Four Tips to Become a Great Leader

Many people enter the management ranks of an organization.  They manage to the best of their ability and do a great job.  There aren’t many who become true leaders.  Leading requires a different operating framework.  Here are some tips to become a great leader.


 1.  Cast a Vision

When a leader casts a vision, they suggest that things will be different.  They acknowledge that to grow as an organization, things need to change.  They are presenting what they believe the future will look like.  Who wants to work at a company where there is no future vision for the organization?

Establishing that vision is where the Lean Management System comes in.  The Management System includes the True North of the organization.  It shares the values and goals of the organization in a visual form that can be shared with everyone in the company.

2.  Enlist others

As a leader, when you have presented your vision for the future, realize it’s impossible to complete that vision by yourself.  You need to enlist the help of others that also want to see that vision come to life.  Hopefully, you enlisted their input in helping you craft the vision for the company.

Now it’s time to enlist the larger group of employees.  Share your Management System with employees.  Have communication meetings where you discuss the Management System and how it ties back to the company vision.

3.  Empower the group to move forward

You’ve done a great job and some heavy lifting.  You and your team have crafted a compelling Vision and Management System.  Now you have to empower the group to move forward.  This means giving people the decision-making authority, trust, and autonomy to let them make the vision a reality.

Everyone on the team must have the tools, knowledge, skills, training, and technology to make something great happen in the company.  This can’t a blip event.  Some leaders can come in, present a compelling vision, enlist the help of others, do some training then aren’t around to do the hard work

Empowering teams of people requires a lot of continuous coaching.  It requires continuous training.  It requires constantly reminding employees of the Management System and why it’s in place.  Day in and day out coaching.  Everybody is five years old reminding.

4.  Encourage over a long period

As I mentioned a second ago, it’s easy to come in, generate excitement over a vision then disappear.  Company changing, culture-changing leadership requires encouragement and support of the team over a long period.  Years.

While it is possible to have success quickly within a Lean transformation, true Lean transformation, and culture change take years.  As a leader, you have to stay steady, consistent, and provide encouragement when things don’t go as hoped or expected.  This requires leadership for the long haul.  I hope you are up to the challenge!

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