I have found that the best leaders for Lean have high level of emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence is the ability to identify, assess, and control the emotions of oneself, of others, and of groups. Leaders must be more emotionally intelligent to be more effective and efficient at maximizing outcomes and desired results. The ability to express and control our own emotions is important, but so is our ability to understand, interpret, and respond to the emotions of others.
Lean managers must have effective capability in the following domains to be successful:
The ability to read your own emotions and recognizing when they are negatively affecting performance and when gut instinct can be used to guide decisions.
The ability to control your emotional responses and avoid impulsive behaviors. Self-regulation allows you to adapt to changing circumstances appropriately.
The ability to sense, understand, and react appropriately to the emotions of others.
The ability to communicate with people, inspire them, influence them, and effectively manage conflict.
The ability to remain outwardly motivated even when under pressure, tired, or faced by complex challenges.
Without emotional intelligence it will be very difficult to implement Lean successfully, because the behavior of leaders will work against its adoption. The more senior a person is, the more important it is that they have mastered and understood emotional intelligence.