Smartest kid on the block? You may need patience

Is there such a thing as being too intelligent? In some cases, perhaps. Engineering Project Supervisor Ken Graham had an IQ of 159, if not genius category, he was certainly exceptionally bright.


Is there such a thing as being too intelligent? In some cases, perhaps.

Engineering Project Supervisor Ken Graham had an IQ of 159, if not genius category, he was certainly exceptionally bright. But according to some of his subordinates, if separate IQs could be established based on human relations alone, Graham's would be under 100.

Graham's technical knowledge was second to none in the plant engineering department. Ambitious and goal oriented, he had little tolerance for people who wasted his -- or their own -- valuable time.

Chief Engineer Bob Kreissman had mixed feelings about Graham. On the one hand, he admired and respected his engineering expertise and conscientious effort to get the job done right. On the other, Graham's people-related shortcomings disturbed him. Especially bothersome was the high turnover rate in his group.

In response to this concern, Kreissman conducted a few post-exit interviews with engineers assigned to Graham who had resigned. Though most were reluctant to criticize their former supervisor, a clear pattern emerged. Graham was characterized as snappish and petulant, overly critical, and a man his people had trouble communicating with.

What to do about it? Kreissman wisely decided to seek his boss' advice.

Question : Were this problem dumped in your lap, how would you handle it?

Plant engineer's decision: Plant Engineer Roy Walkman listened thoughtfully to Kreissman's concern. "The situation isn't unusual," he replied. "Extremely bright people like Graham often have difficulty adjusting their level of comprehension to that of associates and subordinates. What takes Ken seconds to grasp may require minutes or longer for others. A subordinate might need to have the details spelled out for him whereas Ken could understand in a glance.

"A byproduct of this is the bright person's frustration triggered by this comprehension differential. Especially in the case of a goal-driven professional like Ken. He perceives a subordinate's failure to see something he regards as clear and obvious as a goal deterrent and waste of time. Goal-driven people become irritable and overly critical when they perceive goals as being delayed or defeated. Send Ken to my office. All he may need is a heart-to-heart talk on the subject. A guy as bright and willing as Ken shouldn't have much difficulty catching on to the realities of the situation."

The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2017 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
SCCR, 2018 Maintenance study, and VFDs in a washdown environment.
Welding ergonomics, 2017 Salary Survey, and surge protection
2017 Top Plant winner, Best practices, Plant Engineering at 70, Top 10 stories of 2017
Product of the Year winners, Pattern recognition, Engineering analytics, Revitalize older pump installations
Control room technology innovation; Practical approaches to corrosion protection; Pipeline regulator revises quality programs
The cloud, mobility, and remote operations; SCADA and contextual mobility; Custom UPS empowering a secure pipeline
Setting internal automation standards
Knowing how and when to use parallel generators
PID controllers, Solar-powered SCADA, Using 80 GHz radar sensors

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
The maintenance journey has been a long, slow trek for most manufacturers and has gone from preventive maintenance to predictive maintenance.
This digital report explains how plant engineers and subject matter experts (SME) need support for time series data and its many challenges.
This digital report will explore several aspects of how IIoT will transform manufacturing in the coming years.
Maintenance Manager; California Oils Corp.
Associate, Electrical Engineering; Wood Harbinger
Control Systems Engineer; Robert Bosch Corp.
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
click me