The “Toyota Way” to Success
Developing a successful business is no easy task. It takes long hours, dedication, and a skilled team to provide the level of professional support that will get you to where you strive to be. However, even with the time, passion, and man power, in order for your business to stand the test of time it requires a good foundation built with solid leaders. One of the most inspiring models of business development is the Lean Leadership model, created and implemented by Toyota. This model focuses on achieving and sustaining success through leadership development, and has shown to have widespread success among various and diverse industries. Let me tell you how.
The “Toyota Way” uses two main concepts to establish and maintain a successful business. The first is to constantly improve processes and people. The second is to put the focus on leadership development. With these two concepts in practice, Toyota has made their employees their highest commitment, recognizing that they are the people that make the company run. Businesses need to follow this lead and recognize that their people are their company’s greatest asset. Incorporating Lean Leadership Into Your Business can improve workplace culture, and lead to higher levels of employee retention which can produce a wealth of benefits in the workplace as a whole.
Another way to look at this type of leadership is through the organizational structure of a business. In typical organizational pyramids, we see the CEO at the top, responsible for the individuals underneath him or her. The Toyota Way of Lean Leadership means flipping that structure, and putting the front line workers at the top of the organization, rather than the bottom. It is those with the boots on the ground that are doing the work, who have the knowledge and skills that can make or break a business. We need to nourish the relationships we build with our frontline workers, and put the value on them that they deserve.
To lead the Toyota Way, means:
“Having the ability to energize and invigorate others, willingly giving realistic challenges and development opportunities and fostering a sense of accomplishment in subordinates. Thoughtful leaders monitor individual and team performance, holding people accountable for their actions and taking responsibility for their activities.”
Ultimately, everything rises and falls on leadership. By listening to our people, building their skill-sets, developing their inner-leaders, and preparing them with the proper tools and knowledge to perform their jobs at the highest level, you afford them the power and good will to provide the quality service that makes your company as successful as it is. We need to be filling the tanks of our front line workers consistently to create a good work environment for our people and our business to thrive.
Leadership within an organization is of the utmost importance, and requires the consistent development and encouragement of your workers at every level to activate effective teamwork. By applying the lean leadership model that Toyota has established, we can ensure that we are all a bit better tomorrow than we are today.
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