Leaders Challenge the Process

The enemy of greatness is good.

So many times, when we work to solve a problem, we stay at it just as long as it takes to eliminate the complaint. Once a problem ceases to be a problem, we move on to something else.

In The Leadership Challenge, Kouzes and Posner say that leaders “Challenge the Process.” If you think about it, challenging the process is a very “lean” thing to do.

According to Kouzes and Posner, leaders are dedicated to examining the current state and willing to experiment or redesign for the sake of making something that is working even better.

Leaving well enough alone is not acceptable. Leaders are willing to break what is working to make it better.

To teach that mindset to the team, they also invite others to join in the fun. Leaders who foster an environment of change invite all teammates to challenge the status quo.

  1. They frequently seek feedback from others on how they could improve things.
  2. They honor those who make suggestions by listening, assuring they understand, affirming the suggestion with a quick response and trying to experiment with every good idea.
  3. They resist complacency armed with the knowledge that virtually everything can be made better if you focus on it. Improvement is always on the agenda.

When improvement is always on the agenda, it becomes part of the team’s identity. Our team wins because we embrace the change that brings improvement.

It’s easy to get in a routine. Leaders challenge routines.



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Posted in: Improvement, Leadership, Lean

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