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Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Lean Tips Edition #91 (1366-1380)

For my Facebook fans you already know about this great feature. But for those of you that are not connected to A Lean Journey on Facebook or Twitter I post daily a feature I call Lean Tips.  It is meant to be advice, things I learned from experience, and some knowledge tidbits about Lean to help you along your journey.  Another great reason to like A Lean Journey on Facebook.

Here is the next addition of tips from the Facebook page:

Lean Tip #1366 - Keep Your Meetings Productive.
As the saying goes, time is money. So, of course, you should want to limit tangents and other time wasters during meetings. If you trust your team to do their job, there should be no need for micromanaging, and meetings can run swiftly.

Lean Tip #1367 - Never Stop Improving.
Great leaders -- indeed, great people -- are constantly learning and always trying to improve themselves. There’s always something that you can work on or a new skill to master. Be sure to keep your mind open to new ideas and possibilities.

Lean Tip #1368 - Offer Acknowledgment To Your Employees
Celebrating and publicly announcing the achievements and efforts of your employees is a great way to build their confidence and keep them motivated. Not every effort requires a huge celebration or award, but praise and positive feedback should be a part of your daily interactions with your team. Sending an email or handwritten note recognizing an employee for a job well done offers immediate feedback and serves as a record of their accomplishment.

Lean Tip #1369 - Create an Environment of Growth
Encouraging growth within your team is always beneficial. Support them in taking on new tasks and experimenting with new methods. When things don’t go as planned, rather than dwelling and focusing on their failures, use them as learning opportunities. This will inspire your employees to continue striving for new, innovative techniques.

Lean Tip #1370 - Seek to Understand and Learn
An effective leader doesn’t have all the answers but they do make good decisions (most of the time) based on input and information from others. Asking questions, listening, and taking the time to explore possibilities is important in relation to this.
The more senior the role, the more complex the situation, and the greater the impact of judgments will be.

  • Realize you don’t have to have all the answers, acknowledge this and seek input from your team and others.
  • Accept you will make mistakes and learn from these. Admit them. Don’t repeat them.
  • Ensure you are seen to be open to the ideas of others.
  • If you disagree with others, communicate the reasons why.
  • If others disagree with you, don’t take it personally.
  • Listen twice as much as you speak.
  • Knowing the right question is usually more important than knowing the right
  • Answer.
  • Never assume.
  • Sit back, observe, think, observe some more, ask questions and then maybe, after about three months, make a change
  • Reinforce not jumping to conclusions
  • Don't be afraid to ask the same questions in different ways to improve your understanding

Lean Tip #1371 - Establish an Impeccable Standard of Excellence.
Set high expectations at the outset and raise the bar on any crucial factors. The best way to establish a standard is by modeling the expected behavior yourself. Showcase excellence. When your actions have the potential to affect everyone around you and the bottom line, don't dabble in mediocrity. Reflecting excellence is critical to exercising effective leadership. This is ground zero for establishing influence.

Lean Tip #1372 - Value People and Nurture Relationships. 
Top-notch people skills are vital to sound leadership. Develop premium listening, communication and decision-making skill sets. Demonstrate integrity by being open, honest and fair.

Your transparency will reap clear rewards. If you treat people well, most will be encouraged to return the favor. By elevating the importance of people and relationships, you enhance your ability to relate to others in an authentic and meaningful way.

Lean Tip #1373 - Promote Strategic Cooperation.
People often produce higher quality, more efficient work products when collaborating. Commit to this by actively embracing opportunities for healthy cooperation. Make teamwork an attractive aspect of workplace culture. Less burnout, increased trust among peers and enhanced interpersonal relationships will result.

Lean Tip #1374 - Get Your Hands Dirty.
Do the work and know your trade. You don’t have to be the most advanced technician on the team, but you must have an in-depth understanding of your industry and your business. Leaders have many responsibilities, but it is important to work alongside your team. This is a great way to build trust and continue to develop your own knowledge and skills.

Lean Tip #1375 - Let the Team Do Their Thing.
Stop micromanaging. Communicate the mission, vision, values, and goals. Then step back and let the team innovate. Setting this example for the team will encourage your other managers to do the same.

Lean Tip #1376 - Lead By Example, Not By Being An Arrogant Jerk
"People want to be good. They want to be successful. They need help believing in themselves. Sometimes they just need help to get going...

You can’t expect people to read your mind. You need to lead by example, help them be successful and inspire them. You don’t have to be an arrogant jerk to get people to be successful. In fact, it’s just the opposite."

- Kevin O'Connor, chief executive of FindTheBest.com

Lean Tip #1377 - Be Passionate
This is one of the most important leadership skills. Would you look to someone for guidance and leadership if they did not truly care about the goals of the group? Of course not! Great leaders are not just focused on getting group members to finish tasks; they have a genuine passion and enthusiasm for the projects they work on. Start by thinking of different ways that you can express your zeal. Let people know that you care about their progress. When one person shares something with the rest of the group, be sure to tell them how much you appreciate such contributions.

Lean Tip #1378 - Maintain a Positive Attitude.
No one respects a grumpy or negative person. With a positive attitude you are looking at the bright side of life. People are naturally attracted to you when you have a positive attitude. By being positive, you will lead a happier life, as well as be surrounded by other positive people. You will also magically attract exciting offers and possibilities.

Lean Tip #1379 - Motivate Others to Greatness.
The greatest leaders are those who include everyone in their sphere of influence by recognizing each person’s greatest value. To be one of these leaders, look beyond the obvious and see others with insight and compassion. Many of history’s greatest leaders have admitted that they rose to the top because another leader recognized and harnessed their potential.

Lean Tip #1380 - Be Willing to Admit and Learn from Failures and Weaknesses.

Face it – No one is perfect, and everyone has made a mistake or two in their lives! The most successful leaders know that the key to success is not in avoiding falling or failing, but to learn from their mistakes. As a strong leader, you will also be able to communicate your weaknesses to your team, so that you and your team can appoint someone who excels at that particular task or activity.

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