Episode 135

Take Your Lean Systems to the Next Level with Sean Fields and Michael Sanders

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Sean Fields and Michael Sanders are the authors of Quantum Lean: Taking Lean Systems to the Next Level.


Sean has over 30 years of experience in a variety of industries, working in many different phases of business. He is a network member of the nonprofit organization BeehiveFund, which assists companies with production scheduling, inventory control, and developing quality-management systems.


Michael has worked in every phase of the supply chain, including as CEO and president of food, energy, distribution, and high-tech firms. He is also the cofounder of BeehiveFund. He is sought for his expertise in negotiation, organizational psychology, Six Sigma, quality systems, and regulatory compliance.



  • Most people use Lean as LAME (Lean as Mainly Experienced). Quantum Lean
  • Lean is system of continual improvement primarily focused on efficiency and effectiveness.
  • Lean allows businesses to have the best in quality, speed, and cost.
  • Everything comes down to product. If you focus on product, profit will follow.
  • Focusing on product for the customer does not have to hurt organizational culture or employee satisfaction.



  • What is some lesson, saying, or experience that continues to influence your leadership to this day? Sean: Your leadership can be derived from three sources: Your persuasion, your knowledge, and your formal authority. Formal authority is the least powerful, and you shouldn’t need to rely on it.
  • Use three descriptors to finish this sentence: “A leader is…” Michael: Understanding of people, and understanding of circumstances imposed on followers, and an identifier of the core objective.
  • What is a question that leaders should be asking either themselves or others? Sean: Is what I’m doing ultimately beneficial to the product or service my organization is providing?
  • What book would you recommend to leaders? Michael: The First 90 Days: Critical Success Strategies for New by Michael D. Watkins
  • If you could get every listener to start doing something THIS week to help them be a better leader, what would it be? Sean: Make sure you feed the troops – do your people have the tools, information, and materials they need to do their jobs? Michael: Commit, don’t just support change.
  • As a general life principle, is it better to ask “why?” or “why not?” Michael: “Why?” immediately followed by “how?” This is critically important to help build, think, and perform. Sean: Personality determines which is better. Those who do stuff without questioning should as “why?” but those who always find a reason not to do things should as “why not?”








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Where leaders gather to grow together

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Josh Friedeman

Josh Friedeman is a coach who works with organizations to improve their efficiency and revenue. Learn more about him and his guests on his two podcasts, "Business Bitcoinization" and "Life as Leadership." To explore working with Josh, visit friedemanleadership.com.