The essential steps of becoming a lean leader are first, to lead from the ground up: to spend a lot of time at the gemba, challenging and listening, teaching problem solving and clearing obstacles for employees, encouraging kaizen and learning from people’s initiatives and creativity in order to align the company’s direction with individual fulfillment. The next step is to accept the learn-by-doing discipline of a pull system. Without the tension of the pull system, real problems won’t appear and people will spend their time kaizening irrelevant issues, essentially learning the wrong things. The third step is to understand the importance of teamwork and to learn how to intensify collaboration. Quality of problem solving is mostly dependent on how intense the collaboration between people from different specialties. The key to lean leadership is a gut feeling understanding that every one wants to understand where the company is going and why, and wants to contribute to that goal if not discouraged by silly policies and petty bosses. So the true aim of lean leadership is to enable every employee to partake in the joy of creation by having suggestions to move the business forward in their own job sphere, and implementing these suggestions themselves.
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