Bio fuel By- Madeleine Meyer

John Caupert

This month, John Caupert from Advancing Biofuels Research came to talk to us about effective leadership. He explained that the three most important things a leader can have is good teamwork, communication, and leadership. He likes to rearrange these to “TLC” because sometimes all a team needs, is some tender loving care.

When he was relocated to Texas for a job, John’s  subordinates saw him in action as part of the team. Within John’s first week in Texas, he was asked to help with transporting grain for the transportation company he was working for. There was a miscommunication with the amount of grain that was supposed to go into the truck, and his rig ended up being over-filled. John immediately jumped in to fix the problem. When John’s team showed up for work they saw him shoveling grain from one truck to the other to correct the weight of grain, and John believes this was how he earned respect as a leader. He could have easily waited for the team to get to work and delegated the work to them, but instead he modeled the way. This is a huge lessen stressed in LDP, and John proved how important it is in the real world when it comes to successful leadership.

John pointed out that the strongest team you can build is one with diversity in all aspects. He talked specifically about the importance of diverse skill levels, knowledge, and backgrounds. Every team member can contribute to the success of a team, and having different perspectives within a team builds a powerhouse.

Madeleine Meyer

John’s final point was the significance of effective communication. Verbal and written communication is key when it comes to communicating with a team, but John believes the most important communication is unspoken communication. He tied this back to his story of shoveling the grain. Without showing his team nonverbally that he cared about his team and their successes, would John have been respected as a leader? Probably not.

It was evident that John’s passion for his team made him an effective leader, and he spoke highly of the lifelong friendships that blossomed from that team. His story proves that building a strong, trusting team can turn coworkers into friends and even family. Effective teamwork, leadership, and communication make success in a team possible.