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Friday, October 1, 2010

Lean Quote: Leadership Can't Be Claimed Like Luggage at the Airport

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.

"Leadership can't be claimed like luggage at the airport.  Leadership can't be inherited, even though you may inherit a leadership position.  There are no manufacturing plants that fabricate leadership.  And leadership can't be given as a gift - even if you've been blessed with an abundance of leadership skills to share with someone else.  Leadership must be EARNED by mastering a defined set of skills and by working with others to achieve common goals." ~ David Cottrell

The role of a leader is not easy. Most employees understand this and see each day the incredible responsibilities assumed by their boss.

You're accountable for your actions and for your employee's actions, plus all the fiscal requirements, employee problems, feedback, training, technology changes, hiring, discipline, communicating, staff development, prioritizing, eliminating waste, and much more.  The job is tough.

Your employees ask that you accept responsibility for being the very best at your job so they can be the best at their jobs.

When you become a manager, supervisor, or team leader, the game changed.  You're now held to a higher level of accountability than before.  In fact, everything you do is exaggerated; you are under a magnifying glass.  And when you're down, they're down.  When you're up, they're up.  You set the tone... you shape the environment in which all can be successful.

Your employees expect you to lead without excuses.  The leadership you display and the decisions that you make contribute more to the success of your employees than all other factors combined.  Everything you do counts.  Make it count.

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  1. Tim,

    I just want to tell you that I really enjoy your Friday postings a lot, and even though I may not comment on them, or maybe others don't much either, it doesn't mean they're not of value. They certainly are to me - they initiate a lot of reflection. Please keep doing this.

  2. Mark, Thank you for the feedback. I am glad you enjoy and really appreciate hearing from my readers.

  3. Tim,

    You make great points with your quote and commentary. Leadership does have to be earned through actions that show one is worthy to be followed. Everything leaders do matters because everything sends a message. Thanks for challenging all the lean leaders out there.


  4. Thanks Christian. I am glad you enjoyed it and see the challenge in improving. I like to start with the mirror if you know what I mean.