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Friday, February 24, 2023

Lean Quote: Leadership and Learning are Indispensable Together

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.

"Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.  —  John F. Kennedy

Leadership is a continuous learning process that has to be mastered if one would like to become an effective leader.

Leaders can't just put workers into situations, and hope they learn the right things. They should take responsibility for the message, combining real-life experience with direct coaching. An organization's principles should become guideposts to help people make tough decisions.

Leaders must not only be teachers, they must also preach and promote teaching at all levels. Lean Leaders make sure that all of their direct reports are good teachers. In classical leadership, the role of teaching is frequently delegated – not so with the Lean Leaders.

To teach, a leader has to learn, and learning Lean is more than a cerebral exercise. By applying Lean to everything, a leader becomes a more effective teacher. Remember what leadership is really about: It's not a job; it's an act. Leaders have to learn how to teach, build creative tension, and eliminate fear and comfort. Leaders need to actively participate in the transformation of the business, and apply Lean to their own jobs.

True leaders are never satisfied with what they know about their leadership and are always in pursuit of new learning. That means constantly seeking feedback, taking time for relevant learning and guidance, and looking for positive changes in the organization.

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