Line 4’s Daz Mccormack talks about his ‘transformational’ journey
Straight out of an episode of ‘Stars In Their Eyes’, D Block group leader Darren McCormack has been shouting “what a transformation” after recently graduating from his Group Leader Academy training.
The 40-year-old marked his return to Group Leader status in December last year by immediately being enrolled on the two-week business-wide course which delivers a hands-on one-stop shop experience designed around helping GL’s sharpen their production and management skills.
Course activities include leadership coaching, process what’s and why’s, risk assessment training, communication, presentation and briefing training as well as a host of hands-on activities to put their skills into practice.
Darren, or ‘Daz Mack’ as he’s more commonly known, has been singing the praises of the course which he says has completely transformed his impression of how powerful a group leader can be and how much impact he can have on the business.
“It was really weird because I spent two weeks on the course and when I came back I immediately felt like I had a better team because the training showed me how valuable they were and how to work to their strengths and their product knowledge. I’m not sure I was capable of that before,” he said.
“I’ve always shied away from the paperwork side of things but the course showed me how it can help me. The big thing was concentrating not just on what to do but also WHY we do it and that’s given me a greater understanding of how it can help us in our roles.”
The dad-of-three has direct and dotted line responsibility for ten people on Line 5 in D Block, or ‘the money line’ as some people call it because it’s the last stop before a vehicle’s FTT status is classified.
“The course showed how much of an impact good communication can be but it also gave me the confidence to be a good communicator and that helps throughout the shop,” he added.
“We had an issue with some faults on Line 4 getting through to us at the end but some of the GL’s on that line had been through the training with me so we linked up and used the problem solving training to come up with solutions and it’s had a huge impact.
“I’d never used a fishbone diagram before but now I’m trying to stop myself from using it when I get home with the kids!”
He added that being surrounded by fellow GL’s who’ve been on the same course has helped across the block.
“We’re now all speaking the same language so it’s helped us build up a rapport and highlighted that we’re all one team.
“Now I’m doing more of what is expected of a full-bloodied GL I’ve gotten much more recognition, I have a much better relationship with my PL and the confidence the Academy had given me has helped me manage up and raise issues in the right way to get them fixed and help my team on the line.
“My job is to look after and protect my team because they are the ones building the cars and the Academy has given me the tools to do that. I finished the course just before Christmas and I ended up feeling disappointed because the two-week Christmas shutdown meant I had to wait before I could apply what I’d learned. I wanted to get cracking and it’s been the same for the rest of the guys that did the training with me.”
The dad-of-three was part of an 11-strong cohort but the Academy is being rolled out across all of JLR’s sites and Daz added that he can’t wait for all of the GL’s in his block to go through the course so there’s one common approach no matter where you work.
“We’ve helped each other, we’ve coached each other and we’ve looked after each other and it’s ended up giving us cleaner builds which help the business at a time when it really needs it.
“At times it felt like the GL’s, the Production Leaders and the associates were all in their separate groups with their own agendas and goals but the training has pressed home how we’re all one team and one person’s success is everyone’s success.
“It doesn’t matter what your job is, whether it’s building cars or keeping the block clean. Every role has a knock on effect to something else so respecting everyone’s roles and the importance they have is really important.
“As GL’s we influence our teams and our behaviours and conduct rub off on them so I always think more carefully now about how I conduct myself and what I give priority to because others notice that and you need to set a good example.
“My advice is if you have the chance to go on the course do it as quickly as you can because it’s transformed my role and how I look at it. It’s been a game changer for me and I hope the team I work with have noticed a change for the better!”