Habit 11

Member Care

There are no underperforming teams, only underperforming leaders


  • There are fundamentally two types of leadership, effective and none-effective.
  • Good leaders do not look for excuses but focus on their own weaknesses
  • Both are a result of them being a leader of a team and of being part of the team.

Are you and your team ready for successful execution of the 2023 plan !

What are you going to do now to ensure or at least improve the chances of the team winning in the first quarter of 2023!

Habit 11 – Member care.

Habit 11 is a team development habit and focuses on care of the members. You may recall my previous post where a Toyota Sensei told me, …..”take care for the quality of the build of the car. When you are not building the car, take care for the quality of your relationship with your team members”. Each one needs your time, needs your care, needs a quality relationship with you, each one needs personal development.

By caring for members you give meaning and purpose to work. This is not only a philosophy at Toyota, but actually applies to every single human being no matter when they were born, where they were born and where they work or study.



Member care is a direct descendent of our need to show kindness and compassion to others. If you do not stick into your diary time for member care, regularly, to be honest, you are not doing your job as a leader.

Habit 11 – member care in Japanese is called Mendoumi. Sometimes spelt mendomi. Under the 16 Habits of Lean leaders, Mendoumi is absolutely critical for the success of any leader to lead a team.

Perhaps you have seen an engineer or accountant promoted to a more senior management position and noticed how they get really frustrated, anxious and start criticising and shouting at their members. Well, unfortunately, this is lack of coaching and development by the organisation. In-fact, it’s a failure on behalf of leadership towards this person and the team that this type of behaviour is so prevalent in work.

I have encountered hundreds if not thousands of cases where someone was promoted from a technical job to a job managing a team and that person hit a brick wall. Remember, its easier to build a car engine, a robot, mechanical device, process meat, create shapes from aluminium or anything else, than it is to manage people. And yet, so often engineers, sales people, accountants, administration staff, get promoted and have no support in how to manage, “people”.

The leadership material on Habit 11 – member care, mendoumi is very seldom provided by most organisations. Habit 11 has 8 core themes and these can be taught over a relatively short period of time. What is critical is OJD – On the Job Development of mendoumi supported by appropriate coaching or mentoring, depending on the seniority of management.

  • As a leader shout less, learn to listen and encourage more
  • Loyalty to weaker, slower team members is a mistake which could cost you the game/shift.
  • Factor in lack of skill and experience but don’t accept lack of engagement, commitment and behaviour from your team. This also relates to you.
  • Misguided loyalty to the weaker team members leads to this. 50% of work is generated by 20% of the team. Is this prevalent in your organisation!.
  • So what type of leader accepts underperforming employees, a weak leader!
  • Watch out for the vampires and snakes in the team.
  • They are always there, just as the donkeys, ants and bees.
  • Are you a bee leader or a snake leader!
  • Show respect, build trust and show member care – mendomi all day every day.
  • What is not important is what you agree but what you tolerate as a leader.
  • Accepting anything less than the desired goal leads to the norm.

You may have done your business plan, your Hoshin Kanri, you budget but, are you going into 2021 with a winning team?. A winning team needs a leader of people and a team member at the same time.

  • Is your leadership style infallible. Of course not you say. But how many times did you judge others yesterday!
  • There are no weak teams only weak leaders. Yes I know no one want to be seen as weak.
  • A weak leader is a bully, revengeful, spiteful, malevolent and unkind. Delegates, shouts, gets angry and thinks they know best.
  • Underperforming teams want to be a successful team. They crave in their hearts each and every day for a good leader.
  • Remember this, deep in their hearts they also forgive you for your inappropriate behaviour (Habit 5 – Habit of identifying non-value adding activities which includes inappropriate behaviour not only in processes).
  • They either don’t know how to achieve success or need motivation and encouragement.

The right leadership habits allow the team to be self-reliant without the leader, even if the leader needs to step out or aside for other reasons – the team continues to perform.

Leaders need to measure up to the brutal facts and perform a deep dive appraisal of not only their team but of themselves. This is the most difficult thing for any leader, to look at ones underperformance with openness, humility and transparency (best get a coach or mentor who can support you to the next level of leadership).

  • Is your leadership style protective like a hedgehog or a fighting bull terrier:
  • Just to be sure who are you!
  • Are you just driven by your position, power, bonus and other company perks!
  • do you have plenty of excuses,
  • shoulder blame on others,
  • are convinced your way is correct and its them that need to change. Argue that in your part of the world and for the price, you cant get good people, the other team won because they have better people !!!
  • Do you do a lot of overtime at work? Hmm, its worse than I thought!

Does your team focus on the pain and disappointment, frustration and discomfort because they underperform? Do you know why they feel this way? It’s because you are a lousy leader.

Does your team have a winning mentality? If not then change the leader or learn the right leadership skills.

Accept failure, take in on yourself as the leader, don’t then kick yourself or revenge others.

Believe in victory and motivate the team, they are waiting for you. Have faith in doing good and winning.

  • Set new higher standards for yourself and others.
  • Good leadership is contagious
  • Team Continuous good results become a habit.
  • The impossible becomes possible to realise if you have a good leader.

Treat each failure or problem with humility and treat it as a learning opportunity.

Failure or success of your team is entirely up to the team and its leader, as the leader of the team and as a member of the team. Have you got it together for 2021!

The above key points are a short collection of my experiences in over 30 different industries covering over 350 organisations in several countries from UK, Poland, Germany, China, Czech Republic, France, Spain and several states in the USA. The message is, get your act together first, then start to work on leading others. 2021 is going to test all of us.

What do you do if a machine does not work according to its required specifications? You fix it.

What do you do if your leader does not work according to expectations?

Build you organisation by allowing your people to focus on structured problem solving.

What Toyota focuses on is “Developing People through Problem Solving”, with a great deal of support mechanisms around the word “support”.

In the case of this business, the support came from the 16 Habits.

I hope this case study has shown how this system works and why it works.

If you would like to know more, please contact me, Mark Forkun on: mark.forkun@llw-institite.com