Walter McIntyre Article in Metaops Magazine

MetaOps Magazine presents “Keeping the Main Thing the Main Thing”

By Walter McIntyre

LIVONIA, March 1, 2014 – There are so many issues corporate leaders face each day. The question is how to prioritize them? In his article, the author discusses his 5S method to help decision makers keep their eye on the ball and focus on what needs to be done.

Walter McIntyre has spent 30 years in the business world, holding positions from apprentice to Vice PresidentHe is currently the Chief Operations Officer and General Manager of Nationwide Parts Distributors and Automotive Electronic Solutions Technologies in Jacksonville, Florida.

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Note to My Son

That would be you. Nothing wrong with trying to find the “best” solution or answer.  The problem is the definition of “best” changes with circumstances.  There are no perfect solutions to many of life’s problems. The best you can do is have a positive attitude.  “I will be successful at whatever I do” attitude.

I know you well enough to say that you are going to be successful in whatever you chose.  It is more difficult for you and your generation than it was for me and mine. I really believe that luck played a major role in success in my generation, but persistence is more important in yours. Your grandfather told me that I should be the very best at whatever I did, not matter what the circumstances. That way I would rise to the top of whatever heap I was climbing.  Good advice.


One of the most important responsibilities of a leader is to define reality for those they lead.  It is also a significant failure point for leaders.  From a simplistic point of view, there are three realities that we typically deal with.

As we think it is universe: This universe is defined by our opinions and prejudices. It is not basedin reality. An expression of this is when we think for the customer instead of consulting with them. These can be internal or external customers. These leaders will be described as poor listeners or defensive. It takes very little time for leaders using this universe as a model to lose the confidence of their followers and be left with nothing but position power. Self-limiting decisions or failure to achieve the best results are the result.

The Leadership Riddle

As a leader I find my fulfillment within the success my subordinates’ experience while executing the strategies and plans that we have put in place. This amounts to me experiencing success in the third dimension by watching others succeed.

I first learned this as a basketball coach, watching my kids on the court successfully execute strategy we had worked on in practice. That was the expression of my success. The more they were recognized the more successful I felt and the more successful I really was.

Leadership and Followship

Some us work for external customers, some for internal customers, and some for both.  It is easy to fail to deliver on the needs of internal customers because we fail to see them as customers.

All of us need to ask ourselves if our internal customers are happy with our service delivery.  To your customers, it doesn’t matter why there is a problem, only that there is a problem.

I’ll leave you with this: Leadership cannot exist without followship.  This relationship springs out of the fact that successful leaders are servants and facilitators for their customers (both internal and external).  Are you doing all the things necessary to build followship of your leadership?

Editing Your Silo

“Editing your silo” is about gravitating to your own belief system compatible information, instead of challenging your believe system. Stated another way, it is tuning your thoughts and words to arguing your perspective as opposed to drilling down to why you, and others, believe what they believe. Are you editing your silo? If you focus more on the minutia of the social strata of who and why someone has a particular perspective, instead of trying to understand the perspective itself, you are probably editing your silo. “All my friends believe this”, “I am only friends with others who believe like me”, or “I believe this, therefore I am right”.