About the Book

Becoming the Supervisor: Achieving Your Company’s Mission and Building Your Team presents the five core skills of successful supervisors. It shows supervisors how their job can be easier and get better results. It shows managers how they can develop their supervisors using the ordinary events that affect every organization.

This is all presented as a story. When Julie arrives as the new general manager of a toy boat company, she has to decide whether Trevor can learn the supervisory skills he needs fast enough let her achieve the company’s mission (and keep his job). Trevor had been thrust into the role four months before. Like so many supervisors, he had no training, and he was floundering.
Julie goes to work, using every challenge the company faces to teach him new skills. The range of challenges is wide: inadequate skills in the workforce, individual performance improvement, quality, and safety. Through them all, Julie guides Trevor as he learns the core skills every front-line leader needs.
Told from Trevor’s perspective, you feel the stress he faces and the delight as he overcomes one challenge after the other. While the story is set in a toy boat factory, it is really about any organization. The supervisory challenges are the same.
The book is immensely hopeful. The skills CAN be learned. You CAN look after both your people and the organization’s mission. And you CAN make a difference, regardless of what your organization is doing.

About the Author

Work should be good – people should go home feeling like they made a difference. That’s my starting point. One of the best ways to improve people’s work lives is to improve the skills of the leadership team. So, I help organizations achieve significant gains in performance and I achieve that by improving the skills of the management team. That makes for good work.
The results can be remarkable. In past projects where I’ve led the process, the team in a lab reduced its customer wait times by 45% in 12 weeks, the team in a factory reduced errors (remake and rework) by 85% in 5 months, and another factory team changed their procedures to produce 60% more product with the same equipment and people in 5 months.
By background, I’m an industrial engineer. I have run five manufacturing plants and several warehouses, and done consulting for over 15 years. I have done over 100 talks and presentations, and written over 100 published articles. I have taught at two universities and a college, including courses on lean thinking, project risk management, simulation, government policy, and strategy.