Seven Requirements for Leadership

Dec. 11, 2018
Eternal truths for today's aspiring leaders

While cleaning out an old file from my days serving on the advisory board at the Tauber Manufacturing Institute, University of Michigan, I found some notes I’d used to discuss with the students the responsibilities of leaders.

The message is as true today at it was then for today’s aspiring leaders. Here are the main points we discussed.

Leadership requires:

  • A strong work ethic. We can’t expect more from our people than we are willing to do ourselves.
  • An attitude that we will do whatever it takes to get the job done. This communicates our high expectations and our pledge to the performance metrics we’ve committed to. (This, of course, requires no immoral, unethical or illegal behaviors!)
  • A “can do” attitude to challenge, and ultimately demonstrate a high energy level to smash, long-standing paradigms in the business. As Joel Barker says: Those who say it can’t be done need to get out of the way of the people who are already doing it!
  • A keen sense of urgency, a passion to run to the problems and a dedication to use good process, not heroics, to eliminate the root cause of problems.
  • The discipline to work with a sense of priority. Think in Pareto (80-20 rule) terms to deal with the most significant few issues, i.e., the ones that have real impact/leverage to improve the business for customers, shareholders, employees.
  • A sound time management system for daily use. Time is the only resource we all have the same amount of: 24 hours in a day. How effectively we use this scarce resource has a huge impact on our success or failure as a leader.
  • The ability to lead by example. Be the model for the skills development necessary to change how people think, work and behave. Educate, train, mentor, communicate, develop your people.

Time waste differs from material waste in that there can be no salvage.” -- Henry Ford

“Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.” -- Albert Schweitzer     

Larry Fast is founder and president of Pathways to Manufacturing Excellence and a veteran of 35 years in the wire and cable industry. He is the author of The 12 Principles of Manufacturing Excellence, A Lean Leader's Guide to Achieving and Sustaining Excellence, 2nd. Edition.

Popular Sponsored Recommendations

Food and Beverage 2024 Trends and Outlook for North America

Oct. 29, 2023
Ready to hear what 200 of your peers said are the top challenges and opportunities in 2024? Don’t fall behind. Uncover actionable insights to better prepare for 2024 in this whitepaper...

The Benefits of Continuous Thermal Monitoring

Oct. 17, 2023
Read this eBook to learn more about collecting and using data intelligently to improve performance.

Digital Production Tracking: How Connected Platforms with No-Code Deliver Value

Sept. 19, 2023
Manual tracking lacks the real-time visibility manufacturers need to identify root causes and remain competitive. Digital, connected production tracking is crucial for your operations...

Discover How an Eye Tracking Study Improves Training Procedures

Oct. 29, 2023
Did you know that your training processes can be streamlined by visualizing and analyzing key skills within your employee base? Find out how we use eye tracking to capture advanced...

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of IndustryWeek, create an account today!