The Role of a Quality Leader

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Management’s job is to optimize the entire system over time.  ~ Dr. W. Edwards Deming

Leading/Managing by Systems:

1. Leading from values and focusing on aim, vision and mission, both for the entire organization and his/her department.

2. Understanding your systems or process – taking the time to learn what your employees’ jobs really are and really understanding the process.

• Understanding and conveying to his/her people the meaning of a system – explaining the aim of the system and how the work of the group supports the aim.

•  Helping people to see themselves as valued components in a system, to work in cooperation with preceding stages and with following stages toward optimization of the efforts of all stages toward achievement of the stated aim – making employees feel important and needed.

3. Understanding the customers’ requirements and expectations and how to meet/exceed them (applies to both internal and external customers).

4. Understanding suppliers’ issues and concerns.

5. Having stable systems and understanding a stable system – knowing that in a stable state it is distracting to tell the worker about a “mistake” – prediction is the key (being able to predict).

6. Ensuring impeccable adherence to systems and standards – ensuring procedures are being followed correctly and retraining, coaching or disciplining where necessary.

7. Continually providing data on how well the system is performing.

8. Continuously improving your systems – aligning the system average on target and/or reducing variation – involving everyone in continuous improvement by being open to new ideas, being open for suggestions for improvement and listening and learning from employee’s suggestions, concerns, and complaints.

Managing & initiating positive interactions – encouraging cooperation, barrier breaking, & resolving conflicts, both internal & external:

9. Managing the interaction between his/her people and resolving departmental conflicts – building a cohesive departmental and organizational team.

10. Managing the interaction with suppliers.

11. Managing the interaction with customers.

12. Managing the interaction with management (interfacing between upper management and employees).

Coaching his/her People:

13. Being a coach and counsel, not a judge – helping employees develop and advance.

14. Creating trust – creating an environment that encourages freedom and innovation – acting trustworthy.

15. Driving out fear – being less intimidating and more approachable – stop creating fear – stop creating tension – stop instilling fear.

16. Supporting and guiding employees:

• Providing timely, fair, value-added feedback.

• Understanding that people are different from each other (this is not ranking people) and trying to create for everyone interest and challenge, and joy in work – trying to optimize everyone.

• Trying to discover who if anybody is outside the system, in need of special help and providing such help (this can be accomplished with simple calculations, if there be individual figures on production or on failures).

17. Setting the appropriate expectations – best efforts – continuous improvement and learning – striving for perfection – taking ownership – taking personal responsibility.

18. Recognizing and acknowledging – providing positive reinforcement and encouragement – respect.

Managing Productivity:

19. Meeting and exceeding the voice of the customer (building/providing a quality product/service, and seeing to it that the customer is delighted, including on time delivery).

20. Good planning – The First 15% – for daily working of his/her people – setting priorities – knowing his/her people and taking advantage of strengths by assigning the right person to the right job – coordinating work between employees/departments – giving clear directions/assignments.

21. Providing needed equipment, materials, and information.

22. Monitoring progress to meet demands (voice of the customer) and helping if necessary – controlling day-to-day operations.

23. Supervising and helping in the resolution of unforeseen problems.

24. Handling the administration.

Focusing on Education (Theory), training (Skills) and Learning (enhancing our capacity for effective action, per Senge):

 25. Being an unceasing learner and encouraging his/her people to learn.

26. Providing and encouraging education (theory) for his/her people.

27. Providing needed training in job related and continuous improvement skills.

28. Focusing on the Plan-Act-Study-Select (PASS) cycle of learning on the process.

Note:  A leader has three basic sources of power:

1) Authority of office,

2) Knowledge

3) Personality and Persuasive Power; Tact.

A truly successful leader of people develops their knowledge & personality; they do not rely on authority. They nevertheless have an

obligation to use their authority appropriately, as this source of power enables them to change/improve systems and processes to better support their people.

Taking Personal Responsibility:

29. Taking personal responsibility for his/her department/division – avoiding finger pointing.

30. Being flexible and readily adapting to changes.

31. Strategically managing his/her own behaviors, actions and productivity – following the Suggested Team Leader Strategies and this Suggested Role of a Manager.

Doing the Above by:

32. Learning, embracing and living the Philosophy and Theory of Profound Knowledge (Appreciation for a System; Theory of Variation; Theory of Knowledge, and Psychology).

33. Leading – leading and inspiring by example – following the Suggested Team Leader Strategies.

34. Communicating – communicating well with employees – especially listening.

35. Looking to the system first for solutions; engaging the people in the system to help improve it.

Doing the Above by NOT:

36. Being over reactive – blaming, shaming, justifying.

37. Abusing his/her power as a manager or leader (such abuse creates fear—which destroys trust).

38. Engaging in or promoting adversarial win/lose competition.

39. Micromanaging.

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