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Friday, July 16, 2010

Lean Quote, July 16, 2010: Leadership

On Fridays I will post a Lean related Quote. Throughout our lifetimes many people touch our lives and leave us with words of wisdom. These can both be a source of new learning and also a point to pause and reflect upon lessons we have learned. Within Lean active learning is an important aspect on this journey because without learning we can not improve.

Feel free to share some of your favorites here as well.

"The leader of the past… is a doer; of the present, a planner; of the future, a teacher. Her job is to develop capabilities; not to plan the company's actions but to increase its capacity to act, its responsiveness, and its repertoire…. This kind of leader doesn't need to know everything; on the contrary, she'll want to be surrounded by people who know a whole lot more but trust her to weigh their competing claims." - Thomas A. Stewart.

Leadership has been well studied and written about throughout history.  Fundamentally, leadership is about the capacity or ability to lead so others will follow.  I believe that leadership could be further defined by these characteristics that make-up the word leadership.

Lead by Example
Encourage the Heart
Appreciate Diversity
Develop People's Potential
Enable and Empower
Help/Coach Where Necessary
Inspire a Shared Vision
Process Challenger

UK management thinker and writer, John Adair, has proposes a short course for leadership. Managers wanting to be leaders would do well to consider:

The 6 most important words... "I admit I made a mistake."

The 5 most important words... "I am proud of you."

The 4 most important words... "What is your opinion?"

The 3 most important words... "If you please."

The 2 most important words... "Thank you."

The 1 most important word... "We."

The least important word..."I."

How do you define leadership?  What advice would you give to others?

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  1. Hi Tim,

    I would add to the word LEADERSHIP the Humble as the parte of the H... I think it is one of the most important traits af a leader...

    Dragan Bosnjak

  2. I really like the most important words. That is great. I can use that in the problem solving class I am teaching today.

  3. I would say that leader of the future is a builder - a person who builds a better future. Like Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi a.o.