A big theme in Lean management is the idea of “leading with humility.”
The first chapter of an excellent book written by Toyota employees and leaders from Georgetown, Kentucky is all about leading with humility. This must be important of that’s the first chapter.
Having leaders who are humble means not having all of the answers, leading by asking questions, leading “as if you have no power.”
So here’s one of those areas where it’s easier to describe “here’s what Lean looks like” than it is to say “here’s how you get Lean.”
How does an organization “get Lean” if they don’t have humble leaders as a starting point?
I thought of an expression last week when talking to somebody about this.
“The leadership pond in most organizations usually isn’t stocked full of humble fish.”
Can we send leaders to a training class on how to be humble? Can we read books about humility?
Does anybody offer “humility belts” of various colors?
How do we create a culture of humble leadership? Is it possible if we don’t already have it?
I humbly ask these questions. What do you think?
About LeanBlog.org: Mark Graban is a consultant, author, and speaker in the “lean healthcare” methodology. Mark is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. Mark is also the VP of Customer Success for the technology company KaiNexus. He lives in San Antonio, Texas.