Mere Mortal Managers

“Self-Correction” (Page 3 of 4)

If you have bullied your staff into obedience, you are in trouble. Lean empowers people and with management’s blessing, enables them to do what needs doing. Are you an enabler? Like it or not, if you have engaged in a dictator style of management, there is probably little respect for you among your employees and direct reports. No doubt they fear you as you have legitimate power to fire or demote them, but they were looking for a job when they found this one and they can find another if they get too tired of you.

How do you come back from being a bully? Humility is a good place to start. Your mother probably taught you to say “please” and “thank you” and even “I’m sorry” when you have wronged someone. She was right. Who says a leader must be above kindness and basic manners in order to lead? Not us. The best bosses are always those who treat you like they truly care about you; they are your partners and take pride in the successes of their subordinates.

Great managers can, to some degree, be compared to great Boy Scouts. Scouts live by a law that states:

“A Scout Is Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, and Reverent.”

Shouldn’t management exemplify these same qualities if they are to inspire them in those they lead? Are these terms describing you? If not, we hope this brief reminder serves to inspire the character traits in you that make for great leaders. Interestingly enough, scouts and managers alike are respected for the way they conduct themselves more than the badges, beads, patches, or even the degrees they have earned.

Thinking you can muscle your way through a transition to Lean without engaging the hearts and minds of your team is a huge mistake. If you have any success at all, it will be minimal and temporary. We have seen this “take no prisoners” approach fail miserably. Lean is a team endeavor and if you are not a team player, you are setting yourself and your company up for failure. Make the decision to become the “team leader” every Lean system needs for optimal success.