Guest Post: 4 Tips from Historic Leaders

Today’s post is from a friend I have met through starting Beyond Lean and a fellow Purdue Boilermaker.  Christian Paulsen helps companies optimize performance. He is a Lean – TPM facilitator and adds value to organizations by driving continuous process improvements and bottom line cost savings.  Christian is a Consultant who brings 20 years of manufacturing leadership experience and Lean Manufacturing expertise.  He authors Lean Leadership and is a regular contributor to the Consumer Goods blog.

Theodore Roosevelt was born in New York City and graduated from Harvard.  He studied law at Columbia but dropped out when asked to run for public office.  Roosevelt was a NY State Assemblyman, a Dakota Cowboy, New York City Police Commissioner, and the Assistant Secretary of the Navy. He left the Navy at the beginning of the Spanish-American War. Colonel Roosevelt found volunteers among cowboys from the West and Ivy Leaguers. He led these Rough Riders into history and won the Congressional Medal of Honor. The Colonel served as Governor of New York, Vice-President of the United States, leader of the Republican Party and founder of the Bull Moose Party. He also served as the 26th President of the United States, survived an assassination attempt and won the Nobel Peace Prize. Roosevelt led an African safari and South American Expedition as a former President.

Roosevelt’s success was not dependant upon favorable circumstances or the right culture. Nor was it not limited to a particular organization or field of expertise. He was successful in an amazing variety of roles because he was an exceptional leader.  Roosevelt is just one of the historic leaders that Doug Moran draws on in “If You Will Lead: Enduring Wisdom for 21st Century Leaders.

Jen Weigel brings out 4 leadership tips from the book in the Chicago Tribune. Lean leaders can learn from these lessons as well:

1. Know yourself – Ronald Reagan and Teddy Roosevelt both had the ability to be authentic in all situations. Lean leaders need to be authentic and straightforward with your team. You won’t be successful in the long run if people don’t trust you.
2. Know what you want – Thomas Jefferson and Martin Luther King Jr. knew what they wanted. Dr. King crafted precise language to convey his vision. Lean leaders need to convey their message frequently while catering the terminology to the audience.
3. Make yourself someone that others want to follow – Nelson Mandela and Mother Teresa had such winsome faith and passion that others wanted to follow them. Lean leaders need to show their faith on the process with their actions.
4. Earn the privilege to lead daily – George Washington got people excited about following him yet he was also able to keep them following without overreacting when disasters hit. Lean leaders need to celebrate success and be the stabilizing force when things go wrong.

Have you seen leaders who have executed any of these well? What was the result? Which of these principles would help you on your lean journey? What will you do differently today?

Posted on July 29, 2011, in Guest Post, Leadership, Respect for People and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Matt-thanks for the opportunity to guest blog!


  2. Hi Chris,

    I would love to improve on number 3.
    Number 3 – Doing things1st time right in fun and relax way which adds value to their work.

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