Rocket Leadership Concept on Blackboard

The IICRC recently announced the success of its inaugural Standards Summit and Leadership Workshop, which was held in Las Vegas. The staff — Pete Duncanson, IICRC Chairman; Mili Washington, IICRC Standards Director; and Howard Wolf, former Standards Chair — spoiled the impressive crowd of attendees including those from the U.S., Canada, U.K. and Australia. In the end, the two-days of interaction and debate proved to be stimulating, resulting in forward progress and consensus when defining cleaning terms.

A current goal of the IICRC is to develop and consolidate a glossary of cleaning terms that harmonizes across all standards. The consensus bodies for the cleaning of textile floor coverings, hard surface floor covering inspection, upholstery, water damage, mold remediation, safety and health field guides, and the new S400 standard for the janitorial/custodial cleaning of commercial facilities were all well-represented.

In the Standards session, Howard “Howie” Wolf stressed the importance of industry wide standards that assist in self-regulation of our industry. His colorful metaphor explained the need for volunteers, as he shared the axiom, “If you are not at the table, then you are on the menu.” Professional standards are designed to assist in self-regulation, as opposed to governmental controls.

The forty-two page IICRC Standards Leadership Handbook that was passed out became a helpful tool for the committees. It included the ANSI requirements for standards, a complete description for all of the development positions, roles and responsibilities, and best practices for ANSI/IICRC consensus body. Professional Standards should help raise the bar for the cleaning industry, and benefit future generations. Those who volunteer to serve on a consensus body are able to contribute, review, discuss and approve the content.

The Leadership Workshop kicked off with a presentation by Jeffery Cufaude of Idea Architects. Jeff encouraged leaders to align their behavior and performance with core values. He reminded us that values are central beliefs which determine how we will behave in certain situations.

Here are some leadership strategies Jeff outlined for attendees:
• Core values guide and motivate - they become the anchor or North Star.
• Management is about doing things right by focusing on products and services.
• Leadership is about doing the right thing by relying on organizational capacity.
• Leaders attend to results, while managers focus on rules.
• We improve our worth by increasing relevant knowledge. If you want to earn more, learn more.
• Leadership abilities expand as we seek clarity, increase our capacity, and improve our competence.
• Don’t be a pace car (used in NASCAR) that holds people back.
• Leaders must create, innovate, execute and motivate.
• Recruit, train and mobilize a team that passionately pursues shared aspirations.
• Question prospects to learn how they determine and decide on choosing a new vendor.
• Gather and record a customer’s likes and dislikes. Ask them, “What do you notice about….”?
• Ask yourself, “What have I learned from the customer today?”
• Fixing a weakness can prevent failure. But don’t forget that building strength leads to excellence.

Organizers of the event trust that the feedback from attendees will confirm the need for a repeat performance in 2020.