Lean Leaders Wanted!

'Go to the people. Live with them. Learn from them. Start with what they know. Build with what they have. But with the best leaders, when the work is done, the task accomplished, the people will say "We have done this ourselves." '

—Lao-Tsu, founder of Daoism


There are leaders and then there are lean leaders. What's the difference and why are they better?

Lean leaders create a culture where change is embraced as an opportunity for improvement and innovation. People are natural problem-solvers and the lean leader increases this skill with lean management. Lean leaders use their authority, power and influence to manage people in the following methods:

Create a shared vision: By creating a shared vision the lean leader is able to align goals so that both the work and the people grow together. This shared purpose creates momentum while empowering the team to problem solve their issues together and form a healthy social bond.

Bottom-up management: A major difference in this management style from that of the atypical Western leadership style of top-down is that the lean leader believes the people doing the work are the best at figuring out how to do the work. A lean leader does not seek to convince or demand others to do things their way; instead they provide a safe space for enquiry and experimentation to challenge the team to find out what works best.

Guiding by challenge: The lean leader challenges the team by asking questions to evoke problem solving skills and idea sharing within the nurturing environment of the team where processes not people are judged. These challenges are meant to be part of their development and growth in themselves and their work.  The work is a moving target and the lean leader ensures the work environment is non-judgmental to allow for innovation toward ultimate efficiency.

The effect of lean leadership is that there is one organization and one vision to continuously improve the processes within the organization while improving themselves. Are you willing to be a lean leader? If yes, you're wanted! Please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (802) 870 3433 to learn more of this management style and how the Bryan Research transformation system can improve your organization!


Work Cited

Lao-Tsu Opening Quote: https://www.accessengineeringlibrary.com/browse/toyota-way-to-lean-leadership-achieving-and-sustaining-excellence-through-leadership-development/c9780071780780ch07