People enabled processes is undoubtedly a critical element of our Lean Business Model ®. People throughout the organisation have to buy into the lean philosophy and this may mean mindset change or even paradigm shift for some. How do individuals who have led organisations through this type of change operate? In other words, what makes good lean leaders? We have several lists of characteristics based on our observations. They often include this sort of thing:
- Customer consciousness
- Enterprise thinking
We have also noted that leadership requirements change during the course of a lean journey. It may be therefore that adaptation is the most important characteristic of those listed above.
However, I would like to take this opportunity to remind readers of a concept they are likely to have heard of but may not have read much about, almost certainly not from the inventor of the concept himself.
Daniel Goleman first brought the term “emotional intelligence” to a wide audience with his 1995 book of that name and applied the concept to business with his 1998 HBR article. In his research at nearly 200 large, global companies, Goleman found that while the qualities traditionally associated with leadership—such as intelligence, toughness, determination, and vision—are required for success, they are insufficient. Truly effective leaders are also distinguished by a high degree of emotional intelligence, which includes self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skill.