Friday, December 13, 2013

Lean Quote: Good Leadership Is Always Human

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.

"Good leadership is always human. It takes time and energy. It is hard work. Which is why good leadership is so special when we find it..— Simon Sinek

If I only had a nickel for every time I’ve heard someone say, “It’s not personal; it’s just business.” Great leaders understand nothing is more personal than leadership, and they engage accordingly. The best leaders understand a failure to engage is in fact a failure to lead. Average leaders remain aloof and distant – great leaders look to know and care for their people.

Average leaders are viewed as business executives, the best leaders are viewed as great human beings. The best leaders understand it’s not a weakness to get personal, to display empathy, kindness, and compassion – it’s the ultimate strength. Peak performance is never built on the backs of others, but by helping others become successful. Treat your people as if your life depends on it – it does.

Leaders are nothing without people. Put another way, people will make or break you as a leader. You’ll either treat them well, earn their trust, respect and loyalty, or you won’t. You’ll either see people as capital to be leveraged or humans to be developed and fulfilled. You’ll either view yourself as superior to your employees, or as one whose job it is to serve them, learn from them, and leave them be better off for being led by you.

The best leaders don’t put people in a box – they free them from boxes. Ultimately, a leaders job isn’t to create followers, but to strive for ubiquitous leadership. Average leaders spend time scaling processes, systems, and models – great leaders focus on scaling leadership.

The reality is anyone can lead, but very few lead well. If you want to lead well, you can't forget the human component.


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3 comments:

  1. I couldn't agree more. Why does this still seem so foreign in the workplace today? What do we have to do to reach critical mass and make this commonplace instead of unusual?

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    1. Leadership is a hard concept for many. Any can be a manager. I wonder how many can look in the mirror and truly say they made the world a better place than when they found it.. Far too many has very short term goals in sight like money or career opportunities. Those who seek greatness have longer term things in mind like longevity and legacy.

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  2. The foundation of leadership is respect. You should know how to give it when you receive it.
    http://www.21stcenturynews.com.au/leader-field/

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