It’s exciting to see a product I helped

It’s exciting to see a product I helped develop and produce come out on top! #Skippy

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5 Lessons Learned from Failure

Glenn Llopis wrote and interesting leadership article at Forbes titled 5 Things Failure Teaches You About Leadership some time ago.  It is uncanny how often general leadership articles seem to underscore Lean Principles and Lean Leadership.  The article is worth reading in its entirety.  The five lessons learned follow with my thoughts on how these relate to Lean:

  1. Confront your failure and learn from it Continue reading
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7 Reasons – Part 2

We have already started to look at the link between  Leadership and Trust in part 1 of this post.  A recent Forbes article by Glenn Llopis discusses 7 behaviors that cause mistrust while Stephen Covey discusses 13 ways the best leaders build trust at Leadership Now.  You may recall that Lean Leadership starts with respecting people.  Respect your team and those you work with enough to listen, to keep commitments, to make yourself and others better, and to deliver results.

We focused on the positive behaviors yesterday so let’s look at the flip-side.  The list of 7-reasons why teams don’t trust their leaders through the lens of Lean Leadership:

7 Behaviors to Avoid Continue reading

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7 Reasons Why Your Team Doesn’t Trust You and 13 Ways to Build Trust

There seems to be no shortage of magazine articles and blogs talking about the link between  Leadership and Trust.  A recent Forbes article by Glenn Llopis discusses 7 behaviors that cause mistrust while Stephen Covey discusses 13 ways the best leaders build trust at Leadership Now.  You will find their lists below with comments about how Lean Leaders apply these lessons:

13 Ways to Build Trust:

  1. Demonstrate Respect –  Continue reading
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3 Leadership Lessons from a Coaching Legend – Another Look at the Original Ice Bowl

Vince Lombardi

Image by jimbowen0306 via Flickr

I firmly believe that any man’s finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle – victorious.
~Vince Lombardi

There is much talk about the Midwest weather this weekend as we brace for -40 degrees (F) and more snow. There is even talk that tonight’s National Football League playoff game in Green Bay, Wisconsin could be the second coldest in NFL history. We’ll know if it was by the time this posts Monday morning. So is there a better time to look at the leadership lessons from the coldest game in NFL history that just happened to be played in Green Bay?

The temperature is -13 degrees fahrenheit with a wind chill reported at -48F (-44C).  The bitter cold has overwhelmed Lambeau Fields new turf warming system.  The playing field is as hard as a rock and as slick as ice.  The packers have the ball on the Dallas Cowboys one yard line with just 16 seconds remaining in the National Football League Championship. The coldest game in the history of the NFL comes down to one play….. (continue reading here)

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Keurig & Visual Management

Coffee cup icon

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 Brewing excellence, one cup at a time.

Keurig’s innovative single cup brewing system lets people brew the perfect cup of gourmet coffee in less than a minute, without having to grind beans, measure coffee, handle filters or clean up. It’s as simple as it gets.

That is all according to Keurig’s web site.  It is amazing how much the single-cup coffee systems and the coffee-cup business have both grown over recent years.  It is unlikely that this business would not have grown into a multi-billion dollar business if it were not so convenient.  Yet, using a Keurig is different than any traditional coffee pot so for many it might be a bit confusing if not intimidating. Continue reading

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Culture is Everything

We tried all this five-years ago but it didn’t last long….We don’t have any problems.  I don’t see how it could get any better….I know how to solve that, we fixed that problem twenty-years ago.  Does this sound like Lean cultures to you?  It doesn’t to me yet sometimes I hear these comments at companies that call themselves lean.  The comments don’t just come from the operators on the production floor but even middle and senior management.  What’s missing? A successful Lean Transformation requires a cultural transformation.  Click here for a great video talking about the importance of culture as part of your Lean journey.

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The Medal of Honor and Leadership

The American Medal of Honor.

The American Medal of Honor. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Many of you saw tales of heroic deeds over the recent Memorial Day celebration in the United States.   We take the time to learn of heroes and the stories of their unselfish and personally risky actions that we taken for the freedom of others.

One tale of true heroism seemed to stand out above the rest again this year.  As is often the case, this American hero returned after the war to live a normal and unassuming life.   Though Private William J. Crawford’s heroic deeds for which he received the highest military award, the Medal of Honor, were performed on 13 September 1943, he did not have an official recognition event at the time because he was missing in action and presumed dead.  This was corrected in 1984 when the Medal of Honor was formally presented to retired Master Sergeant Crawford. Continue reading

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Honor, justice, and humanity…

English: Monticello from the west lawn.

English: Monticello from the west lawn. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Honor, justice, and humanity, forbid us tamely to surrender that freedom which we received from our gallant ancestors, and which our innocent posterity have a right to receive from us. We cannot endure the infamy and guilt of resigning succeeding generations to that wretchedness which inevitably awaits them if we basely entail hereditary bondage on them.” –Thomas Jefferson (1775)

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5S and the Food Manufacturing Industry

One of Joes food and sometimes even beverage

(Photo: Public Domain courtesy of Joe Chapmans and Wikipedia)

5S is more than a simple housekeeping initiative.  5S is a five-step process that transforms a traditional work site into a visual factory and lays the foundation for a Lean Enterprise Transformation.  It can benefit any organization and brings unique benefits to the food and beverage industry.

5S benefits your customers by enabling you to bring the highest quality at the lowest cost and the best lead time to the marketplace.  One benefit that is unique to food and beverage is that 5S also enables you to minimize food safety risks for your consumers.

5S benefits your company by improving your profitability, credibility, flexibility, and integrity while increasing employee engagement and ownership.

5S benefits your employees by improving their safety and job security.  It also encourages employee involvement and increases job satisfaction.  Continue reading…..


This article was written for the Incito Consulting Group.  Please leave a comment below if you liked this post. You can also connect on LinkedIn, follow me on Twitter, subscribe via e-mail (right side bar), retweet, digg, or stumble this article.  You can check out my Facebook page and continue the discussion there as well.  Your feedback is appreciated.

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