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Friday, March 23, 2012

Lean Quote: Leadership is All About People

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 is all about people. It is not about organizations. It is not about plans. It is not about strategies. It is all about people--motivating people to get the job done. You have to be people-centered." — Colin Powell

When you hear the word “leadership” what comes to mind? There are numerous definitions of leadership. For me leadership is ultimately about creating a way for people to contribute to making something extraordinary happen. Effective leadership comes down to people. It is about the ability to successfully engage and maximize all human resources for the attainment that vision.

In keeping with this idea that leadership is about people, there are 6 qualities of leadership starting with the letter P:

Principles - You have to have a moral compass as a leader. It starts with basic beliefs and values. It's important to make clear to the people in the organization what those are, so you're transparent. They have to be consistent with the values of the organization, or there will be a problem.

Perspective - That's an ability to dream, visioning that leads to strategies. It starts with a broader view of the world you live in. It's about value to the consumer.

Passion – It is not style. There are a lot of different styles -- charismatic, quiet, confident. But it all comes down to this motivating sense of commitment to what you do. Vince Lombardi said “the difference between success and failure is energy … fired with enthusiasm.”

Perseverance - That's sticking with it through the good times and the bad times -- mostly the bad. It means picking yourself up every day to go after it.

Plan – It's great that you have a dream and a vision but how are you getting there? If people see that you have a passionate purpose but get the feeling that there's now way you'll get there, how likely are they to buy into it? Not very to say the least. Build a plan and use it.

Partnerships - Seek co-operative working relationships both internally between functions and externally with suppliers and customers. Seek to use teams, not individuals. Seek to build trust. Create win-win solutions.

While there are people who seem to be naturally endowed with more leadership abilities than others, I believe that people can learn to become leaders by concentrating on improving these particular leadership skills.

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1 comment:

  1. One leader that I have admired is all about "serving" his employees. Ever since I first met him, when I've thanked him for taking his time to meet with me- he very sincerely says it's the reverse- that he appreciates that I'm taking the time to meet with him. It's not lip service, this style emanates through many things you see him do throughout the day/ week too. I guess that's the 2nd thing I admire- he "walks the talk".