Chapter 7

Learning from Toyota Leadership

Go to the people. Live with them. Learn from them. Start with what they know. Build with what they have. But with the best leaders, when the work is done, the task accomplished, the people will say “We have done this ourselves.”

—Lao-Tsu, founder of Daoism

Our purpose in this book has been to present and explore a model of lean leadership based on the Toyota Way in order to teach others how they too can become leaders in operational excellence in their business segment. We have argued that for long-term operational excellence, this or a similar leadership approach is essential; this is illustrated by Toyota’s long-term success, despite dramatic environmental change. Of course Toyota stumbled between 2008 ...

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