Why Employee Engagement is important

I see many articles about engagement linked to skills shortages recently. There is an abundance of advice of how to attract and retain suitably skilled staff. This got me thinking what is wrong with this picture?

The problem that I see is one of development. If every business wants to avoid spending money on training, development, apprenticeships, where exactly will those trained individuals come from? Someone, somewhere must create the pool of trained labour. There is talk of apprenticeships, but companies want apprentices trained more quickly, with less depth, then complain that their in house trained employees lack skills. The government receive much criticism for not funding training and apprenticeships, but is that really a government responsibility? I would argue that it is not. If you look at the latest version of ISO9001, there is a specific clause about ‘knowledge’. The standard talks about the responsibilities of senior management to ensure that the knowledge and skills required now, and for the future are identified and planned for.

I would ask when did educating employees and providing proper training for them become a burden? Is it not in the best interests of an organisation to ensure that every employee has the relevant skills for their role fully developed, to the highest standard possible? If employees are properly trained, they add value by ensuring their process is effective and efficient, eliminating non-value added steps. There is an odd by-product of investing in your employees and ensuring they have the best available skills. When you invest in them through training, they are more engaged with the business and believe in what they do. They also start to identify with the aims and objectives of the business.

If you want more engaged staff, who will make your business more effective, take the time to invest in their skills and develop their capabilities. You won’t be disappointed!

Marketing Aspects

Why it is important to be authentic in your business

I recently gave an interview to Marketing aspects magazine looking at the importance of authenticity in business. If you are genuine and authentic in your business, you are more likely to be clear and succeed.

Read the full article here:



Finding your company way

I have been thinking about why many lean and six sigma programmes struggle to gain traction. We all know the methods work, you only have to look at people like Toyota and GE to see that. What do they have that others are missing. I have an idea of what causes many of the problems, I would be interested in your views.

Most businesses chase cash investment to grow, sometimes they need cash investment just to survive. At the same time, they deem change to reduce, time, resources and cash used by existing processes too expensive, too difficult or unsustainable! This seems counter productive.

If we now look at how many improvement projects immediately look for reduced workforce overhead for justification we start to see the real problem. Someone recently commented to me that to expect anything else is unrealistic, because there are too many people in most businesses. If a manager has recruited such an excess of people to do the work because they have designed the work ineffectively, perhaps the first headcount reduction should be the manager! I wonder how many managers would enter into a project knowing that at the end one of the management team would be made redundant? I think the answer is none! Yet many of these same people expect their staff to engage in continuous improvement or lean projects, sometimes with a stated aim of headcount reduction, ‘for the good of the business’.

If your business is engaged in a process improvement project that increases capacity, the current perspective of many managers is to say “I can do the same with less resource!”. Is that in the best interests of the business? Wouldn’t the shareholders be more impressed with “I can do more with the same resource!”. This is a more challenging aim, one that places more pressure on sales and management since they are the people who have to find and win the opportunities.

We need to change the mindset of managers from short term ‘protect what we have’ to long term growth and winning new business. Settling for what is there today isn’t what got the business set up and growing. Consider Toyota’s transformation. Ohno Taiichi was not tasked with making better weaving looms, the core business of Toyota, he was tasked with preparing the business for making cars.
The objective of the Toyota Production System was not the product of short term thinking. It was set up to enable the vision of mass car production with limited resources, to allow a weaving loom company to manufacture cars cost effectively. Given that aim, would Ohno Taiichi have been concerned about headcount reduction as he sought process improvement? I can’t see it, I believe he was driven to generate cash and resources for growth by focusing on the customers’ needs, and developing a system of work that involved and engaged all employees in improving the system of work.

So many times I have heard that we have to adopt the TPS and the Toyota Way. Why would you do that if you are not Toyota? The real problem is that we have a consumerist, pick and choose approach to improvement. There are fundamental differences in culture between Japan and the west. It’s not about using this tool or that tool, it’s not even about recruiting the right sort of people. Let’s take a simple example, the attitude to rules. In Japanese society I am told that rules are very important, often more important that principles. Don’t misunderstand me, I am not saying that the Japanese are unprincipled, far from it, this is just about the Japanese attitude to rules. Even if they believe the rule is wrong, they will obey the rule, because they respect authority and the need for order and harmony. Now look at the west, and rules are made for breaking. How could we possibly expect to put in place rules and have them adhered to, no matter what, when our societal attitude is that rules are made for breaking? Principles on the other hand, are adhered to rigidly. So if we agree principles and then try to get someone to act in a way that is not aligned with their principles, they will adhere to the principle, often regardless of the cost.

So how do we compete with companies like Toyota? I don’t believe the answer to is to mimic them, I think the answer is to work out what we want to achieve and the principles we want to operate with along the way. If we treat people as disposable, they will treat the business as disposable. It becomes a marriage of convenience, with commitment until it is no longer fun. Then we move on to the next company. This generates a short term view of employment, success and results that is destructive in the long term. What is the point of a development process that may take 5 years if the people involved at the start will be gone before it delivers? Bear in mind here that Toyota have been developing the Toyota way for 70 years and are still refining their process and thinking. If we implement what Toyota do today without considering how that is supported, initially our organisation won’t be able to cope since the infrastructure and common belief system won’t exist, then we will lose ground on them tomorrow and every day after because improvement won’t be in our ‘business DNA’.

If you want your business to be like Toyota, I believe the first rule is don’t copy them. Copies are often pale imitations of the real thing. They lack authenticity and integrity. Most of all they lack the inherent self belief that what they are doing is right underpinned by a rigorous understanding of why they are doing  it. If you want your business to be like Toyota, first work out what your customers want. Then work out how you can meet that need and make money – what is your business like?. The answer isn’t like Toyota, your business can’t be like Toyota because it isn’t Toyota. Start with understanding what you want to achieve, then move on to the principles of how that will work, then consider if rules are an appropriate way to implement those principles in your society. Don’t demand action from your workforce, first demand that your management understands their role. Then start working through the business processes in a disciplined, scientific way to understand what every part of the business is trying to achieve. Once this is known compare what each department is trying to achieve with what the business objectives are – do they align?

Plan what must be done

Do what has been planned

Check that the activity delivered the expected results

Act on the results, reinforce the practices and activities that yield successful results, change the practices that are not aligned or don’t deliver success.

Then do it again.

Keep doing this until there is nothing that can be improved upon, wither by listening to other thought processes or by applying new knowledge

You see the pattern. If you do this you will develop your own way, tailored to your business and social environment. Then perhaps, if you are very disciplined, one day people will be talking about the {insert your company name here} Way. They may even prefer it to the Toyota Way. Who knows, you might get Toyota coming to learn from you. Toyota had the advantage of learning first hand from Deming, Juran and others. They had the presence of mind to write down much of what they were trying to convey, for which we should be grateful. Their guides are not a buffet of choices, they are hard practical realities, hard to understand and even harder to implement,

I was recently reminded of one of Dr Deming’s favorite quotes:

“American managers are stupid. They think all they have to do is copy from Japan, but they don’t know what to copy”

To be honest I think we can remove American managers and substitute Western managers.

I would add my own favourite Deming quote:

“You don’t have to change. Survival is not compulsory.”

Finding your own way is hard, but it is the only way to get to somewhere new and exciting.

One final point, if you ever do get to the point where you think nothing can be improved, get out there and start talking to people. You have missed something and if you don’t find it and use it your competitors will


Lean Management, Lean Manufacturing or Lean Leadership?

Wherever you look in the world of Lean, people are talking about Lean Manufacturing. Lean manufacturing is going to revolutionise your business, even if you don’t manufacture anything, all you must do is apply the tools and you will see improvement. Is it really that simple? Did Toyota just wake up one day and say we will apply these tools and everything will be brilliant, or is there a little more to it?

Anyone who thinks it is just about the tools really hasn’t heard the lean message. You see, Lean is not a set of tools or just about the application of certain techniques, it is an approach to business and way of thinking that is very different to the normal thought processes present in modern business. Given that so many businesses are trying to replicate the work done by Toyota, it is worth taking a few minutes to consider how Toyota apply the concepts that are known as Lean in western manufacturing.

The original work on manufacturing as a process was done by Henry Ford when he moved the product through the production steps instead of moving the process steps to the product, and became the blueprint for automotive manufacturing. At the end of the second world war Ohno Taiichi was tasked by the head of the Toyoda family with changing the manufacturing basis of Toyota from weaving looms to car manufacturing. It was recognised that the existing automotive model of high stock would not work for Toyota, hence Taiichi was tasked with developing a manufacturing process that could deliver the variety of features required without holding massive stock levels. One aspect of this that is often missed is that Ohno Taiichi was tasked with creating a uniquely Japanese model of manufacturing.

This is entirely consistent with the aims of the Meiji restoration, where the Japanese industrial revolution sought to adopt modern thinking, technology and methods that were aligned with Japanese values. In the author’s opinion, this is a vital consideration when trying to understand the Toyota phenomenon. At the end of the second world war, the Japanese had to rebuild their manufacturing base and industrial experts including Deming, Juran and Fiegenbaum went to Japan to help restore their economy, all at the time that Toyota were looking to develop their manufacturing process. This amounts to a powerful opportunity with unprecedented drive for change.

In 2001 Fujio Cho was president of Toyota and he launched ‘The Toyota Way’, which built on the previous work and created a clear structure to explain the concepts and provide a framework for success.

The five core values employed by The Toyota Way are as follows

1. Challenge : to maintain a long term vision and strive to meet all challenges with the courage and creativity needed to realise that vision

2. Kaizen : to strive for continuous improvement. As no process can ever be declared perfect, there is always room for improvement.

3. Genchi Genbutsu : to go to the source to find the facts to make correct decisions, build consensus and achieve goals

4. Respect : to make every effort to understand others, accepts responsibility and does its best to build mutual trust

5. Teamwork : to share opportunities for development and maximise individual and team performance

Is this lean manufacturing? It doesn’t sound like it to me, it sounds more like a management philosophy than a set of process tools, so perhaps we should be thinking more about management than simply manufacturing. The Toyota Way seeks to deploy the thinking well beyond manufacturing, applying the thinking to the whole organisation.

Taking a moment to consider the implications of these values we find that there are certain elements that must be recognised for Toyota’s success to be replicated.

Toyota are looking at a long-term goal with long-term planning. That doesn’t mean that short term needs are ignored, just that there is a difference between short-term or tactical activities and the long-term strategic changes that must be made. Throughout the organisation there is a recognition that long-term improvements are of higher value than short term benefits.

Similarly, there is a focus on continuous improvement of all processes, however the prioritisation of projects is based on a rational assessment of the business needs. The focus of Kaizen is to recognise the opportunity for improvement at both the tactical and strategic level, embracing new ways of thinking and working to achieve long-term benefit for the business.

going to see the problem at source, to find the facts to enable correct decisions to be made. It has been suggested that lean does not encompass systems thinking, however I believe it is clear from the first three values that systems thinking must be at work to enable the values to blend effectively.

Respect is an interesting topic. To whom should we show respect? It seems that often respect is confused with ill-discipline. I disagree with that view, lean teaches respect for the individual, for the supply chain including both customers and suppliers, governmental bodies, and the communities within which we work and live. If someone’s performance is unacceptable, you show them respect by telling them of the fact, not by ignoring their behaviour.

Teamwork does not mean silo behaviour. Teamwork means all aspects of the organisation collaborating to deliver the customer’s needs. I use the word collaborating deliberately. Co-operation results in each party yielding the minimum it can to gain agreement from another party to enable its needs to be delivered. In co-operation, I win you lose. Collaboration on the other hand requires all parties to be open with their needs and then for the team to work together to deliver as many of those requirements as possible.

Spear and Bowen proposed the 4 rules of the Toyota Production System in their Harvard Business Review Article.

Rule 1 : All work shall be highly specified as to content, sequence, timing, and outcome.

Rule 2 : Every customer-supplier connection must be direct, and there must be an unambiguous yes-or-no way to send requests and receive responses

Rule 3 : The pathway for every product and service must be simple and direct

Rule 4 : Any improvement must be made in accordance with the scientific method under the guidance of a teacher, at the lowest possible level of the organisation.

Now we are starting to see the errors in western implementation. Too often organisations seek to implement so called lean to achieve a reduction in costs and headcount, without a long-term vision of what the organisation wants to achieve.

Organisations then seek to implement lean exactly as the Japanese have done, without recognising the cultural differences, much less addressing them in line with long-term objectives.

The approach is reduced to the application of a series of disconnected tools without a coherent strategy for learning and developing knowledge.

The consequence is a confused piecemeal implementation with no coherent strategy. When this fails, the organisation will often blame the employees who have been diligently trying to implement a series of tools without a recognisable framework or set of common goals. Competition and conflict are commonplace in this environment and everyone strives to deliver disparate objectives and sometimes conflicting requirements all with short-term goals and often under immense pressure to succeed.

There is also intolerance of failure, and no recognition that lean aims to fail better next time rather than to be perfect next time. Implementations are often required in under two years to achieve that which Toyota have taken 50 years to achieve and are still working on.

Six sigma is treated as a different discipline to lean, with its origins in Motorola. It is worth noting Spear and Bowen’s rule 4 above. You cannot implement lean without embracing the scientific method. Scientific method requires data and evidence, to demonstrate improvement there must be clear evidence of a change, to clearly evidence a change one must employ statistical methods to demonstrate a significant change. Why then is there so much animosity between lean and six sigma? They are different approaches to the same objective. Scientific method also requires recognition of the system within which the process operates.

Lean manufacturing then, would seem to be a recipe for disaster, lean management is a vast improvement, however to achieve the most significant benefits from a lean deployment it is necessary to use lean leadership to succeed. Lean leadership also needs to recognise that the culture of both the organisation and the wider society within which it operates is relevant to how lean is developed, implemented and managed. Are you developing a lean implementation which is based on uniquely Japanese cultural values, or are you developing a lean implementation based on the relevant social values for your organisation and location?

In summary, the message for lean leadership seems to be don’t try to copy. Instead, understand the principles upon which Toyota succeeded and adapt them to your social, cultural and business situation. Understand your long-term vision for your organisation, then develop the strategies and make choices that are rigorously aligned with your strategy. Then you have a chance of succeeding if you stay true to your principles and work very hard at adapting the principles to your application.

As Deming has said, you don’t have to change, survival is not compulsory.


Ten behaviours of great leaders

Leadership. There are so many blog posts and articles about it, everyone has an opinion. It is a vital part of any organisation or endeavour, some say you are born with it, others that you can develop it, but what is it?

This is my view of leadership, it is taken from personal experience and from a lot of reading around the subject. The meaning of leadership seems to depend who you listen to. some people believe in charismatic leaders, others want to follow popular leaders, the problems seems to be that leadership means different things to different people. This is where I believe the heart of the problem lies in defining leadership. Often the most charismatic leaders are the ones that companies appoint, particularly when they are in trouble. These are the leaders who tell the best story and show the future in brilliant illustration, however all too often their first step is to uncover a whole range of “problems” left by the previous incumbent. this creates a hole in the business as it becomes necessary to repair the damage done by the previous leader before they can drive forward with their vision. They then work diligently to implement their vision for the business and often succeed in rebuilding the business and setting off in the direction they believe is appropriate for the business.

Leaders come in many shapes and sizes and with many different skill sets, and it is undoubtedly a difficult job to find the best leader for the business. One of the problems I perceive in businesses is the search for a “magic bullet” solution. Nowhere is this more evident than in football management. The team underperforms, the manager comes under pressure and eventually is sacked. A new manager comes in and changes the players, changes the tactics which sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t. If the new manager does not show some signs of success fairly quickly then the board concludes they obviously have the wrong manager and the cycle starts again.

So how does this compare to business?

Well, let’s consider why a business changes leadership. Businesses recruit a new leader because they are dissatisfied with the current leaders performance or because the incumbent leaves for a bigger/better paid/less stressful role. Another reason is through retirement. Sometimes a business is making a conscious departure from their previous strategy.

I was once told that every time someone leaves a business it is an opportunity to recruit someone better. If only it was clear what better means! Too often businesses change leaders for reasons other than wishing to change direction and recruit a leader with their own view of what the business needs and the freedom to change the business how they see fit. Anyone who does not go with the new direction is a problem and cabals are introduced to facilitate the change the leader desires. To be clear, I am not saying the leaders are trying to do anything other than a great job, but it is all too easy to see anyone who disagrees as an obstacle or a hindrance to change. Do you recognise this behaviour,  more to the point is this how you behave as a leader?

The easiest way to make an impression is to highlight all of the things that the previous leadership has done which do not conform to your world view. I am not talking here about genuine failings in the business, ethical, legal or otherwise, these must be highlighted and corrected, I am talking about all the other decisions that are combined with genuine problems to promote the story of how poor the previous leader was and how good their replacement will be. Let’s be honest, everyone who has taken a leadership role has found things they think are inappropriate and taken steps to change those behaviours. Sometimes these changes are justifiable and unavoidable, but sometimes the changes we make as leaders reflect our personalities and priorities rather than the business needs. If the only way to demonstrate your leadership capability is to dimish your predecessor and create a dip in profits to highlight what a good job you did in saving the business, maybe you are not such a great leader. Surely the stakeholders want someone who will maintain profits and develop an improvement in performance. There is a fine balance here, leaders must be able to identify the things they wish to change and give reasoned logic for making the change, but surely there must be something the previous leader was doing well?

So what makes a great leader?

The most effective leadership does not regularly change direction. The disadvantages of changing direction are well documented, for example, in Good To Great by Jim Collins, he demonstrates based on academic study the risks of changing direction and it’s effect on the momentum of the business. Collins also discusses ‘level five managers’, what I want to focus on here are the leadership behaviours that I have observed making a real difference to the performance of a business.

I have found that the following ten behaviours are common in great leaders

1. Honesty

It sounds easy, but in the modern world it is becoming harder to stay honest. Many leaders pressure their subordinates to suppress bad news or just deal with the problems. Any failure to resolve the issues is viewed as a failure of the leader at that level, for example there may be an expectation that the leader should be on site supervising every activity if there is a crisis. It is unacceptable for a leader to say “I trust my team to resolve this issue” and allow competent staff to do their jobs. If the leader admits they don’t know something, this is a shocking lack of capability. Leaders have to ensure during the good times that their staff and processes are effective in times of crisis. if a leader takes every decision, what happens if that leader leaves? Have they developed at least one leader to potentially replace them? Leaders must also be allowed to identify failings without fear of retribution. Truly honest leaders confront the real issues in their area of responsibility, admit their weaknesses and build a team with diverse skills that complement their own skill set. They also give both responsibility and authority to their teams to ensure that decisions are taken by those closest to the issue.

2. Integrity

Integrity seems an obvious quality, however it is not always easy to detect a lack of integrity. The easiest way for a leader to demonstrate a lack of integrity is for their actions to be at odds with their statements, although it can take time for the discrepancy to become clear. Clever leaders who lack integrity gradually shift their position so that it seems that they are consistent, indeed they are always consistent with their current priorities. However keeping up with their shifting priorities can be a significant challenge. The best leaders set out their principles at the outset, rarely change their position, and never change position without applying sound, reasoned logic and keeping the customer at the heart of their priorities.

3. Vision

A leader must always have a clear vision of where they are leading their team. If a leader cannot articulate what the result of their teams efforts will look like, they may not know. Equally, leaders must be looking at the horizon rather than at the floor. Leaders are the navigators of the business world, they need to have a clear vision of what they are trying to build and a clear roadmap of how to get there. Sometimes there is a view that just telling people what you want and leaving them to work out the details is good leadership. I don’t agree, when a leader passes on a so called BHAG – Big Hairy A***d Goal – without a plan what they are really doing is abdicating responsibility for achieving the objective they have set. Objectives without a plan for how to achieve them is not a vision, it is an aspiration. If a leader is not taking responsibility for achieving difficult goals, why should you be expected to deliver an aspiration without a plan to achieve it? This is an area where good leaders earn their reputation because a good leader not only has a roadmap to their destination, they also know what resources are required and the timescale over which the plan can be implemented.

4. Communication

Communication is a necessary skill for a leader. Communication doesn’t mean telling people clearly what you want to achieve, although that is an element of it. Communication also involves active listening, collecting views before setting the objectives so that the objective is a shared vision of what could be. the best leader canvass opinion before setting goals, discussing the opportunities and challenges involved in achieving the objective and assessing the risks with the people who will ultimately be responsible for delivering the objective BEFORE setting the objective, This must be a two-way communication, just imposing the vision and dismissing the concerns will result in poor engagement and commitment of the team to achieve the objective. Good leaders agree with their teams what must be achieved, then agree a plan with the people who must deliver the plan of how to achieve it.

5. Climate Free From Fear

Why would anyone tell the truth if they fear the consequences of honesty? The best leaders welcome bad news, that is not to say they want it, but by removing the fear associated with delivering bad news they are more likely to hear the truth. Hearing the truth early always helps leaders resolve issues and adjust plans to minimise the impact of bad news and failures. Calm and thorough problem solving can only happen when there is no fear of the problem or discussion of the problem. It must always be more important for a leader to know the facts than to hear what they want to hear.

A great leader never punishes the messenger, they always listen to the messenger and calmly work out what to do next. The key is remaining calm, this is far more of a strength than bashing the table, shouting and asserting your authority.

6. Humility

Great leaders recognise the skills in the team around them and use them to good effect. the best leaders have a knack of making the decisions of the team owned by their subordinates, even when they have coached them to the decision.

In particular, great leaders look in the mirror to find who is responsible when something goes unexpectedly wrong and out of the window to find who is responsible when something goes unexpectedly right. A leader who recognises the strength of their team before recognising their own input will be held in higher esteem than a leader who always claims credit for good results.

the best leaders are never absolutely certain their idea is best. They are not indecisive, but they are always open to the idea that someone may have a better idea and never too proud to admit someone else’s idea has more merit.

6. Data-Driven Decision Making

Leaders who base decisions on facts, not opinion will always find it easier to win their teams over. This requires the leader to understand the problem, investigate the issues and go see the problem. The data-driven leader will listen to those closest to the problem and ask them to provide data to substantiate their views. Forcing a particular interpretation of a data set onto a team is not the same as data-driven leadership. If the boss is going to do his own thing regardless of what your data says, there is no point in being rigorous about gathering the data. It is more efficient to spend as little time as possible in data gathering and do as you are told, no matter how misguided you believe that course of action to be.

A great leader values the data and works with those closest to the data and the process to understand what is happening and provide the required support and resources to unlock the best resolution

7. Discussion not coercion

Great leaders are open to discussion of anything. As soon as employees agree with the leader because they are the leader, you have coercion and are on the way to a climate driven by fear. Discussion allows other thought processes and require humility to accept that someone else might have a better idea, active listening to hear other people’s ideas and a true team ethos. That is not to say that ideas should not be challenged, of course they should be rigorously examined to ensure they are based on data and facts, tested for logical reasoning and understanding of cause and effect. The key is to seek evidence to support the idea rather than seek evidence to defeat the idea. Similarly, it is vital that leaders do not coerce their teams into supporting their ideas, convincing them is fine, but coercion is not acceptable.

8. Autopsies Without Blame

When there is a problem it is vital that the investigation reaches the true root cause of the problem. If the investigation is seen as a witch-hunt or if there is a perceived predetermined outcome this will always be an obstacle to finding the true root cause. If people are defensive, they are focused on proving it was not them, rather than focused on finding out what was the cause. If leaders maintain a rigorous focus on determining the facts then the true root cause is more likely to be found. Leaders who display the characteristics identified will more often find the real root cause and if they adhere to honesty as a key behaviour it is highly likely that their staff will also exhibit honesty. There is no need to blame someone, there is a far more powerful and positive way; people will take responsibility for their mistakes because it is the right thing to do and facilitates learning.

9. Focus on Processes not People

If leaders ask first “Who got it wrong?”, everyone will always make sure they have a good defence before they get into a discussion about what happened. There will be significant amounts of effort put into proving that ‘it wasn’t my fault’ instead of trying to identify what really went wrong. There are some great tools for examining what can and did go wrong, such as cause and effect analysis, Is-Is Not analysis, PM analysis and FMEA to name a few. Leaders use these tools to focus on what happened and if the leader has the right ethos in their team, people take personal responsibility and acknowledge their errors to ensure they can do better next time. Good leaders ask what can we do the prevent this happening again, great leaders ask what can we do to prevent this happening.

10. Red Flag Process

Having invested the time and effort to be a great leader, the next step is to start developing the next generation of leaders. To do this we have to give our staff responsibility and there can be no greater responsibility than understanding when to say ‘No’. It is too easy to say I wasn’t sure, so I didn’t stop it. A good red flag mechanism tolerates stopping a process incorrectly since this highlights a need for education. Mistakes mean the process is not clearly understood, and the leadership has work to do ensuring that the process is not only reliable but is also clearly communicated and understood. Which is worse, stopping a production line briefly because the product was believed to be poor quality when it was, in fact fine, or failing to stop a production line and sending defective material to the customer. Remember that processes only add value when producing material the customer will pay for. My experience is that most customers won’t pay for defective material.

If you can display most of these behaviours most of the time you are likely to be a good leader, but be honest with yourself, could you give evidence of demonstrating the behaviour? This list is not exhaustive, there are many other fine characteristics that leaders must demonstrate, however I believe that if you start with these behaviours and build the relevant technical skills around them you can become a great leader.