Leading by Example LO30195

From: Alan Cotterell (acotrel@cnl.com.au)
Date: 05/21/03

Dear All,

I have just completed about eight weeks 'supervising' 'work for the dole
people' in our town. The Australian Liberal Party in Government has
introduced a scheme where long term dole recipients are required to work
for companies and local councils. The scheme is very close to 'forced
labour', the participants recieve about $5 per day above their normal
welfare payments (enough to cover petrol). In addition they recieve a
training grant of $800, if they work sufficient hours.

I found that these workers will follow my lead, however they will cease
working immediately I leave the work site. With two teams of about three
workers in two, two day shifts, we have completely removed about 50 metres
of 150mm concrete by jackhammer, and replaced it with brick paving.
Simply put, if I wanted to get 'them' to throw concrete pieces into an
eroded creek, I threw concrete with them. If 'they' carted bricks or
stone dust, I did too, and I usually led off.

The job was very hard labour, however the workers completed it very well,
albeit with much grumbling about 'not being paid'.

The questions this raises in my mind are 'who leads in a normal
workplace'? Perhaps the leader is not necessarily the person who is paid
to lead?

What would happen if we allowed the leadership in our workplaces to evolve
'naturally' instead of by appointment?

Best Regards,
Alan Cotterell


"Alan Cotterell" <acotrel@cnl.com.au>

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