Chad Johnson, from NPPD, visited the Leadership Center in January to conduct a workshop about wind energy and help build out TLC team. He started the presentation with a short lesson on wind energy.
I don’t remember all of the facts and figures Chad disseminated to us, but I do recall a few things. Wind turbines don’t always produce power, even when their blades are turning. Unless the wind is blowing at least eight miles per hour, the spinning blades produce no electricity. In the other extreme, wind turbines completely shut down when there is too much wind. When wind speeds exceed 45 miles per hour, the turbine uses its brakes to stop everything.
There are some parallels to human productivity here, don’t you think? I’ve had those days when things were moving, but it didn’t seem like anything was getting accomplished. These “light breeze” days can be frustrating. On the flip-side, the gales of a “high wind” day shut us down completely. So, to maximize our productivity throughout the day, we manage our stress, motivation, and inspiration. Oddly enough, the wind turbine manages changing wind conditions, to. It adjusts the pitch of its blades to maximize its ability to generate electricity at varying wind speeds.
After breezing through this primer on wind energy, our staff divided into teams. Each team designed, constructed, and tested their own model wind turbine. It was fun. Teams worked together. Staff members got to spend time with those who work in different areas or during different hours. A friendly competition ensued to determine which groups’ turbine could generate the most electricity. The winning turbine produced 0.5 volts. (Shout out to the team of Paola, Barb, and Kylee!)
You are correct in assuming I found a leadership-related metaphor in this activity, as well. There are three main components to a wind turbine: a base, a generator, and the blades. If you remove one, you will not generate power. I liken this to the three things TLC has or does well: diligent planning, welcoming facilities, and delicious meals. We have happy guests because of the focus we place on those three ideas. If we took away one aspect of how we care for guests, our entire model of service would cease to function.
If you are a guest of The Leadership Center, I assure you, our staff will be your biggest fans.