The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don’t play together, the club won’t be worth a dime.- – Babe Ruth
The Great Bambino sums up a simple fact that you can have the very best on your team and never be referred to as excellent or outstanding. Your organization may employ the best Country Manager or Training Manager in the access industry, but it means nothing if you can’t get every player cooperatively working together towards the same goal. What I witnessed, as I entered into the shop (see image below) was the Manlift Staff methodically moving into place. Silently and methodically preparing themselves to present their role in demonstrating the value and personal contribution to the success of the The Manlift Way. The Manlift Way is clearly fueled in my opinion by its commitment to teamwork.
“The race for excellence has no finish line.” – Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum
Teamwork exists but for a single reason, to achieve a goal. It is the goal of most of us to be excellent in our field of expertise. However, excellence is very difficult to achieve. It is not possible without having a well-defined vision and an intimate connection to your traditions. Without understanding and respecting the success of traditional methods, you can-not establish a new tradition that future generations will follow. The quote above is from Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum (Arabic: محمد بن راشد آل مكتوم;), the Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Ruler of the Emirate of Dubai. He gives a much simpler explanation to why The Manlift Way is so powerful. I feel that Manlift embodies his statement that, “the race for excellence has no finish line.” and for that reason I hope that I will be quoted in the future for my opinion of The Manlift Way inspired by Sh. Mohammed:
“The Manlift Way has no end. It is a continual process that began through teamwork, and it cannot be stopped” – Forrest H.
Once inside of the shop, I immediately saw a large mural on the outside wall of their tool room. This mural stood out to me like how I earlier described The Manlift Way of utilizing a printed board that can be viewed and memorized by the team members to take equipment from “first check” to the “ready line” guaranteeing that they have provided safe, reliable, good-looking equipment (see the image in part 1 of the series). The Manlift shop mural achieves something that may not have been the intentional purpose when designed. The mural is ensuring that every team-member who works under the influence of The Manlift Way has a small connection to Manlift Tradition. Manlift began with just 60 machines and 10 people growing to 478 machines. Three years of dedication allowed them to open in India. The mural demonstrates Manlift pride in engaging and answering more than 20,000 customer support calls. All of these accomplishments and more are uniquely pictured for every one to see.
This picture says it all, . . . and more. The Manlift Way is award winning and the employees are both full of pride and flamboyance about their ability to be engaged and to promote safety. It has taken Manlift more than 2,500 hard hats to get to where they are today, further demonstrating that excellence builds slowly over time.
Sh. Mohammad said “excellence has no finish line”, as you can see there is no checkered flag on the wall at the end of the mural, designating that The Manlift Way has a beginning, but there is no foreseeable end in sight.
As we made our way out of the shop and into the operations office, we were provided a sense of how The Manlift Way is more than just putting equipment back on rent. It takes a team of people in operations inputting and analyzing data to ensure the equipment arrives and departs as scheduled. This is not foreign to any rental company, but it was an excellent presentation on how it all happens. This well practiced formula of being prepared is why the letter below was the icing on the cake for me as we departed the Manlift Site and prepared to go home.
A personally signed letter given to me and the other attendees of the Manlift Tour demonstrated the intimate connection to tradition that is absolutely necessary in achieving excellence. Subtleties like these have a genuine impact. The teamwork, planning, and coordination by the staff in preparing and presenting these gifts to such a large group brings to light Manlift commitment to their guest. Everyone at Manlift clearly working together silently towards the same goal.
The Manlift Way is a collage of traditional values, vision, and innovation. But above all else, it is an understanding and an expression of humility to except “that excellence has no end.” There is not a checkered flag, waving at a predetermined point, with a trophy to be handed to Manlift for implementing and practicing the The Manlift Way, day-in, and day-out. The Manlift Way has shown me that excellence can be achieved through teamwork, and committing your entire organization to be engaged. It is in this way that you will exemplify a high level of integrity that I feel honored to share with you.
Integrity, Engagement, and Teamwork
Three words that have been written into policy and absorbed into the daily part of the Manlift team. I have presented to you, what was shown to me and the other (IPAF) International Powered Access Federation Members that walked the Manlift site tour.
“Thank you Manlift for such a great experience, I am looking forward to our next meeting. Keep the coffee warm for me!” – Forrest H.
About the Author
Forrest Hester is an advocate of assisting operators to promote safety. He is the chairman of the Aerial Work Platform Council with the Scaffold Access Industry Association (SAIA); a certified instructor with the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER); a member of the ANSI/SAIA-Accredited Standards Developers (ASC) A92 committee; secretary for the ANSI/SAIA A92.24-2018 Training Requirements for the Use, Operation, Inspection, Testing and Maintenance of Mobile Elevating Work Platforms (MEWPs) sub-committee; and a member of North American Regional Council (NARC) with IPAF. Hester is also the founder of TUTUS LLC, a components part manufacturing company of dropped object prevention enclosures for walking working platforms.