I was a superintendant of MD-11 Major Structures Production back in the days when that was not a very friendly place. The requirements of the position were extreme and it always seemed like people were thinking of reasons to cause us to fail. Long hours and seven day weeks wore on us all. Quality was to slow. Tooling never worked. Engineering designed the impossible. And, those Supplier Management guys lost the parts on purpose! Of course none of this was true, but unfortunately we believed it at the time.
One day my director came through and I was expecting the same butt kicking I normally got. This day was different. He asked me if I would be willing to take an assignment in Supplier Management to “straighten out those parts guys.” I was told earlier in my career to be careful what you complain about because someone will select you to fix it. Funny what happens in situations like these. The same people that thought they would be fired taught me the way I ran production caused many of the problems. I quickly learned there were good people all over trying to do the right things. I could not believe how quickly I could help the new team and improve performance. They were surprised this “crazy production guy” would actually defend them in public.
Have you experienced a change were you moved to a team you did not much respect only to find you had an incorrect perception of their capability and intend? What did you do?