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issue: November 2003 APPLIANCE Magazine

Glenn Decker of Emhart Teknologies

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It's easy to assert that one would respond well to a crisis - it's another to actually do so.

Glenn Decker can say that he not only responds well to emergencies, but also leads others through the situation through patience and teamwork.

"Approximately 6 years ago, the largest facility I managed for Phelps Dodge Industries was struck by severe weather," he says. "The storm ripped about a 5,000-sq-ft hole in the roof, broke a large high-pressure fire protection line, and flooded the entire facility, causing it to be shut down. Fortunately, no one was seriously injured.

"As a leader, it was important to first keep everyone calm and then carry out the necessary procedures to maintain business," he continues. "We responded to this unexpected challenge the same way that we responded to other challenges in the past - with teamwork. The first step was to hold a team brainstorming session to discuss the proper steps needed to respond to such a crisis. Team members volunteered and took responsibility to mobilize resources and implement the team clean-up plan. Approximately 35 hr later, we started turning on machinery again and reopened the plant, hole in the roof and all! It took another couple of months to get everything back to normal, but with a great effort from the entire team, we were able to keep customer delays at minimum levels. It was certainly not the preferred exercise for teambuilding, but it worked!"

As president of Emhart Teknologies' Industrial Division (Shelton, CT, U.S), Mr. Decker is responsible for leading the company's efforts to serve customers in a variety of industries, including appliance, electronics, HVAC, construction, automotive tier, recreation, and lawn and garden with well-known assembly systems and fastener brands, including POP(R), Dodge(R), Heli-Coil(R), Parker-Kalon(R), Gripco(R), Tucker(TM), and NPR(R).

Prior to his current position, Mr. Decker was president of Ryerson Tull's Coil Processing Division (Chicago, IL, U.S.), president of Phelps Dodge's High-Performance Conductors subsidiary (Inman, SC, U.S.), vice president of the Columbian Chemicals Company subsidiary (Atlanta, GA, U.S.), and director of Business Analysis & Planning for Phelps Dodge Industries (Phoenix, AZ, U.S.).

Listening and enlistment are as important as clarity of path and objective, he adds. "I believe my peers would describe my management style as one that is direct, but open. While there's an understanding of what I expect, my door's always open and anyone can approach me with his or her ideas or concerns. I don't approach issues from the perspective that I have all the answers - I approach issues from the perspective that with the right people involved, with sound logic and intellectual rigor, we'll reach the appropriate answer," Mr. Decker explains.

Most importantly, he believes that "when you enlist the hearts and minds of everyone in dividing up responsibility and meeting the plan, it is a lot easier to lift."

In his leisure time, Mr. Decker enjoys golfing, skiing, and spending as much time as he can with his children.


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