Podcast #235 – Sam MacPherson, The Green Beret Way to the Toyota Way & Lean Leadership

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sam macpherson

Today's guest is Sam MacPherson (@LeanLeaderWay), the co-founder of the Lean Leadership Academy and the founder of The Summit on Lean Leadership, a partnership with Lean Frontiers.

As I mentioned the other day, Sam helped introduce me to the Blab.im streaming video platform. So, since he was good with the technology, we did a live streaming conversation that I recorded as this podcast. An experiment… a small test of change. If you'd rather watch the conversation instead of listening, click here for a YouTube recording or scroll down on this page.

I've recently met Sam and I think his background is just fascinating… alternating time between industry and the Army, serving in the special forces (Green Berets), going back to industry and practicing Lean, and then going back into the military after 9/11. He has a very unique perspective on the overlap and similarities between military leadership and decision making processes and Lean thinking.

Streaming Player (Run Time 34:37)


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For a link to this episode, refer people to www.leanblog.org/235.

For earlier episodes of my podcast, visit the main Podcast page, which includes information on how to subscribe via RSS, through Android appsor via Apple Podcasts.  You can also subscribe and listen via Stitcher.

In this episode, we discussed topics including:

  • Differences between Special Forces (The Green Berets) and the rest of the military
  • Similarities between “The Green Beret Way” and The Toyota Way – and what's shockingly similar
  • Command and Control vs. Leadership
  • The Military Decision Making Process
  • “Commander's Intent”
  • Misconceptions regarding military leadership and industry leadership
  • Lean transformation – your current leadership style and skills wont cut it!

Here is a YouTube video of our live chat:

Video with Sam MacPherson:

See more videos via YouTube


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Mark Graban
Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker, and podcaster with experience in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. Mark's new book is The Mistakes That Make Us: Cultivating a Culture of Learning and Innovation. He is also the author of Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More, the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, and the anthology Practicing Lean. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus.

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