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.

 

LEADERSHIP INSIGHTS

  • 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.

 

QUESTIONS TO INSPIRE US TO ACTION

  • 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?”

 

CONNECT WITH SEAN

 

CONNECT WITH MICHAEL

 

CONNECT WITH JOSH

 

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About the Podcast

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Life as Leadership: Where Leaders Gather to Grow Together
Where leaders gather to grow together

About your host

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Josh Friedeman

Josh wants to help you LIVE and LEAD well.

From interviewing leaders and other experts who help leaders, to coaching leaders and entrepreneurs, to staying on the front lines of leadership research through his PhD work in organizational leadership, Josh likes to live and breathe all things leadership.

Sure, there's more to life than leadership - until, that is, you start seeing life AS leadership (*Freeze frame, roll credits*).