Interview with Karyn Ross on Lean and Kind Leadership


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My guest for Episode #427 of the Lean Blog Interviews Podcast is a returning guest, Karyn Ross. She was previously a guest in Episodes 266 and 411. She was also my guest for Episode #3 of My Favorite Mistake.

Karyn has a new book called The Kind Leader: A Practical Guide to Eliminating Fear, Creating Trust, and Leading with Kindness. Scroll down for a 20% coupon you can use if you buy through the publisher. You can also scroll down to learn how to enter to win a copy.

Today, we talk about the book and more, with topics and questions including:

  • How do you define kindness?
  • NPR story on the kindest family
  • How do we help people understand that kindness is not a sign of weakness? 
  • My Favorite Mistake (out Thursday) Moses Harris interview Episode #110
  • How much unkind behavior is driven by people being scared? “Vicious circle of fear”
  • “Collaboration, cooperation and kindness” chapter heading — reminds me of how Dr. Deming used to rail against competition — and I think that's especially true when talking about internal competition
  • Systemic root causes of fear and unkind behavior — Kind leaders can affect the system…
  • Kindness and respect? Connections to Lean in the book
  • A time when someone was kind to you at work?
  • Recent KaiNexus webinar on psychological safety… also proven to drive results
  • Blaming instinct…What do you mean by “always assume positive intent”? – examples?
  • Negativity bias
  • “Prefectionism isn't Kind” online workshop with Amy Mervak
  • Little Kind Words Talk Show — lessons learned from that?
  • Doing live streaming — “practice accepting what is”
  • We're always learning… what have you learned about kindness since the book was published?
  • “Pop up kindness stand”? — WSJ article

The podcast is sponsored by Stiles Associates, now in their 30th year of business. They are the go-to Lean recruiting firm serving the manufacturing, private equity, and healthcare industries. Learn more.

This podcast is part of the #LeanCommunicators network


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1 Comment
  1. John says

    thank you so much for this amazing interview!! i learned so much from it. i am a supply chain management major at The University of Rhode Island and love hearing about real-world content that is relevant to class.

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