ONE MINUTE CAN CHANGE A LIFE
He almost killed somebody, but one minute changed his life. The
beautiful story comes from Sherman Rogers' old book, "Foremen:
Leaders or Drivers?" In his true-life story, Rogers illustrates
the importance of effective relationships.
During his college years, Rogers spent a summer in an Idaho
logging camp. When the superintendent had to leave for a few
days, he put Rogers in charge.
"What if the men refuse to follow my orders?" Rogers asked. He
thought of Tony, an immigrant worker who grumbled and growled all
day, giving the other men a hard time.
"Fire them," the superintendent said. Then, as if reading Rogers'
mind, he added, "I suppose you think you are going to fire Tony
if you get the chance. I'd feel badly about that. I have
been logging for 40 years. Tony is the most reliable worker I've
ever had. I know he is a grouch and that he hates everybody and
everything. But he comes in first and leaves last. There has not
been an accident for eight years on the hill where he works."
Rogers took over the next day. He went to Tony and spoke to him.
"Tony, do you know I'm in charge here today?" Tony grunted. "I
was going to fire you the first time we tangled, but I want you
to know I'm not," he told Tony, adding what the superintendent
When he finished, Tony dropped the shovelful of sand he had held
and tears streamed down his face. "Why he no tell me dat eight
That day Tony worked harder than ever before -- and he smiled! He
later said to Rogers, "I told Maria you first foreman in deese
country who ever say, 'Good work, Tony,' and it make Maria feel
Rogers went back to school after that summer. Twelve years later
he met Tony again. He was superintendent for railroad
construction for one of the largest logging companies in the
West. Rogers asked him how he came to California and happened to
have such success.
Tony replied, "If it not be for the one minute you talk to me
back in Idaho, I keel somebody someday. One minute, she change my
Effective managers know the importance of taking a moment to
point out what a worker is doing well. But what a difference a
minute of affirmation can make in any relationship!
One minute. Have you got one minute to thank someone? A minute to
tell someone what you sincerely like or appreciate about her? A
minute to elaborate on something he did well? One minute. It can
make a difference for a lifetime.
<From Steve Goodier's ONE MINUTE CAN CHANGE A LIFE
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