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A Strategy for Handling Mistakes

Don Miller is one of my favorite authors. His book A Million Miles in a Thousand Years remains a favorite of mine. Like most authors these days, he blogs on the internet. I follow it. He recently wrote about a public comment he made that he wished he hadn’t made. He listed his checklist for dealing with it. You can read it here >> Whether it is misspeaking or mistaking, it’s good to have a […]

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Becoming a “Lean” Company

As I reported recently, it is obvious that your efforts on “lean” – working to eliminate wasted time, wasted motion and wasted material – are working. We are identifying areas to attack. We focus our attention on improving them. You coordinate your efforts. And, you get results. But, the first part is the easy part. Sort of like a honeymoon. Then, the newness can wear off. If we don’t watch it, we drift back to […]

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We Can All Be Leaders

I saw a man named Drew Dudley speak about leadership on a video the other day. He opened his speech with this question: “How many of you are completely comfortable with calling yourselves a leader?” It was a pretty big audience and only a few people put up their hands. Dudley confirmed that is what he usually ran into. He said that it was his conviction that we have made leadership bigger than ourselves. We […]

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Thanks for Your Efforts to Improve

It’s hard to believe that March is here already. I’ve visited a number of plants so far this year and I notice one consistent trend: our people are fighting incredibly hard to help us to succeed. Every place I go, folks are trying out a variety of strategies to correct hassles that have plagued us for awhile as well as new problems that crop up daily. They are putting aside old methods to try new […]

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What Does “Fair” Look Like?

I mentioned recently in an HQ Note that a pillar of a great place to work is whether associates believe they are treated fairly. I was reflecting about fairness. What does “fair” look like? “Fair” listens. It seeks to understand before reacting. Frequently, someone complaining about unfair treatment is frustrated because his version of the truth of the matter remains untold. “Fair” is predictable. People don’t like surprises. We create a predictable workplace when we […]

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Learn from Shortfalls Instead of Making Excuses

“I never knew a man who was good at making excuses who was good at anything else.” – Benjamin Franklin When things turn out in a way we don’t desire, it’s important to study what happened, determine what we have learned and make a plan to get better. People who make excuses tend to get stuck. Making excuses usually involves pointing a finger at someone or something as the reason for the shortfall. I interpret […]

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Treating Each Other Fairly and With Respect

We have more than 1,200 teammates in our company. As CEO, it is my honor to lead our approach to how we treat each other as we serve our customers. Here are some thoughts I hold close. As we interact with others daily, I would hope that every person would be able to say that they were treated with respect and they were treated fairly. Certainly, those of us in leadership positions have the greatest […]

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Making a Good Process Better

A “lean” parable: I go to airports a lot. Some folks like to get to the airport early. I don’t. My goal is to get there as early as necessary. No sooner. I think it’s “lean” not to spend extra time in airports. I’ve gotten my routine down. It works well for me. I got a good place to park. I dress the right way not to trigger alarms. I can break down my luggage […]

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Four Characteristics of a Good Coworker

A woman named Ashley Hoffman recently suggested four traits that would cause you to be “loved” on the job. Generosity. Would your colleagues describe you as generous? Are you free with words of encouragement? Do you readily help someone who is struggling in some fashion? Are you quick with a smile or laugh? Will you go out of your way? Are your teammates glad to see you coming? That’s what generosity in the workplace looks […]

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Leaders Should Know When to Follow

Tom Izzo is the coach of the Michigan State Spartans basketball team. He has led the Spartans to 6 of the last 13 Final Fours in the NCAA tournament. He is a future Hall of Famer when it comes to basketball. This weekend the Spartans upset third ranked Ohio State in a Big 10 matchup. In the post game interview, Izzo described “listening to his team” as one of the keys to victory. Team leader […]

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