Great Leadership begins with Self Leadership- Leader Standard Work

Sounds good, but what does it mean and how do you apply it within a Lean framework?  First, let’s talk about self-leadership and then I will provide you with a tool that can help you improve in that area. Leader standard work.

Self-leadership starts with being self-aware.  What are your strengths, weaknesses, values, and emotional needs?  What is your natural tendency as a leadership style?  These are items that you should be aware of when beginning your self-leadership journey.

Now, it is important to begin the process of self-management.  How do you regulate your thoughts and actions since you are more aware of your strengths, weaknesses, values, and needs?  You might ask yourself how you can become more consistent in your decision-making process as you mature in a leadership role.

Now that you have looked inwardly for self-awareness it is time to realize the talents and natural gifts that others bring to the table.  Do you see the potential in others?  Becoming aware of others is done through observation and communication.  Be genuinely interested in people as people, not just as some units of labor.  On your management walks, talk to employees.  Ask about their families and outside activities.  Notice other skills and abilities they bring to the table and this will make the step of managing others easier.

Once you are aware of the unique skills, abilities, goals, and desires of your employees you can provide guidance and help them manage their careers to help the organization.  You will learn the best way to provide support and guidance to those that you manage.

How can you get better at Self-Leadership and managing others?  A tool often used in Lean culture is called Leader Standard Work.  As a leader, you may think Standard Work doesn’t apply to you, but it does.  It applies at all levels within an organization.  The example below shows an example of Leader Standard Work for a supervisor, but daily reminders and daily standard activities make us more successful and benefit the organization by:

1.  Providing consistency

Leader Standard Work is what it sounds like. Daily standard work that doesn’t vary.  It may only be half an hour of your day, but that consistency is important for your employees to see and model.

2.  Ensures long-term success

Leader Standard Work ensures consistency over a long period which ensures you will be successful as a leader.  Leader Standard Work isn’t a one-time act.  It provides leaders with a framework they can follow and guarantees success if followed.

3.  Increases employee engagement

Part of your LSW is to spend 10-15 minutes in daily huddles or conducting management walks at certain times of the day.  This gives employees a greater opportunity to engage with you as a leader.  Lines of communication are opened.  They will share opportunities for improvement within their work areas.


As a simple method to get started, consider what you can do daily that will increase your visibility and employee engagement.  Develop that into daily standard work and try it.

Try it for at least 30-60 days.  It takes that long, some say as many as 66 days, to form a new habit.  Please let me know how it works for you!

As always, it is an honor to serve you and I hope that you and your company are getting better every day!

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