Lubricants Needed

Gregg Patterson, President “Tribal Magic!!!”

Bob Boxwell, CIC (Cheese In Charge), The Big Dog and sole employee at his coaching firm “We’ll Tell You How”, has been hired by the board of the nine hole Up and Coming Country Club to coach their Newbie Club Manager Joe Chuckles in the art and science of leadership.

Joe Chuckles is fresh out of Hotel School armed with his LTL (License to Learn). He’s read all the books, digested all the articles and listened to all the lectures on leadership. He thinks the Board’s wasting his time—and their money—on a leadership coach because his 3.9 GPA is the only Leadership Certification he needs to run a teeny-weenie small time club like The Up and Coming. But Joe ponders, eats his ego and decides “Why Not”–the board’s paying the coach, they’re paying me, it’s raining cats and dogs and “there ain’t nobody here.”

So…….an appointment’s made, Bob Boxwell arrives, pleasantries are exchanged and the two of them settle in for a lesson in leadership.

Bob clears his throat and gets right to the point. “Joe, leadership is all about The Poetry of People and The Machinery of Stuff and using the two to make things happen—and the Poetry of People is greased with the Lubricants of Leadership. Tell me—how many classes have you taken addressing The Lubricants of Leadership???”

Joe stares. Gulps. Moans. Drinks deep from his cup of fresh roast, fresh ground, “guaranteed sludge in the bottom of the cup” mug of Up and Coming House Roasted Caffeine, hesitates, turns red, blows his nose, begins to sweat and fesses up—“I don’t have a clue what you’re talking about.” Bob stares. Joe stares. Joe blinks. Bob speaks.

“Joe, leaders lead people and relationships matter when people get led. Leader-Team relationships are bound together with “emotional rope” and the “lubricants of leadership” are the tactics used to make “rope” happen.

Joe stares. Bob Stares. Joe blinks. Bob speaks.

“Joe, let’s talk Lubrication.”

And they begin.


Tools of the Trade


Bob clears his throat, leans forward and gives Joe—The Look. “Leaders who understand The Poetry

of People and The Lubricants of Leadership appreciate the power of emotional connections in creating the magic that’s team. The Lubricants are the TACTICS leaders use to smooth the process that forges the chains that bind people together. These tactics break down into three categories—Presence Tactics, Connecting Tactics and Communicating Tactics.”

Bob leaps out of his chair, tosses his navy blue “Certified Country Club Approved” sports coat on the floor, loosens his tie, shakes himself like a water logged dog and strides to Joe’s “COO Endorsed” flip chart. He inspects the markers, chooses Big Black and begins scribbling and yapping. “Joe, note taking focuses the brain, stimulates the brain and makes “brain stick” happen. So….look, listen and prepare to write!!!”

Joe opens his notepad, clicks his pen and primes himself for some serious scribbling.


“Presence” Tactics

“Leaders need to be seen—and heard. They need to Have Presence whenever they’re Present. Here are some tactics for lubricating Presence. Write ‘em down and listen to my explanation.”

 Warm Up Before Arrival. “Do something that makes you feel GOOD, something that you LOVE doing, before you show up on the doorstep. Read. Exercise. Write. Howl at the moon. Put yourself in a good mood and get energized, because the moment you’re seen the team needs to feel your BUZZ.”

 Show the Flag. “Avoid being an “office cat.” Walk and talk. When it’s busy, position yourself in the center of the action—visible and engaged, shoulder to shoulder with The Team.”

 Be Buzzed. “When showing the flag, show enthusiasm for the club, for the members, for the staff and the business of club.”

 Laugh Lots. “Laughter is a tonic for the soul. Laughter bonds people together. Laugh lots, often and loudly with The Team.”  Be Approachable. “Your body language needs to signal “let’s talk”. Avoid wearing Resting Bad Boy Face.”

 Walk the Talk. “People are watching. Do the right thing—publically and often.”

Bob stops, wiggles, twists and grunts.

“Am I making myself clear Joe???”

Joe nods and responds—“Yup.”

Bob flips the chart and resumes scribbling and yapping.


Connecting Tactics

“Leaders need to connect with their people. Here’s how. Listen close and start writing.”

 Bump Lots. “Make a point of bumping into and then engaging people during your walk and talk.”

 Look ‘Em In the Eye. “Be focused and “in the moment.” Turn off the phone. Focus on THEM. Make eye contact.”

 Know THEM. “Remember the faces, names and particulars of each Team Member. When you Bump, get personal. ”

 Touch THEM. “People want to be touched by The Big Cheese—shake their hand, high five, tap them on the shoulder.”

 Enlist Them in the “search”. “When something needs doing and a problem needs solving, bring the team together, get their input, enlist them as partners in “co-discovery”.

 Break Bread Together. “Visit the break room, sit, yap, then eat and drink with The Team.”

 Enter “Their Space.” Visit team members on their “home turf”—in the kitchen, in the caddy shack, in the pro shop. Go to them when a meeting’s needed.”

Bob stops, wiggles, twists, grunts and drinks deep from The Mug. “Am I making myself clear Joe???”

Joe nods and responds—“Yup.”

Bob flips the chart, inspects the blank page and resumes scribbling and yapping.


Communicating Tactics

“Leaders create Emotional Rope by communicating with their team in substantive ways. Here are a few of the basics.”

 Address The BIGS. “Tell them what’s important—often.”

 Tell Lots. “Tell them everything. Tell them early. Tell them often.”

 Ask Often. “Be curious, pose questions, listen closely, repeat their answers.”

 Signal. “Body language signals emotion. Be conscious of your facial expressions, posture, hand movements—because motions matter.”

 Simplify. “Explain things clearly and simply. Avoid big words and esoteric lingo.”

 Celebrate lots: “Cheer the victories. Find excuses to celebrate—and do so creatively.”

 Tell Stories. “Tell stories that are current, personal, local, meaningful and entertaining.”

 Welcome Input. “Solicit and enthusiastically welcome feedback from The Team. Embrace the bitches and moans and consider them gifts.”

 Listen Artfully. “When listening, lean forward, look ‘em in the eyes, nod your head, recap what they said and respond.”

 Proselytize. “Pound home The Vision. Explain your club’s Why, What, How and Who—and repeat the Why, What, How and Who often.”

 Give Symbols of Caring. “Give the team tangible stuff they can look at, show their families, stick on the wall and ponder in the future—hand written birthday cards, “congratulations on your promotion” letters and “thanks for making good stuff happen” notes.

Bob stops, wiggles, twists, grunts and drinks deep from his Super Sized Triple. “Am I making myself clear Joe???”

Joe nods and responds—“Yup.”

Bob stops writing. Stops talking. Day one’s done.


Lube the Engine

Bob takes a last, BIG gulp from his mug of caffeine. “Joe, you need The Lubricants of Leadership to create the team and smooth the journey. Using these tactics will help you do Leader better.”

Joe looks at Bob. Bob looks at Joe. Joe says “Got it”.

Bob stands, walks to the door, turns to Joe and says with ENTHUSIASM—“Use the lubricants. Build the team. And always remember…

Enjoy the journey!!!”

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