Friday, October 20, 2017

Lean Quote: Leadership is Not a Dictatorship

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.


"Personally I cringe at the word 'leader.' It's more about getting people do what they're passionate about and putting them in the right context or setting. They're the ones doing the hard work." — Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos


Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos, said, “Personally I cringe at the word 'leader.' It's more about getting people do what they're passionate about and putting them in the right context or setting. They're the ones doing the hard work.”

While I don't necessarily totally agree with 'leader' being cringeworthy, this is an awesome quote. From my point of view, what he describes is leadership. No one wants a central figure to come in and do everything for them so they can just follow blindly. They want someone that inspires them to be better, someone to follow until it's time to forge their own path.

The glory of a leader can be plagued and overshadowed by many concerns that can affect the team’s success. A leader must wear many hats and be able to lead and encourage a team to perform. It is necessary for a leader to become an engaged member of the team, but be able to lead at the same time. It is inevitable that different personalities, industries, and goals will force any leader to adapt and mold to fit the current environment. What is the best way to successfully encourage and lead a team? This is the million dollar question.

There is definitely a difference between leadership and dictatorship; unfortunately many so called “leaders” confuse the two. According to webster, we can easily see the distinguishing differences between the two:

Leadership – the position or function of a leader, a person who guides or directs a group.

Dictatorship – absolute, imperious, or overbearing power or control.

Aha, one guides, directs, coaches and leads a group and the other tells the group to do this thing, this way, because I said so and more importantly because I have the power… I am the dictator.


Leadership is really about influencing people to believe in you and follow you. A leader takes people where they would never go on their own. Encourage your team members to the tasks that are most critical to achieving the main objectives. Make sure the rewards are useful and worthwhile. Try to understand each member and what they really want from their work and life in general.



Subscribe to my feed Subscribe via Email LinkedIn Group Facebook Page @TimALeanJourney YouTube Channel SlideShare

No comments:

Post a Comment