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Monday, February 25, 2019

Guest Post: 6 Key Traits of a Lean Successful Leader

In many organizations, the leader is nothing more than a job position… it’s actually the business owner or manager. In practice, however, the manager is not necessarily a leader of that organization. They may handle more paperwork than others, make hiring decisions, and attend more meetings. A leader, however, is much more than that.
This is someone with strong personality. A true leader follows the Lean principles of respect for others, continuous personal improvement, inspiring teams to improve their practices, and focus on providing value for the customers.
In theory, it all sounds pretty simple. But what’s a Lean leader really like?
We’ll list the six character traits that make a big difference.
1.     Humility
You probably didn’t expect this to see in a list of a leader’s character traits… so seeing it at the top of the list is really surprising.
Let’s start by saying that humility is underestimated. There’s no rule that leaders should be aggressive, pushy, and in the center of attention all the time. In fact, that’s what Lean leaders should not be.
This is a person who is aware of their own actions. They practice self-reflection. They evaluate their own flaws and weaknesses, which is a rather introverted character trait. This doesn’t mean that the leader shouldn’t be communicative. It just means that they are aware of their own worth, but are not imposing their influence on anyone. They respect everyone, and that’s exactly what drives people around them. 
2.     Leading by Example
Lean leaders are teachers. But this is not the type of teacher who hands out textbooks and expects people to “study” what’s in them. They want the people in the organization to learn, and they inspire them to do that by setting an example.
This is someone who will join all training sessions and learn together with the employees. And when it comes to teaching, they can still make great presentations and write clear guidelines. However, the leader always participates in the process of continuous improvement.
3.     Growth Mindset
“We’ve always been doing things this way. It has worked for us so far, so it has to keep working. Something else is the problem.”
That’s the fixed mindset. Some managers are used to the organization’s lasting practices, and they resist any suggestions for changes.
That’s not who the Lean leader is.
This is someone who will analyze a problem from different aspects and test various solutions until they find something that really works. They encourage all members of their team to suggest ideas, driven by their creativity and passion.
4.     A Strive for Perfection
We’re not using “perfectionism” as a term, since it has a rather negative connotation. A Lean leader strives for perfection, knowing that it can never be achieved. This doesn’t turn them into a frustrated individual, though. It doesn’t turn them into someone who is always unhappy with someone else’s or their own performance.
The Lean leader recognizes growth, but is also aware of the space for continuous improvement. They believe that everything can be done better as long as they keep up with the good work.
5.     Self-Confidence
The leader has an authority to make decision. Even if they aren’t in a position of authority (the leader doesn’t have to be a business owner or a manager), they still make decisions on a daily basis. These actions make a profound impact on the future of the organization.
A leader is aware of that responsibility. They consult team members on important decisions, but they always come forward with self-confidence. They have a responsibility to convince the team that they are going towards the right goal, implementing the right methods.
Self-confidence is defined as belief in “one’s personal judgment, ability, power, etc.” It’s an inner state that defines how one feels and thinks about their own actions. A leader may not be born with impressive self-confidence. However, they are willing to develop that state through learning and practice. When they know enough and they have enough experience, they believe in themselves. When that state is achieved, the team believes in the leader, too.
6.     Respect
Out of all personal traits on our list, this is the one that makes the most important impression on a leader’s followers. They treat everyone, from employees to customers to stakeholders, with utmost respect. Each action they take is characterized with respect towards other people.
As a practical example, you won’t see a Lean leader using Twitter in an offensive manner. They will still show their humorous side, but they will never do it at the expense of offending someone. Whenever they criticize something or someone, they are doing it with facts and arguments. They always acknowledge the good things and indicate the flaws in a respectful way. They always push other people towards growth, but they do it through encouragement and support.

What’s a Successful Lean Leader, Exactly?

A great Lean leader is more than a manager. This is a strategist, coach, mentor, and worker. All at the same time. Their main focus is continuous improvement. By working on their own improvement, they reflect those values in the organization and in the team of people who choose to follow them.  

About the Author:

Becky Holton is a real expert in education. She has been working as a writer for 7 years at College Papera-writer.comEssay Writing Land. She is a successful blogger who writes about education technologies, assignment writing  tips at bestessaytips.com.She likes new discoveries, art architecture and reading literature. She enjoys her work and she wants to share her knowledge with others. Find her on Google or Twitter.

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