Friday, April 3, 2015

Lean Quote: Blaming Means Failing

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.

"A man can fail many times but he isn’t a failure until he begins to blame somebody else.— John Paul Getty

Our greatest fear is the fear of being humiliated. So it’s not surprising that folks hide their mistakes and avoid saying and doing unusual things so they won’t be ridiculed. And yet, these unusual things – and what we can learn from our mistakes – may be just what’s needed to solve a problem.

Everyone’s contribution is needed. We can’t tolerate the old thinking of looking for someone to blame. No-blame environments produce decreased problems, fewer defects, increased productivity, higher profits – and – more genuine employee involvement and ownership. In short, work becomes a more fun place as the focus switches to satisfying the customer by achieving results. A no-blame environment does not mean people aren’t accountable – far from it . . . they are more so. And proud of it!

When you hear lots of excuses from your employees, it means they’re under the impression that you’re blaming them or about to blame them. The simple resolve is to say, “I’m not interested in fixing any blame, I’m only interested in fixing the problem.”
The moment you hear an excuse, your concern has to be fixing the issue.

Being an effective leader means saying, and believing, that the buck stops with you. That your role is to set a vision, give employees the direction, support, and tools they need to reach success and then get out of the way and allow them the room they need to move forward.  You and your organization will be poised for greater success if you remind yourself of this every day. 

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