Think Win/Win-4 Steps to Effective Leadership

It’s about 2 am one night in 1992 and I grabbed my copy of Stephen Covey’s “7 Habits of Highly Effective People.” I had already been working on the application of the first 3 habits and was eager to read about what else I could do to increase my effectiveness. I was not quite sure what else the author could teach. It seemed like the first three habits were already huge but it was only the beginning. Covey teaches to start with the private victories then move on to the public victories. The private victories are the first three of the seven habits taught to make you a more effective leader: [tweetmeme]

Private Victory

Habit 1: Be Proactive – Principles of Personal Vision
Habit 2: Begin With the End in Mind – Principles of Personal Leadership
Habit 3: Put First Things First – Principles of Personal Management

Think Win / Win is the first of the public victories. To seek Win / Win solutions, the author proposes a four step process:

1. See the issue from the other’s point of view. Seek to understand and to express the needs and concerns of the other party.
2. Identify the key issues and concerns involved.
3. Determine what would constitute fully acceptable results.
4. Identify the options to achieve those results.
How do you think win / win at work? You will need to have integrity, maturity, and an abundance mentality. This is a mentality that there are plenty of opportunities and that you do not have to gain all the recognition or profits. Let’s look at some Food Processing examples:

One of my teams was charged with reducing quality rejects. Rather than charging the operators with performing a lot of extra quality inspections, this team designed a sampling plan that was more frequent and effective. Since the total number of samples that the operator inspected during their shift did not change and it reduced the rejected product, it was actually less work and achieved the team’s goals. Win / win.

Are you testing new ingredients for your product in a competitive market? Find ways to control costs and reduce losses without compromising the quality standards that your customers have grown to expect. You certainly won’t compromise the product safety in the process. Think win / win with your consumers.

Are you automating your process or packaging departments? Involve operators early and often to consider their perspective. This is not only a good way to achieve a win / win with capital projects, it’s also a critical part of a good Change Management strategy. Find options that allow you to manage the cost of production that is also fair to the operators on the line. Think win / win with your teams.

How can you seek a win /win solution to one of your top issues today? Seeking win / win solutions to issues has helped me to gain more buy-in while looking for answers to manufacturing issues. Seeking win /win solutions will make you a more effective leader today.

View all 7 Habits

Please leave a comment below if you liked this article. You can also connect on LinkedIn and follow me on Twitter.

About Christian Paulsen

Christian Paulsen is an Executive Consultant with 20 years of Lean Manufacturing. Chris adds value to organizations by driving process improvement and bottom line savings. Chris intends to help others by sharing the lessons learned after a quarter century of operational leadership, marriage, parenting, and even longer as a Cubs fan. Your comments on this blog are welcome. You can also connect with Chris via LinnkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook in the right sidebar. Chris welcomes your comments. Christian's professional services are available by contacting him through LinkedIn (right side bar)
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6 Responses to Think Win/Win-4 Steps to Effective Leadership

  1. Agree this is a great resource. However unless you have a written plan of action for yourself or even your change management strategy, success will probably still be illusive.

    • Leanne,

      You are absolutely correct! I would strongly suggest that anyone who likes this series of articles obtain and read the entire book: “7 Habits of HIghly Effective People.”

      Thanks for your comments.

      Best regards,

  2. Wynne says:

    Stephen Covey is a genius. He has influenced so many people. This book is a gem and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to get moving and make some real progress in their lives.

    • Wynne,

      Agreed-I couldn’t say it better. I’ve read the book several times because it is full of wisdom that can be applied anywhere in your life. Habit 5-Seek 1st to Understand is coming tomorrow. Thanks for reading and commenting.


  3. I love your example of quality control. It is one thing that is missing in most companies just for the reason you explained….they make it too hard and time consuming.

    I use starting with the end in mind. I call it creating the ideal scene. If I know all of the component parts of the ideal scene I know when I have strayed from obtaining it.

    I really like Covey’s works. He did a really great piece on teaching children finance.

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