Podcast #349 — John Dyer, “The Facade of Excellence”

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My guest for episode #349 is John Dyer, president of his consulting firm, John Dyer & Associates, Inc., and author of the new book, The Façade of Excellence: Defining a New Normal of Leadership, which will be released on October 1, 2019.

John has been a guest previously in episodes #229 and #280, talking about Dr. W. Edwards Deming, “The Red Bead Experiment,” and more.

Today, we talk about the book, how to find out of there is a “facade” of excellence, and why “fear makes good people do stupid things,” as John says. What's a façade? “A false appearance that makes someone or something seem more pleasant or better than they really are.”


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For a link to this episode, refer people to www.leanblog.org/349.

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 or Spotify.

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Questions, Topics, and Links:

  • Can you remind the listeners a little bit about your background if they haven't heard the previous episodes?
  • Let's get right to your book… why write it? What's the story behind the book and what led to it? Can we avoid some of the mistakes others have made before?
  • Do you think the title might scare away some readers who really need to read this most?
  • How do you peel back to see if it's just a facade?
  • How often do you see a “façade of improvement?” Examples?

“Fear causes good people to do stupid things.”

John Dyer
  • This book explores four different styles of leadership that includes “The Crisis Leader,” “The Idea Gathering Leader,” “The Team Forming Leader,” and “The Empowerment Leader.”
    • Which leadership style is best?
    • What should leaders aspire to?
  • You ask in the book, “Why consider starting down the path of achieving excellence if failure causes so much pain and damage?” — When an organization is transformed (through Lean or other high-engagement approaches), what's the risk of new leaders coming in? Can this culture really be undone?`

Thanks for listening!

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Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker who has worked in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. His latest book is Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. He also published the anthology Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus.

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