I came across a little piece of paper on which I had written two words. I think both words are Japanese. One is from a Peter Drucker book. (but I don’t remember which book). Luckily, I had the definitions of both words written down. I have a couple of reminders about their meanings. The words are great leadership words.
The first word is ‘Kaizen’. I have written with it ‘continuous improvement’. Great leaders are committed to continuous improvement. They put into practice ‘kaizen’. It doesn’t mean they are never satisfied. They are committed to innovation and continuously looking for ways to improve themselves and their situations.
The second word is from one of my Drucker books. The word is ‘Kieretsu’. The meaning I have written next to it is: ‘ownership from beginning to end’. Great leaders own the process from beginning to end. The word refers to companies that operate the entire process of their product manufacturing. An example of the process would be like this: the company would operate the mining of raw materials, then refine and process the materials. Then the company would create and assemble the parts (from the raw materials). Finally they would market and sell their product. (They ‘own’ the entire process.)
Great leaders own the process from beginning to end. Their successes are the team’s. The failures are learning experiences for the leader. Great leaders own the process and take the ultimate responsibility. They don’t pass the buck. They aren’t quick to lay blame, or take credit. Successes are shared. Failures are absorbed.
Great leaders are tremendous performers of ‘kaizen’ and ‘kieretsu’ maybe without ever knowing the words or their meanings. Continuous improvement and ownership are important qualities for every leader to develop.
Points to Ponder –
How committed am I to continuous growth and learning?
Do I have a plan to make sure I don’t get stagnant?
How is my commitment to lifelong learning seen and recognized by others?
How do I demonstrate my commitment to the overall process, without removing anyone’s personal authority or minimizing their part of the process?
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