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Coaching: A Core Skill for Transformational Leadership

by Lean Leaper
July 24, 2015

Coaching: A Core Skill for Transformational Leadership

by Lean Leaper
July 24, 2015 | Comments (2)

A great deal of learning and sharing took place earlier this week at the sold-out 2015 Lean Coaching Summit in Seattle. LEI's CEO and Chairman John Shook shared a well-received keynote presentation on what it means to be an effective coach (developing lean thinking and greater problem solving capabilities in others) as part of a larger lean transformation effort. View the slides from his presentation below and let us know what you think!

What are your thoughts on coaching? What questions do you have? What has your experience been? Let us know in the comments!

The views expressed in this post do not necessarily represent the views or policies of The Lean Enterprise Institute.
Keywords:  coaching,  leadership,  Transformation
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2 Comments | Post a Comment
Mark Graban July 24, 2015
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It seems that trust, or at least a certain level of trust, is required for Kaizen or Lean to get started or have a fighting chance.

As the slides say, trust must be earned.

What can leaders do to build trust and demonstrate that they are trustworthy? What specific steps other demonstrating it over time by 1) not blaming people 2) not laying off people when we improve productivity 3) being fair...

I guess it sometimes just takes time?

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Katie Anderson August 04, 2015

Thanks LEI for hosting the Coaching Summit and for fostering deeper learning about the discipline of coaching. I've written about my top take aways from the Summit: http://kbjanderson.com/lean-coaching-summit-2015-notes-and-reflections/

Trust and opennes is absolutely foundational to any coaching relationship. Authenticity can help contribute to a sense of trust. Be authentic to who you are. And as a coach or leader, it is okay to say "I need more time to think about that" or "I don't know the answer."

When coaching other coaches (usually internal staff with the role of "Lean consultant" or "Lean coach"), I've found sharing Slide 18 (from Shook's presentation above) helpful to illustrate that there is a range of approaches for coaches to take, depending on the situation. There is an appropriate time and place to be more directive in coaching (by demonstrating or giving instruction), and there is an appropriate time and place to be more open (by asking questions of humble inquiry). It's the coach's role to assess where the learner is at and to modify his or her approach to fit the situation - in service of the other person's development. This understanding has halped internal coaches I've worked with to better understand their role in supporting leaders as the leaders develop greater skills in lean thinking.

We had some good dialogue on this topic in the commonts from a previous Lean Post I wrote:

 http://www.lean.org/LeanPost/Posting.cfm?LeanPostId=301

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