Lean Leadership

Lean Leadership describes a leadership style that actively engages the entire organization to pursues a Lean culture of operational excellence. The emphasis is on structured problem solving, measurement of key processes and high value for process discipline.

Hallmarks of Lean Leadership:

Lean Leadership focus on process improvement and standard work

Lean Leaders improve operations and sustain positive change.

  • Leadership and functional alignment via teamwork
  • Structured engagement of the broader organization (Lean Daily Management System)
  • A disdain for waste in all forms
  • Open communication about issues that need to be solved
  • A limited but well used suite of standard process improvement techniques
  • Active change management

Lean Leaders recognize that besides running the business, they are also accountable for improving the business and sustaining positive changes – which means engaging the entire organization in proactive process improvement as part of their natural work function.


Changing Roles

When we think about the changing roles of supervisors and managers, we want to shift from a reactive, top-down control environment, to a system that values proactive problem solving and coaching.

Lean Leadership: A chart that shows traditional problem solving vs problem solving in a Lean enterprise

Learn more about how to develop Lean Leaders in Kaufman Global’s White Paper: Developing Operational Excellence Leaders.

To find out how one’s environment – especially trust – influences leadership check out this Simon Sinek TED Talk: Why Good Leaders Make Us Feel Safe

Related blog post: A Committed Leader: The Key Ingredient for Change

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