Leadership That Empowers: An interview with Mike Roberts


Mike Roberts, our production planning manager, has a big heart for the success of every dedicated Triton. As an advocate for using empowering leadership to build a thriving business, Mike took some time to share his insights into what it takes to cultivate and grow leaders within the Triton organization. 

Question: Investing in the success of every Triton is a commitment that comes from the top levels of the company. However, it’s one thing for a company to talk about investing in its people and another to be truly dedicated to doing so. How are the leaders at Triton dedicated to keeping this promise? 

Mike: Here at Triton, we’re always growing our minds and investing in our people in order to help us become the best and put us at the top of our industry. We encourage our team to take advantage of educational opportunities and to improve themselves personally and professionally. We’ll regularly have one or more of our Tritons involved in a skills class or training seminar to help them develop what they need to be more successful in their careers. This could be anything from CNC and weld training to lean manufacturing and even leadership seminars.

Question: Can you provide us with an example of a team member who came in with no experience and has grown personally and professionally to become a major asset to the Triton family?

Mike: We have so many Tritons who fit this description that it’s hard to pick just one. A large percentage of our leaders originally joined our family as production team members, and all were given the opportunity to grow. Those of us who have advanced within the company were first given the opportunity because we demonstrated the values, qualities and work ethic that’s expected of any Triton leader. Really, the only limit is their personal ambition.

Question: What does the development path look like for a new Triton?

Mike: For some Tritons, the first steps may be from general labor to laser operator. For others, it may be from press-brake operator all the way to foreman. Others have progressed into supporting roles such as quality technician, operations assistant, and even department manager. We have so many opportunities and many paths for advancement. 

Question: In what ways did leadership and the entire Triton team assist in making that growth possible for those individuals?

Mike: At Triton, we encourage everyone to identify opportunities that continually drive improvements. This mindset holds true when looking for potential leaders within our family as well. Once those individuals have been selected, it then becomes every Triton leader’s obligation and responsibility to raise the bar by teaching and guiding those individuals toward greatness. 

That obligation doesn’t end with just the skills training for daily tasks. It also includes a heavy dose of leadership mentoring to help ensure that every leader is capable of living up to and sustaining what we believe in as a company. We can’t expect success if we don’t provide all the necessary resources for individuals to be successful.

Question: One of Triton’s unique value propositions is this commitment to continuous improvement. How are Triton leaders implementing this internally when it comes to team development?

Mike: We understand that it doesn’t take a title or a position to be a leader. Every Triton is encouraged to lead by example and to continually raise the bar in every area of our company. As supervisors and managers, we know that we don’t always have all of the answers. That’s why we rely on all Tritons to communicate improvement suggestions or production obstacles that need to be addressed. We employ the best of the best, and many of the best ideas come from our Tritons who are the experts in what they do. 

Question: In what ways are Triton leadership and executive teams working to develop this mindset of continuous improvement and personal growth? 

Mike: Books, podcasts, seminars, workshops and more — we’re always learning and we’re always sharing what we’ve learned. Topics and ideas from these sources are regularly discussed among our executive and leadership teams. For many of us, the preferred leadership podcast is from Craig Groeschel. I’ll make no apologies for the plug because I think everyone should be listening to his message on leadership. Rarely does a day go by here at Triton when his teaching on leadership isn’t discussed. Like Craig Groeschel says, “When the leader gets better, everyone gets better.”

Anyone who is interested in raising the bar and becoming a better leader, parent, spouse, friend, etc., can tap into the above-mentioned resources from Craig Groeschel by checking out his free podcast on iTunes and Google Play. 

Craig Groeschel leadership podcast on iTunes

Craig Groeschel leadership podcast on Google Play


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