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Friday, December 4, 2020

Lean Quote: Leaders Should Be Learners

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.

"The ability to learn is the most important quality a leader can have.  — Sheryl Sandberg

I agree. To learn is to grow, it is to evolve, it is to master. These are all things leaders should be doing.

Leaders set the tone for an organization. As a leader, you must be agile in your responses to the ever-changing marketplace and business climate. You're charged with growing organizations. Learning is a huge part of this growth process.

This growth-focused learning can take various shapes within an organization. It can be organic, formalized, personalized or on-demand. Whatever the shape, learning needs to be part of a leader's commitment to improving both personally and professionally.

Leaders who value the impact of learning on growth and talent retention drive an organization where learning is part of the organizational DNA. When you set the example in your commitment to learning, you create organizations that are serious about learning. How you are able to use failure to learn can set a good example for others to use these important lessons for improvement. It's about how you view failure is what can either encourage progress or hinder future success.

There's a reason we call it "lifelong learning." Learning should never end. It is an investment in time and money. Many leaders give excuses of why they cannot take time to learn. Learning should be a priority, not an option. Professional development is an investment that successful leaders embrace.

If you want be an incredible leader in your industry, learning is where you should start.

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  1. Hi Tim,

    My name is Evan and I am a senior in college where I study Business, Computer Science, and Spanish. I am currently pursuing my Green Belt certification which led me to stumble upon your blog post here.

    I really enjoyed your post here. I think so many times managers get caught up with producing results that they forget that the force behind the entire operation is the people who come into work everyday and put forth their best effort for the team to succeed. It is so important that the manager continues learning and adapting so that the team can continue to learn and grow and drive positive results. We talk so much about “continuous improvement” in Lean Six Sigma yet people hardly realize that it can also apply to people as well as our processes.

    I did have a question for you. As I am finishing up my degree, what are some great resources and strategies to ensure that I continue learning after college? I know there is always online sources and books, but sometimes it is hard when you shift away from being a college student where learning is the priority to being a full-time employee where work and life become the priorities. How can one really make a commitment and prioritize learning in his or her daily life?

    Overall, I really enjoyed reading your post and I hope you get the chance to respond.


  2. This is such an important quote. Learning never stops, and the best leaders are always the ones that understand that. Especially new leaders should always understand that the learning has just begun.