Lean Principles for Complex Times (Part 2)

Lean Leaders Enjoy the Journey

We looked at Lean Leadership in these complex and competitive times a couple weeks ago.  We discussed the first three points from Tony Schwartz’ blog titles Ten Principles to Live By in Fiercely Complex Times.  We saw that Lean Leaders challenge the process.  Lean Leaders are relentless about pursuing excellence and enjoy the journey.  Lean Leaders know that their attitude is contagious and set a good example.  Let’s continue the discussion with three more points:

  • When in doubt, ask yourself, “How would I behave here at my best?  Lean is all about the pursuit of excellence.  Lean Leaders need to be good and even great leaders.  You need to be on your best game.  As noted by Tony Schwartz, you probably know by instinct what the right thing to do is in many situations.  Have the courage to do the right thing.  You should have or get some mentors and other Lean thinkers you can call on to kick around ideas.  Give them a call when you are unsure about the next step on your Lean path or what is “the right thing to do.”
  • If you do what you love, you’ll love what you do:  Do you have a passion for Lean?  When I look back on my 20 years of manufacturing leadership, the highlights are all working with good people and making the process better.  Even before many of us were calling it Lean Manufacturing, I loved being able to see the positive results as we pursued excellence.  Lean Leaders get a charge from the journey.
  • Accept yourself exactly as you are but never stop trying to learn and grow:  Lean Leaders will apply this to themselves as well as the process they manage.  Accepting yourself or your process may not sound like it is consistent with the Lean mantra to challenge everything but you need to understand what the author intends.  Find the balance between complacency and self-flagellation.  Lean Leaders challenge the process and continue to develop their leadership skills but don’t beat yourself up over the current state.

Lean Leaders do the right thing.  Lean Leaders consult with others.  Lean Leaders love what they do.  Lean Leaders challenge themselves and the process without dragging themselves down with negative thoughts.  What examples can you share about how you have you managed your pursuit of excellence?

Christian Paulsen
Lean Leadership
Originally written for The Consumers Goods Club


Please leave a comment below if you liked this article. 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.

About Christian Paulsen

Christian Paulsen is an Executive Consultant with 20 years of Lean Manufacturing. Chris adds value to organizations by driving process improvement and bottom line savings. Chris intends to help others by sharing the lessons learned after a quarter century of operational leadership, marriage, parenting, and even longer as a Cubs fan. Your comments on this blog are welcome. You can also connect with Chris via LinnkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook in the right sidebar. Chris welcomes your comments. Christian's professional services are available by contacting him through LinkedIn (right side bar)
This entry was posted in Leadership and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Lean Principles for Complex Times (Part 2)

  1. Pingback: CX Design and Journey Mapping for Lean Thinkers by John Kembel « Serve4Impact

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s