Lessons From Henry Ford
You may know that I grew up in Detroit, the Motor City! Back in the early nineteen hundreds, Henry Ford was on the forefront of the industrial revolution and made Detroit the epi-center of that revolution. Ford’s pursuit of the V-8 engine is legendary in lessons on imagination, will, and determination.
Today, it is easy to overlook the complex and synchronized mechanization that occurs when you turn your key or push a button to start your vehicle. In the blink of an eye, the ignition switch sends an electrical charge to several circuits at the speed of light. Those circuits shoot messages to an even more complex array of magnets, gears, flywheels, and fuel throughout the engine. The highly combustible fuel is instantly vaporized and compressed with oxygen by the piston in the cylinder and then ignited by the spark plug. The explosion is sequenced with 6-12 other explosions, each one capable of firing a .22 caliber bullet more than 5 miles. The timing belt controls the camshaft in your engine, opening and closing valves at precisely the right moment to provide for smooth operation and synchronization with your vehicle’s crankshaft.
There can be no doubt that the combustion engine is a modern marvel. It has transformed the trajectory of humanity. As incredible and marvelous as all of this synchronization and interaction of parts in the combustion engine are, it all grinds to a halt without the lubrication of engine oil!
A “Well-Oiled” Team
In your organization or on your team, kindness, courtesy, and respect act as the engine oil that lubricates the highly complex and synchronized mechanization of human interaction. So, what are the kindnesses, courtesies and respect that act as the engine oil on your well-oiled team?
In his landmark book the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey provides the Six Major Deposits with people that act as the engine oil that lubricates and ensures that your organization functions as a team without wear and debris. Covey uses the metaphor of the Emotional Bank Account.
When your bank account has more deposits than withdrawals, your bank account is running a surplus, there is money in your account, and your account is considered healthy. If you are making deposits with people, you have healthy relationships. If, on the other hand, you had more withdrawals than deposits from your bank account, then you would be running a deficit. Your relationships with people could be declaring bankruptcy soon.
Deposits and Withdrawals to the Emotional Bank Account
Covey describes the Six Major Deposits with people:
- Understanding the Individual
- Attending to the little things
- Keeping commitments
- Clarifying Expectations
- Showing Personal Integrity
- Apologizing sincerely when you make a withdrawal
- Thank you notes
- Remember their name
- Please, thank you, may I?
- Sincere Compliments
- Empathetic Listening
- Eye Contact