Sunday, February 9, 2014

Crush Washers

Returning home from a recent oil change, my wife’s car sat in the garage slowly dripping oil from the drain plug.  This could be the sign of something very minor (tighten the plug) or a big deal (stripped out oil pan). 

Under further investigation, the head of the drain plug snapped off when attempting to loosen it.  The good news was that the additional repair was limited to simply replacing the drain plug and crush washer (less than $10).  Why did the drain plug break?  The crush washer is designed to compact as a mechanic tightens the drain plug.  It actually makes the seal with the oil pan to stop drips.  Once the washer is fully “crashed” it not longer stops the drip and causes too much turque to be placed on the drain plug.  The crush washer costs less than a dollar and should be replaced every oil change.  You can see from the photo that this crush washer is way over crushed and should never have been re-installed (penny wise and dollar foolish). I like to wonder what the mechanic was thinking when they put this washer back in and what the leadership message was at the shop was that allowed him to think it was ok.

It is easy to blame the mechanic.  Leaders must realize that everything they do sends a message to the team.  Did the shop owner rush the mechanic or say that they should save money on parts? Was quality or volume the primary shop philosophy?

Do your leadership messages tell your people to go fast and install bad crush washers or slow down and put in a good one? 

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Does anybody really care what John Bishop has to say - he is absolutely the worst leader I ever work for!! lets just say he should change is first name to Dick.

Michael Crose said...

Beware of people who are so ashamed of who they are that they call themselves "Anonymous"....


I must constantly check myself as to what I have just put out there as a leader . It's really hard to pull it back in when your whole team has adopted your actions.

Abhrajit said...

Mr Anonymous ,,

I am sorry about the way you put your views about Mr John..My opinion about him is quite opposite ,, I had an opportunity to work with him closely for about two years and learned lots a technical , managerial and safety related stuffs ...

Its true that most of the time the leadership drives the workforce for higher productivity at the lower cost ,, but the prime objective of quality and safety becomes a back burner ,, may be a little deeper look on the practices by the leadership can make miracle ...

Anonymous said...

Dear anonymous 1,

I'm curious if you now work for Jiffy Lube?

John Bishop said...

Good morning Anonymous,

Thank you for voicing your opinion. The blog tool always me to remove your comment but that would not open a fair debate. I have found that 95% of the people I have worked with find it a challenging but growth experience. The other 5% find it a very unpleasant experience. There are few times when a leader can satisfy everyone so I was coached that is an unrealistic goal.

Rolando said...

Well I just had to slip into this oily mess. Fortunately, I've had great bosses my whole life and John was one of them (three different times). The funny thing is that I also reported to his wife Barb at one time. I picked-up many things from John that have helped me out. Even today, there are times that I may think to myself "how would John handle this?".

J Wong said...

While everyone is entitled to their opinions and everyone’s opinions matter, they are like belly buttons….everyone one has one.

I think it speaks volumes and is a very fitting comment to have “Anonymous” post this to LIAV, to see the responses of others who do not agree with anonymous and more importantly to see how John, a great and mature leader, responds to the Anonymous comment.

That in of itself is a great example of true leadership.

I have had the career changing opportunity to work for John in 2007 and it was an extremely challenging and yet rewarding assignment, one that changed my life and career for the better. He pushed me to grow and develop beyond what I believe I was capable of, at the time. He saw more in me then I saw in myself. His desire to drive me to be the person / leader he saw (vs what I saw) developed me into the top performing leader that I am today and drove me to expect more from myself and the teams, resulting in top notch execution for my Company. John is a large reason for my career progress to date and I can honestly say that my exposure to his leadership was well worth all the challenges that it came with. If you are not being challenged you are being ignored and dismissed.

It’s too bad you did not see the “Gift” you had in front of you and were not able to take advantage of it. However, not everyone sees or capitalizes on their opportunities and learns from what others have to offer with regards to leadership.

Good Luck Anonymous.

As always, good leadership example John.

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