Great leaders don’t merely direct teams; they grow people. There is no “one size fits all” approach to getting the most out of an associate. Managers who recognize this concept actively seek opportunities to understand their team members as individuals better and then motivate them in a manner that suits them best. This approach inspires ownership at all levels of an organization, ultimately leading to the highest degree of success for the team.
If you were to give this leadership style a name, math management would best describe it. Every team member represents a variable in the equation. Every task is another variable in need of consideration. The constants are safety and doing what is best for the customer. Delivering freight safely and damage-free is the ultimate product.
Achievement Requires Dynamic Leadership
Operations Manager Trey Lowery at our Seaonus Stevedoring-Savannah location is a master of this math management approach.
“If you have 50 people out there, that’s 50 different personalities,” he explains. “You have to talk to each individual 50 different ways because one might respond to being talked to softly, another might need to be coached harder. Somebody else may be hard of hearing and really need you to yell, but you have to know that. Some might understand different terminologies.”
Patriot Rail and Ports team members are at the heart of everything we do. We cannot achieve our goal of being North America’s safest and most reliable rail and transportation services company without maximum effort and singular focus from every individual in every role at every facility. Our managers must be as creative in leading as our team members are in recognizing problems and providing solutions.
Everyone Must Be On The Same Page
Stevedoring is a team game. Everyone at the port, from the operations manager, crane operators, gangmen, and forklift operators, must all be on the same page to satisfy the complex operational demands of the job. If one person is having a bad day and loses their focus, even for a split second, the results can be disastrous. Managers like Trey must be perceptive, forward-thinking, and ready to correct a problem in a way that doesn’t accelerate it at a moment’s notice.
Should anything arise in Savannah, respecting his team enough to know them individually enables Trey to pull the right levers and restore balance to the equation quickly. The example he sets and the compassion he shows for his associates commands respect that would not be achieved if he only yelled or was one dimensional in his leadership style in some other way. Respecting and understanding his team also enables him to teach, which organically inspires leadership within the group.
“The ultimate reward,” Trey continues, “is when you get to work with someone and give them the knowledge of the process, then the next time you can kind of sit back and watch them take initiative. Then you can move on to the next group and teach them what they need to know, so everyone has confidence in what they’re doing and one another.”
Stevedoring is a freight business; leading stevedores is a people business. Our Patriot managers like Trey Lowery recognize the value of a well-prepared, properly led team. Embracing individuality and relishing the opportunity to connect with each associate, Trey masterfully engages each variable in the equation, deftly executing a math management approach to ensure the best possible outcome for our team members and customers alike.