Leadership that is untrustworthy? It is not often spoken of, but trust is a foundational issue in any relationship, and the relationship of a lean leader to his/her subordinates and peers is no exception. In fact, the very nature of a lean initiative puts more pressure on this issue of trust than in most business interactions. If you do not have leaders who are trustworthy, then your lean initiative is likely to fail.
And there is one time that trust is really, really important -- and that is anytime you jointly venture into the unknown. That is why a strong relationship based on trust is so important in a lean implementation. Lean is all about change, and change is all about venturing into the unknown. The unknown is uncomfortable for all of us -- frequently so uncomfortable that it causes us to freeze. This discomfort makes it seemingly impossible to summon the courage to venture into the unknown. Frequently we are more willing to accept a known bad situation than attempt to solve a situation with some risk attached to it.
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