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The Toyota Way to Lean Leadership by Gary L. Convis, Jeffrey Liker

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Chapter 3

Coach and Develop Others

I start with the premise that the function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers.

—Ralph Nader, consumer advocate

When they began launching plants in North America, Toyota executives knew that they must not fail. Their insurance policy was to send over as many Japanese as possible to teach the Americans to lead in the Toyota Way, and if it were necessary, the Japanese could jump in to avoid any major catastrophes. Of course, that was only the first step—seeding the initial group of American leaders. Toyota was growing rapidly globally and could not send armies of Japanese sensei to America indefinitely. The long-term vision was self-reliance. To attain this, the top American leaders would ...

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