Friday, September 10, 2010

Lean Quote: Character Matters!

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.

This post was inspired by Christian Paulsen's post on Character and Leadership.

"Character is the firm foundation stone upon which one must build to win respect. Just as no worthy building can be erected on a weak foundation, so no lasting reputation worthy of respect can be built on a weak character." — R. C. Samsel

Achieving short-term results doesn't require great leadership.  Those kinds of results are easy to get.  Some may threaten employees, pay more, entice with contests, or manipulate the politics.  But for employees to follow long term, the number one requirement is that a leader by trustworthy.  It's even more important than having a great vision, being a great communicator, or being innovative, wise, courageous, inspiring, intelligent, or any other trait.  The first question every employee asks is, "Do I trust my boss and the other members of management?"  If the answer is "no", then they start looking for someone else to follow - someone they can trust.  This trust issue is a big deal.  It's a by-product of leadership integrity.

Without integrity, a leader can never develop trust.  Without trust, a leader will never develop people. Without developing people, a leader will never maintain a following.  And without followers, there is no one to lead. It all begins with integrity.

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