“Duct Tape Matrix”

I was speaking to a potential client this week and he asked me a pointed question: “How do you know when you’ve succeeded? I like what you say you are trying to do, and I think our company could use that outcome, but how do you know it’s really happening. You talk about “100X Teams” – an environment that fosters the growth of leaders worth following. That sounds nice; how do you measure it in a way my COO can put in a P and L?”

I swallowed and groped for a response, and as I did a picture flashed into my mind: a duct taped quadrant on the wall of a stocking room.

A week prior I’d visited a site of one of our other GiANT customers, Dahl Automotive in LaCrosse Wisconsin. I visited one of their dealerships and had a chance to meet with Tommy, their parts manager. Tommy took me into his domain, a meticulously maintained cathedral of shelved parts.

Tommy is so good at what he does that last year his inventory was off just a few dollars. They guy knows his stuff.

But Tommy also knows people. He’s truly a Liberating Leader.

As he showed me around his space he paused, “Oh, and look there.” He pointed to the wall. He’d duct taped a vertical “X” and written into the quadrants the principles of our “Support Challenge Matix” – Liberator, Abdicator, Dominator, Protector.

“I had everyone in my department tell me where they see me on that, and where they see themselves,” Tommy explained. And when I have to give a tough talk, I just point there and say, ‘Gotta challenge you, man, you can do better.’ Or sometimes I point and say, ‘What support do you need to do what I’ve asked of you?’ That picture does some of my hardest work for me… I get this and it’s good.”

I turned to the potential client, relayed my conversation with Tommy and added, “That’s how we know we’ve succeeded.

When Tommy duct tapes truth to the wall and that becomes the language they’re using in the parts department of an auto dealership. When that happens, stuff is changing. And if we can do that for you, we’re worth every dime of our fee.”

He nodded and gave me a verbal commitment that he wants to work with us… Gotta love Tommy!

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