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Episode Info

Episode Info:

Chris Lucas is the Vice President of Lucas Engineering and Management Services. A fun fact about Chris is that he is 3 rd generation Hanford worker. His grandfather was a security guard when they were building the site, and both his mother and father worked at the Hanford site. Chris worked at the site for 40 years before retiring. His first mentor out at the area was the man that hired him for his summer employment. He sat next to a gentleman on the bus heading back into town to close-out his seasonal employment, and when he did, human resources asked him if he would be interested in an operator job. When he went into the interview, it was the same gentleman that he sat next to on the bus that was doing the interview. He learned from this experience that finding out about people personally when hiring is very important. He believes that a good boss must be a good mentor. When you move up in positions in a company and get past the supervisor level, you are no longer managing the work, you are managing the people. It can be difficult to implement that shift. A good manager needs to get to know the people he/she is leading. You must build trust. He has been a part of several teams. There are two teams that shaped him and both had a family atmosphere. Not everyone got along all time, but overall, they were a family that learned to resolve issues together. Leaders can facilitate activities that aren’t work-related to build that family atmosphere. Honesty, integrity and trust are foundational when building a team. Explaining your position when disagreeing with the team is also essential. When setting the vision with his team, he may set parameters but does not give the solution of how to achieve or create the vision. Collaborate with the team to come up with the details on how to get to the end result. By keeping the team involved in the progress of the project, they feel ownership. Chris’s ideal day is spending the day with his granddaughters! He prefers to not sit at a desk; he enjoys being out in the field, having conversations with the teams. If he could do this all day every day, he would. To recharge his batteries, he spends as much time as possible with his granddaughters. He tries hard to not look at work emails and texts while spending quality time with loved ones. If you have a manager that displays that workaholic mentality, then often times the team feels inadequate because they aren’t putting in the same amount of time. Change is inevitable and has been a huge part of Chris’s work life with projects ending, new projects starting, etc. Pay close attention to those on your team who struggle with change. From a management position the worst thing you can do when you know change is coming is to stay silent. Blame is toxic on any team; a good manager looks at how he/she may have contributed to the failure, owns it and communicates it.

The legacy he wants to continue building and leave behind is a company program of leadership that will continue on when he is ready to leave Lucas Engineering to retire fulltime. He wants to leave behind something that will be useful for the industry. Chris’s advice to new leaders is be the best you can be in the job you are in.

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