Leadership in Our Organization: Opportunity & Sustainment


A monthly leadership blog reaching beyond our organization, courtesy of and authored by Phil Henderson.

A few months ago, owner and CEO David Moxlow announced to his leadership team, “We have to change our culture and changing starts with me.” To prevent misunderstanding, ‘culture’ has been defined for everyone:

“The collectively accepted and expected actions, activities, and behaviors of a team or organization. How we operate and get things done.” Essentially, he is saying, “How things are said and how things get done are as important as what gets done.”

Presently, the ‘what’ at Trenton Forging is accomplished very well – most of the time. Well run companies across our country can say the same thing, and for the majority of those companies, ‘most of the time’ is good enough. Not for David. Not for a leader who understands that manufacturing excellence requires performing well all the time.

He understands that both capital investment and cultural transformation are required to become a more capable organization; significant capital investment in the last few years has improved capability and helped deliver strong business results.

So, how can Trenton Forging sustain manufacturing excellence and perform exceptionally well all the time? An investment in the human capital of the business, of course – starting with leadership.

He’s investing in transformational leadership (leadership for tomorrow) where leaders inspire, motivate, stimulate, and positively influence others. This creates a more capable organization. See the March leadership blog post that explains why it always starts with leadership.

Change is difficult. Actually, it’s really hard, especially behavioral change when it appears that current behavior is delivering the ‘what’ just fine. This is precisely why David Moxlow starts with describing for everyone ‘why’ change is important. I recently heard him say, “Our biggest opportunity is sustainment. We do things well, but we need to do them well all the time.”

If others don’t understand why it’s so important to change, do we really expect them to buy in? Would you? Changing one’s leadership behavior often requires ‘being’ and ‘doing’ differently. We’ll talk about that next month. Stay tuned!

organization; leadership; Phil HendersonPhil Henderson is a former Regional VP of Manufacturing Operations at Harland Clarke Holdings. He is a Designer of Self-Directed, Team-Based Work Systems in manufacturing environments over the course of 26 years. He served 8 years as an Air Traffic Controller and Officer in the US Army, and with distinction as a Captain in the First Gulf War. He currently provides leadership development and self-directed work team design assistance to Trenton Forging. For inquiries, Phil may be reached at (210) 316-3212 or at pizzobe@yahoo.com