Why do we do this? As lean leaders we can teach, coach, mentor others in all the right methods, habits, principles to get their direct reports to buy-in and get “on-board” with what we espouse as leaders. We use things like vision, mission statements, and strategy. We also use visual management, brainstorming, problem solving, and current vs future state. But when it comes to using the same techniques with our loved ones or those close to us, we sometimes fail miserably. Why is this? Why do we not fall back to what we know and rely on every day with our clients and peers? It works with them so why do we think it will not work with those close to us?
As I sit in first class after immensely enjoying my meal and a glass (well several) of wine, on my way to Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania not Texas), I am not sure of the answer . I have used lean leadership occasionally with my kids and spouse and it has worked very well. I think the answer lies somewhere close to the reason why our clients do not always follow our coaching and mentoring. They really do believe it will work all the time, but they fall back on what they have known to work in the past and are most comfortable. They just can’t give up that old command and control and give lean leadership a chance first. So we do we do the same thing. We fall back on old methods cause it has worked in the past (although sometimes, ok mostly all the time) it got results but damaged relationships. And we come off looking like real _ _ _ _ _but smart _ _ _ _ _ cause we GOT RESULTS!! Yeah for us, but not so much for those around us.
You know, I think there is a lot of the Gospel of Jesus Christ wrapped up in the teaching of Lean Leadership. He was tough on his disciples in teaching them his methods. But at the same time, he showed his soft skills as well. There is a lot of trust that must be built in developing lean leadership skills as Jesus used in teaching his disciples. They had to believe he knew best in where he was leading them, much as as a lean leader must do. Jesus relied on his faith in his father and the lean leader relies on his faith in the “Lean Tools”. I just wonder sometimes if Jesus was as hesitant in his teaching of his disciples as a lean leader is in their way of teaching people change. My guess is he was not.