice from a friend. But in the end, there may just not have been a “right” way to say it. Yet you said it anyway because it needed to be said. You likely hoped the recipient would trust your intent, hear the message, and simply move forward with the new (or added) perspective. A relationship may have been damaged, or maybe your message landed upon grateful ears. You might have felt relieved, appreciated, or horrified. You may have received a “Thank you for your courage,” or maybe you were fired.

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Medium 9781626569225

5: A Leader’s Power Suff ocates

Kincaid, Matt; Crandall, Doug Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Personalities change when the President is present, and frequently even strong men make recommendations on the basis of what they believe the President wishes to hear.

—ROBERT F. KENNEDY, THIRTEEN DAYS

THE USS GREENVILLE is a Los Angeles–class, fast-attack nuclear submarine armed with Tomahawk missiles. Commissioned in 1994, it measures 363 feet and weighs 7,177 tons.* On February 9, 2001, the sub departed for standard maneuvers off the shores of Oahu as part of a “distinguished visitor cruise”—a program intended to provide influential civilians insight into navy operations. When the Greenville executed an emergency main ballast tank blow nine miles shy of port, a businessman occupied the helmsman chair and a sports reporter operated valve levers. Experienced crew members supervised these guests closely while Captain Scott Waddle delivered instructions. “Emergency” main ballast blow is something of a misnomer. The procedure is pretty standard. The crew brings the submarine to periscope depth (60 feet), sweeps the area above water for other ships, and then blows out its ballast tanks to surface rapidly. Emerging from the water, a Los Angeles–class submarine looks like a giant torpedo. On this day, the Greenville failed to complete its rapid surface. According to the National Transportation Safety Board’s (NTSB) official report:

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4: Leaders Impede Communication

Kincaid, Matt; Crandall, Doug Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

We realize the importance of our voices only when we are silenced.

MALALA YOUSAFZAI, I AM MALALA

GARY STASSER OF MIAMI (OHIO) UNIVERSITY conducted a seminal study on group communication based on a murder mystery scenario, titled The Case of the Fallen Businessman. Stasser discovered that open communication is difficult in small groups. People tend to share common knowledge but are afraid of looking foolish by voicing things only they know. Group members question themselves: If it’s relevant, why has no one else brought this up? We’ve created a condensed version of this case study to illustrate Stasser’s discoveries and to set the stage for further exploration into communication challenges.

The sun had just peeked over an eastern hill on a fall morning in 1992 when Eddie Sullivan pulled his rusty-red Ford truck into the carport on Bob Guion’s homestead. Sullivan served as Guion’s handyman, and he liked to start his work early to avoid the heat. This particular day, he was scheduled to tear down an eighty-year-old barn.

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Medium 9781626569225

9: Prove It’s Safe

Kincaid, Matt; Crandall, Doug Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Vulnerability is not weakness. . . . Vulnerability is our most accurate measurement of courage.

—BRENÉ BROWN, TED TALK, MARCH 2012

DURING THE SUMMER after his junior year of college, Matt Kincaid decided to take on a College Pro Painters franchise in an attempt to earn more money than the measly $2,500 he had earned during previous summer jobs. He knew a guy who had earned $14,000 one summer doing this, which was plenty of incentive to give it a try. He learned the ins and outs of the business and hired nine college students to work for him, including his friend Seth. He’d known Seth since the eighth grade and trusted him immensely. Seth quickly became the foreman for one of the three crews.

All summer Matt did everything he could to stay a week or two ahead of his workers, providing estimates to anyone who would listen. He even paid cute college girls to knock on neighborhood doors, smile and flirt with whoever answered (hopefully a young guy), and solicit more estimates. When he wasn’t giving estimates, he was painting alongside his crews. He didn’t sleep much, regularly putting in fifteen-hour days, but running a business for the first time was exhilarating.

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10: Dignify Every Try

Kincaid, Matt; Crandall, Doug Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Great spirits have always experienced violent opposition from mediocre minds.

ALBERT EINSTEIN

BRUCE BROWN, who’s mentioned periodically throughout this book, has a cult following of fifty-year-old men and women who used to be in his PE classes at Hyak Junior High. That loyalty has spawned nearly five hundred thousand Facebook followers.* Bruce shares wisdom on team building, leadership, and shared commitment to core covenants. Retired from teaching and coaching, he now consults for the likes of the Philadelphia Eagles, NCAA champion soft ball and baseball programs, and businesses around the country. Coach Brown teaches, “If a mistake is made with carelessness, then take corrective action. But if someone makes a mistake with full effort and attention, find a way to dignify the mistake. The bigger the mistake, the more important it is to dignify it.”†

During summer 2002, Doug interned for the Seattle Supersonics in the basketball operations office.‡ There were only four or five of them there on a daily basis: the general manager; the head coach; a receptionist; and Doug’s boss, Rich

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