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Friday, August 10, 2012

Lean Quote: Coordinating Talent Toward Achieving Success Is Vital

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.

"Of all the things I've done, the most vital is coordinating the talents of those who work for us and pointing them toward a certain goal." — Walt Disney

Today, marks the first day of vacation and I am taking the family to a place where dreams come true, Disney World. So with this in mind I wanted to look at a quote from Walt Disney on leadership. This one in particular highlights the important role of leaders.

Every leader has two jobs. Your job is to help the team succeed by accomplishing your mission. That's the job that gets the most attention, but your other job is just as important. Your job is to help your team members succeed, too. "Succeed" means doing a good job, developing skills, earning autonomy, growing, and much more. Neither job is "the most important." They're equally important, and often support each other if done well.

Developing people means challenging people. But just issuing challenges isn’t enough. It would be disrespectful to not also teach a systematic, common means of developing solutions and meeting those challenges. Leaders facilitate the solution of problems by pinpointing responsibility and developing employees. Leaders do not solve other people’s problems.

Good leadership is not reflected in the leader’s actions, it is reflected in the impact and effect of those actions on the team. A leader should adapt to the environment and what the team needs today without losing sight of what will be needed tomorrow and always preparing for that moment when he or she will no longer be there. Guaranteeing the growth and sustainability of the team and the individuals that comprise it beyond the leader’s time is the ultimate trait of a great leader. In fact, the true success of a leader can not be measured without considering the results of the succession plan.

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