Blog Archives

Leadership Changes the Game

There has been much in the news about Greg Schiano, head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  He has lost the respect of his players and last week it showed when they looked like they just quit on him during the game.  I hate to see players quit trying.  That is something that I find appalling.  With that being said, I actually get it in this case.  Greg Schiano has handled confidential situations with his players poorly and bad mouthed the fans in the media.

This will not help a coach get the respect of his players and therefore the players won’t want to play hard for him.

Unlike, Chuck Pagano who has earned the respect of his players in Indianapolis.  The Colts are a good team playing great because of the effort they put forth.  They respect their head coach and are playing as hard and disciplined as they can for him.

This is no different in business.  This is why there is so much talk about being a great leader.  Jim Collins pointed some of the same great leadership tactics in business that you see in football coaches in Good to Great.

Art Byrne is a great example of this in business.  He led by example.  Art gained the respect of the people working for him.  They followed because they wanted to and the results of that showed.

In business and in sports, a leader must show people their vision in a way that inspires and motivates them to want to go there…not be forced there.  Being forced never earns the respect of people.  People are smart and see when then are being disrespected.

Become a great leader and it changes how the game is played.


Football Cops

This post has absolutely nothing to do with lean.  I thought since it is a Friday before a nice long holiday weekend in the U.S. I would post something fun.

I am a huge Indianapolis Colts fan.  I have been since the Gary Hogeboom days.  I saw this last week and thought I would share it.  It is a clip of Peyton Manning and Eli Manning as Football cops.  They throw footballs instead of shooting guns.  It is so ridiculous it made me laugh.

Have a great weekend!

Guest Post: Tony Dungy and Lean Leadership

I thought this post was appropriate after Coach Dungy was inducted into the Ring of Honor Monday night in Indianapolis.

Today’s guest blogger is Joe Wilson.  Joe is a great lean thinker that worked for an automotive supplier for several years.  Developing his lean thinking by diving into the deep end.  Joe now works for Tyson Chicken working within their Industrial Engineering group.  I am happy to post his writing here.  Joe is a great lean thinker.

One of my favorite books is Quiet Strength by former NFL coach Tony Dungy.  If you’ve read the book or heard Dungy talk he’s huge on the phrase, “Do what we do”.  Whether he’s talking about following his vision on how to build a championship team, his demeanor in preparing and dealing with his team, or as a battle cry of sorts for his players, the thought is the same…”Do what we do”.

How does that relate to Lean Leadership?  In my mind it’s one of the most perfect metaphors for how to lead in a lean environment.  From a strategic standpoint, you set your philosophy and methodology and stick to it.  From a relationhip standpoint, you are a steady, consistent personality always trying to teach and develop the people you work with.  You develop the standard work, follow the standard work, and gauge people vs their performance to a standard.   That doesn’t mean the standard never changes (hence kaizen) just as the game plan changes slightly week to week or season to season for a football coach.  However the underlying principles remain the same.

At all levels of your operations, do you know how to “do what you do?”  Is it clear who is supposed to do what, when and how?  If you told your people to go “do what we do” in a pre-shift meeting, would they know what that means?  If your plant/site/division/operations management told the team to go “do what we do,” how many people would be rowing in the same direction?

What do the Indianapolis Colts and Toyota Have in Common?

Quite a comparison, I know.  I was born and raised in Indiana and spend over 30 years living there.  I have been a Colts fan since 1984 and I’m not shy about it.

The comparison can be said about the New England Patriots or the San Francisco 49ers from the 1980’s.  What they have in common is stability in leadership.  The approach to building an organization, whether a sports franchise or a company, is not changing from year to year.  The approach used by both the Colts and Toyota, is to evaluate young talent and invest in their skills.  On the Super Bowl team from 2006, 49 of the 52 players on the roster had never played for another team but the Colts.  Toyota’s President has always been promoted from within, except for Mr. Wantanabe.  This consistency has lead to steady and proven results over multiple years.  The position changes at lower levels has even been from within.

A 10 year run at excellence is not the norm now in the sports world so there has to be something there.

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t ever look to the outside for leadership help or the next person to run things.  If you do though, it would be a good idea to look for someone that fits the philosophy of the organization and not find someone different just to “shake things up.”  If the formula is working, just keep tweaking it so it gets better.

Living in Kansas now, I have listened to the newly retired President of Kansas State, Jon Wefald speak as well as talked to others that have heard them.  For 20+ years his message was consistent to the point, university employees knew how it would start out every speech.  His mission was to help Kansas State University become successful at athletics as a way to increase revenue and marketing for the education and research branches.  He wasn’t saying athletics comes before academics, just use the athletic system and revenue as a marketing tool for the academics.  It worked well for him.

Organizations that are successful for long periods of time (relatively speaking for their arena) seem to all have steady and consistent leadership and messages in common.  Just something to think about.