The Leadership Challenge_Ch 5

The Leadership Challenge_Ch 5 - The Leadership Challenge...

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The Leadership Challenge – Chapter 5 – Part 1 Kouzes, James M. and Barry Z. Posner. The Leadership Challenge . San Francisco, California: Jossey-Bass, 2002. p109-22. 1 CHAPTER 2: Envision the Future What made the difference was the vision of how things could be and clearly painting this picture for all to see and comprehend. ~ Mark D’Arcangelo, Hitachi Semiconductor America I am driven by concerns for the legacy I am leaving my children. ~ Gail Mayville, Ben and Jerry’s While working as an administrative assistant at Ben and Jerry’s, the ice cream company, Gail Mayville became aware of a problem. As a result of the company’s rapid growth, the ice cream waste from its factory was overloading the local waste treatment plant. In fact, as Gail put it, “If we weren’t able to find a solution to that problem, we would have been in danger of actually having to shut the facility down until we could figure out what to do with it.” It wasn’t in Gail’s job description to do something about this problem. After all, she wasn’t the president, manufacturing manager, or environmental manager. But that didn’t matter to her. Something very important was at stake, and it wasn’t just the factory or their jobs. Having grown up on a farm in Vermont, Gail knew enough about pigs to figure they’d like to eat the rich ice cream mix. She boldly suggested to the company that it should buy some pigs, donate them to local farmers, put the waste into barrels, truck the barrels out to the farms, pour the creamy liquid into troughs, and see if the pigs would eat it. Guess what? The pigs loved it! The immediate problem was solved, the factory wasn’t shut down, people’s jobs were saved, and the company got some time to work on a more permanent solution. As a result of her initiative, Gail was appointed the company’s first environmental manager. She worked on other projects, and she became an expert on recycling. Her knowledge and experience grew to the point where other companies sought her advice, and she eventually moved on to become an environmental consultant. Gail’s actions serve as yet another example of how leadership is a relationship and how leadership is everyone’s business. The story serves as a reminder that it isn’t necessary to have a title to take action on an important organizational problem. It’s a reminder that visions come from relationships with others, be they children, coworkers, or community. Beyond this, it illustrates something about why people take action on a problem in the first place. The risk of closing the factory may have been the presenting problem but a deeper, more compelling force propelled Gail into action. As she puts it, “For me, personally, I am driven by concerns for the legacy I am leaving my children, the environmental legacy.” Her driving force was her children. She wanted to ensure that they would be able to enjoy a healthy and joyful life in the future.
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The Leadership Challenge_Ch 5 - The Leadership Challenge...

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