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The C.A.R.G.O. method: Five keys to protect your company’s most valuable asset


January 31, 2020
By Jason O. Harris

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Photo: Sushiman/iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images

Your company’s most precious cargo is its people. Each day that you walk into your office, establishment and organization, you are responsible for cultivating the culture. You are responsible for fostering a workplace culture that is based on commitment and trust. As you nurture and grow the culture of your workplace, it is imperative you realize that your most valuable resource – your most precious cargo, as they say in the aviation business – are your people.

As you look to understand what you can do each and every day to impact your company culture, you need to look at the ways you can best take care of your teams. The foundation of taking care of your people is to create and cultivate a culture of trust. It is only when you cultivate cultures of trust and commitment that you can truly begin to support your company’s most valuable resource: The people within it.

A simple way you can create the professional environment you want is to implement a model, the C.A.R.G.O. model, designed to create and nurture a workplace ecosystem that thrives on commitment and trust.

C: Creativity to address challenges
As you look to take care of your people, it is essential that opportunities are provided that allow for creativity. This creativity is useful for many things, primarily in addressing the many challenges that present themselves in the workplace. When you trust and empower your people to harness their creativity to address and solve problems, it does many things across the levels of your organization. Freedom to be creative instills a sense of intrinsic trust and helps to reinforce an employee’s innate abilities and talents. Creativity to address challenges strengthens the case as to why you hired them to work in your organization in the first place.

A: Access to tools and resources
When the right tools and resources are provided, people know they have all that they need to succeed. Too often there is an expectation of the people in an organization that cannot be fulfilled due to a lack of resources or support. Effective leaders must be prepared to properly equip their teams with the right people in addition to the right tools and resources to set them up for success. Access to the appropriate tools and assets is imperative to creating and building a company culture that is rooted in trust.

R: Responsibilities
It is essential that team members are empowered to own their unique responsibilities in an organization. When team members truly own their piece of the daily duties, tasks and projects, it reinforces the reality that their work really matters. When your team is aware of their value to the entire operation and that others are counting on them, like a combat aircrew, they will step up and perform to their best abilities. Empowerment of staff, ensuring that the training and processes clearly define and delineate their responsibilities, will lead to an empowered organization. This empowered organization will be full of team members who know what they are responsible for and are ready to tackle the tasks at hand.

G: Goals and objectives
Goals and objectives of your team(s) and organization have to be plain, clear and articulated in a way that the team members can understand and appreciate. The best leaders must share the goals and objectives with the team. Your team needs to know that its leaders are fully invested. In turn, it’s necessary for members of your team to share their individual goals and objectives with each other and the leadership. This ensures that everyone holds each other accountable. Beyond holding one another accountable, knowing the goals and objectives of each other allows you to know that everyone is committed in some shape, form and fashion to the greater good of the organization and each other.

O: Opportunities for success
As a leader, you must provide the opportunities for your people to succeed. These successes exist as large and small opportunities. When provided with incremental chances to succeed and win, team members will stay engaged and continue to be committed to the organization and the team. Consider opportunities for team members to succeed in the simplest ways, which will lead to team wins, and consequently lead to organizational wins. Everyone loves to win. Everyone loves to be on a winning team!

The most precious resource in your organization, the most precious cargo in your aircraft, is your people. As you conduct business each and every day, are you and the leadership team equipping your people to sustain themselves and your organization through the inevitable turbulence they will encounter en route to accomplish their mission? When you provide your people with the right C.A.R.G.O., you will create, promote and cultivate a workplace culture of trust that is bound for success!

Jason O. Harris is a leadership and trust speaker, consultant and certified character coach. As a decorated combat veteran, Harris brings unique perspectives gained from his battlefield experience to your organization. His No Fail Trust™ methodology was crafted from his own harrowing, life-altering experiences, and conveys the importance of cross-generational communication and mutual trust. He enjoys working with organizations and leaders that are no longer willing to settle for cultures of compliance and are ready to build and cultivate cultures of commitment. For more information, visit www.jasonOharris.com.

This feature was originally published in the January/February 2020 issue of PrintAction, now available online.