The 16 Habits of Lean Leaders

The source of Inspiration

Treat the little person with as much respect as with the big person. “The waiter, the cleaner, the blind person are more important to you than you will ever imagine. Treat them with respect and immense gratitude that they came into your life”.

Lumen sapientis
16 Habits for Lean Leaders – from mediocrity to meaning & purpose. A post COVID-19 approach to managing yourself and others to a better future.

Whilst you immerse yourself into the 16 Habits of Lean Leaders, you will be a student to yourself. The most rewarding of all of the 16 habits are the ones related to developing others and positively influencing the culture of your organisation.

Four distinct Habits will show you how to build engaged and competent teams.

You will learn the art of Managing through Visualisation. The Habit of Caring for Others. The Habit of Building & Leading Your Team. The Habit of Learning Why, How and When to Celebrate.  Whilst the final four Habits will permeate the organisational culture. You will learn the Habit of Climbing the Mountain. The Habit of making Work Meaningful. The Habit of being able to ask for Help. The Habit of Sharing Best Practices.

True leader performance comes from supporting the team in a way which brings about motivation, self-reliance and problem solving abilities in others.  All eight Habits are focused on the team and the organisation from a holistic and strategic perspective.

The key source of the 16 Habits of lean leaders derives its framework, tools, competences and wisdom from teachers I had at Toyota. Of course, many good, wise and humble people also suffered me, so that I could eventually open my heart and mind and change for the better, and stand in the queue and start to make a positive contribution for others, hopefully!.

Many exceptional people have worked tirelessly over many years for the Toyota Production System and the Toyota Way to make its appearance in our lives. Now it’s our turn to take the baton on lean entwined with leadership and continue that journey, adjusting to our new post COVID-19 world disorder, where we can, and leave something positive behind.

Most Lean initiatives, with all their promises, overall don’t deliver neither for the stakeholders not for management, employees and consultants. Each group having their own concept of what lean should do and why others should do it not them!. Yes, its always them, not me, sounds familiar!.

From our observations of over 1,000 organisations from UK, Poland, North America, Germany and China, we observe that Management are confused as to what is their role and how lean can support them in the many agendas the have to chase.

In order to become a lawyer, accountant, doctor, engineer you need professional qualifications, exams, practical experience and a honoured Institution which provides the certification process. In lean and in leadership, excluding MBA’s and six sigma certificates, which I do, there appears to be very little in the way of quality accreditation of lean leadership specialists. Having read, digested, re-read countless books on lean including leadership, by numerous professors and so called “Lean Experts” (no such thing actually exists, ask any sensei from Toyota), together with ex-Toyota colleagues we have created the 16 Habits. Fundamentally, the habits are about you. Not them, not HR, not the bring CI manager or the OPEX or Six sigma guy. It about you.

Every process improvement, every leadership behavioural trait, every culture change starts with the most difficult place of all in the organisation. We mean, the most difficult place of all. Yes, its in your heart and mind. If we start to work on that then you will be able to move mountains.

The time for confusion, chaos and mediocrity management needs to be gradually replaced with meaning and purpose at work and perhaps flow into our personal lives too. Work and life are friends which need to work in tango.

Business performance, our behaviour towards the person next to us, our approach to ourselves , our employees, our problem solving initiatives, process improvements and organisational way of doing things right, with satisfaction, will bring more than sufficient returns on our financial and operational investments.

Are you ready to take up the baton and make a go of it? The race is on.

Look out for future posts and the launch of the new online programme for leaders. The 16 Habits of Lean Leaders.