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 focused heavily on leading with humility. This must be important if that's the first chapter.
Having humble leaders means not having all of the answers, leading by asking questions, and 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 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?
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