Lean Leadership -5 Qualities You Should Start Cultivating Today

June 17, 2016

We live in increasingly data driven times. Continuous improvement using lean methodology is dependent on good data, but if it is not employed by people who have certain qualities, it is doomed to fail. These qualities should be cultivated in every member of the team for the best results.

  1. Understand the process. Every member of the team should understand how their role one  the overall process impacts the whole process. Silos are deadly.

  2. Open and completely honest communication. A process will not be improved if nobody has the nerve to question the status quo. Supervisors must b

    e ready to listen and encourage every member of the team to speak openly about the challenges they face.

  3. Clear expectations. Changing processes can lead to stress when those involved don't understand what is expected of them. Because processes are changing, expectations may be difficult to define,which is why good communication and understanding the process are so important.

  4. Hold people accountable and celebrate success. Nothing demotivates more than doing great work that nobody seems to notice while other members of the team seem to get away with mediocre performance. When somebody does great work, let them, and the entire team know. When someone falls short, call them on it privately, and try to find out if there is a good reason. Immediately take action to fix the problem.

  5. Lead when You Need To, Follow When You Need To. The success of lean leaders is intimately tied to their ability to get the most out of every member. Sometimes that means getting in the trenches to help get work done. Sometimes that means standing on the sidelines directing, and sometimes that means being quiet and watching others grow into leaders.

In order to cultivate these qualities in others, leaders should make sure they practice them as well. One of the best ways to do this is by a regular self assessment.

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