Chapter 9. Becoming a Self-Led Lean Leader

Your Lean leadership journey must begin with you. Before you can even attempt to lead others, your customers, and the Lean enterprise, you must first develop the ability to lead yourself. Knowing the traits of a self-led Lean leader is one thing; embracing, embodying, and executing on them is another thing entirely. It’s going to take conscious effort on your part to become a self-led Lean leader.

In this chapter, I will describe the steps you must execute to develop the skills and abilities of leading the self first, providing a starting point from which you can venture into the other dimensions of the Modern Lean Framework. You must build a solid foundation that allows you to develop greater proficiency in all dimensions of Lean leadership.

Seven Things That Must be True to Develop Yourself into a Lean Leader

There are seven things you must do to become a self-led Lean leader.

  1. Understand that leaders are both born and made.

    Are leaders born or made? To me, the answer is a resounding “both!” Yes, you can be born with some of the inherent traits that make you a great Lean leader, but I firmly believe that we all have some inherent leadership abilities that we can develop. Leadership, like many things, is behavioral and is therefore a learned behavior, based on the situations you encounter throughout your life.

    Adversity is probably the biggest breeding ground for leadership abilities. When your convictions are tested, Lean leaders ...

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