Chapter 1

Leading in the Toyota Way: A Lifelong Journey

Genchi genbutsu [go and see the actual situation] means imagining what you are observing is your own job, rather than somebody else’s problem, and making efforts to improve it. Job titles are unimportant. In the end, the people who know the gemba [where the actual work is done] are the most respected.

—Akio Toyoda, president, Toyota Motor Corporation, 2009

Perhaps the most difficult task in any book on leadership is defining leadership. To use the famous adage, we may not be able to describe leadership, but we know it when we see it. With that in mind, rather than attempting a semantic definition of leadership to kick off this book, let us tell you two stories of leadership to demonstrate ...

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