Art's Model Plane

It was a pleasure to work for Art. He never told anybody to do anything but his shop had some of the highest productivity around. One day he told us his Model Airplane story. A relative had given his kids a radio controlled plane kit for Christmas and Art had dutifully assembled it. On the day of the big test flight, all the neighbors and his family went to the park. The plane had a perfect take off and slowly circled, rising in the sky. About that time Art realized that he had no control over the plane no matter what he did with the radio controls. The plane ran out of gas and slowly glided to earth, landing all by itself. With much cheering and back patting the hero of the day collected his plane and Art fixed the controls. The next weekend the same story took place. Art thought that if it flew that well with no control, think how much better it would fly now. Just after takeoff the plane went into a back loop and crash in a pitiful heap. The next Monday at work Art faced the same problem employees that seemed to resent his "hands on" supervision method and occasionally would not do anything at all. Art decided he was going to let this "airplane" fly itself! He quit assigning work and when ask, he would say "Just do what you want to do!" When someone came to work feeling ambitious he would pick up a challenging job and when he had the flu he could pick something easy. Absenteeism went way down productivity went up and when other supervisors peeked in to see what he was doing right, they concluded that he just had excellent employees.

Back to Main Page