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Lean Leadership for Ops Managers
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Lean Leadership for Ops Managers

Author: Jamie V. Parker

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Lean Leadership for Ops Managers is a podcast for leaders in Ops Management who’ve had some targeted success with Lean, but haven’t yet built the everybody-everywhere-everyday improvement culture they crave. In each episode, former Fortune 100 Ops Executive and Lean Enthusiast Jamie V. Parker will teach you how to engage your team, develop a Lean culture, and still get your day job done.
128 Episodes
How do you approach safety? As leaders, it's easy to focus on policies to ensure everyone follows the rules, but safety encompasses so much more than procedures; it is a team sport. In this episode, Jamie shares how safety starts with our mindset and culture within our team. What You'll Learn from this Episode:Safety is a product of servant leadershipSafety is an expression of loveAn evaluation of the safety in our organizationsGet full show notes and more information here:
Hello from New York! I am coming to you live from GE's Lean Mindset Event, which focuses on encouraging the right mindset to embrace lean and features several excellent speakers across different industries, including CEOs from top companies, former NBA and NFL players, and more. In this episode, I share an overview of the event, plus my initial reaction and key takeaways.What You'll Learn from this EpisodeLive from New YorkMy initial reactions and key takeawaysA Lean Mindset leads to Lean ThinkingLean Tools versus Lean ThinkingLeaning into the Growth MindsetGenuinely going to Gemba
How might operations leaders delegate more effectively? In this episode, Jamie explains how the reason we delegate can drive more effective delegation and practical steps you can take to delegate for development efficiently.What You'll Learn from this Episode:How to Delegate More EffectivelyThe Primary Reason for DelegatingGaining Clarity on the Individual, Activity, and SkillsDefine the Level of DelegationThe Logistics of DelegationGet full show notes and more information here:
Why do you delegate? How does that determine what tasks you choose to give? In this episode, Jamie discusses the real reasons Ops Managers should delegate and how it benefits themselves plus other members of their team.What You'll Learn from this Episode:The Reasons Ops Managers DelegateDelegating for MyselfDelegating to Help the IndividualDelegating for the Good of the TeamGet full show notes and more information here:
How often do you delegate? It can be difficult to delegate tasks that could be completed by other members of our team, in turn freeing up more of our time. In this episode, Jamie discusses three common obstacles that leaders face regarding delegation.What You’ll Learn from this Episode:How often do you delegateIt takes time to delegateLetting go of controlFeeling guilt in delegating
How often do you characterize your work as fun?  In this episode, Jamie shares how a big challenge and getting creative and trying new and better ways is fun for her, and as Operations Managers, you should be finding fun in your work too. Even though not every aspect of your job may be enjoyable, if you never find joy in what you do, there is a problem. What You’ll Learn from this Episode:A shift in my client workload and timeFinding fun in challenging problems and situationsThe difference between work fun and personal funGet full show notes and more information here:
You can’t have a lean culture without conflict, but so many organizations and leaders are NOT comfortable with conflict. Here’s the question: “What would be the impact to your organization if you could have less destructive conflict and more productive conflict?”What You’ll Learn from this EpisodeTwo types of workplace conflict, and how they differHow the research behind DiSC for Productive Conflict does - and doesn’t - align with the other conflict models we’ve explored on past episodesWhy you can’t have a lean culture without conflictThe role leadership action plays in stimulating productive conflictWhat Productive Conversations and Conflict is and how it can help your leadership team achieve more effective change adoption, gain better adherence to standard processes, and foster creativity and collaborative problem solvingGet full show notes and more information here:
Do any of your leaders ever rush into solving a problem? It’s so easy to jump in and start pushing and moving too fast without taking a measured approach. In this episode, Jamie discusses the pitfall of Unstructured Urgency and how to overcome it.What You’ll Learn from this EpisodeHow Unstructured Urgency Shows UpThe Impact of Lack of StructureHow to Help Leaders Avoid Unstructured UrgencyGet full show notes and more information here:
Do you ever find yourself stalling to make a decision? Leaders often get stuck not making a decision because they don’t know enough or how to make the “perfect” one. In this episode, I share how perfection is an Enemy of Effective Operation and some practical steps to overcome it. What You’ll Learn from this Episode:How perfection shows upThe consequences of the decisions we makePerfection delays actionWays of thinking to overcome execution trapsGet full show notes and more information here:
What causes Ops Leaders to struggle with effective execution? Even when the processes are in place, they never seem to be used consistently or correctly. In this episode, Jamie discusses how complexity is a cause of failed execution, and how to create simplicity instead. What You'll Learn from this Episode:Choosing the Tasks to CompleteComplexity as an Enemy to Effective ExecutionCreating SimplicityGet full show notes and more information here:
I know you are busy. So, how do you prioritize tasks when they are all important? How do you decide what to focus on? In this episode, I discuss an enemy of execution: distraction. Not being distracted with meaningless or unimportant things, but staying focused on long-term, strategic goals when there is so much to do in your day-to-day. What You'll Learn from this Episode:Dealing with the Day-to-DaySeparating PrioritiesThe Trap of DistractionGet full show notes and more information here:
So often leaders want to learn how to “fix other people.” To get them to do the work, to get on board, to be better. But true leadership starts with our own thoughts, beliefs, and self awareness. You are probably keenly aware of your results. But what about your feelings? Or your underlying, automatic thoughts? In this episode, I dig into coaching techniques for self leadership. Because whether you like it or not, it’s hard to manage yourself when you don’t really know your inner workings.What You’ll Learn from this EpisodeHow life coaching applies to leadership self awareness and self managementLessons I learned from the CTFAR Self Coaching Thought ModelHow to facilitate the transformation from both thoughts and behaviorsHow to figure out what your underlying thoughts areGet full show notes and more information here:
Do you want it done on time, or do you want it done right? We’ve all heard statements like this, and maybe we’ve even said them. It’s so easy to get caught up in this either/or thinking and thinking it’s impossible to have both outcomes. But what if it is possible to have both?In this episode, I share the idea of AND thinking and a replay of my story from Episode 001, where I experienced a missed opportunity to practice this mindset.What You’ll Learn from this Episode:One of the overarching challenges ops leaders face, and why we need to challenge itHow to stop looking at things as a dichotomy and open the door to possibilities How to think and speak about the need to respect people and deliver resultsA practical example of using an AND approach- in leadership and in lifeGet full show notes and more information here:
As a leader, do you find too much of your time is spent in chaos and firefighting? Would you prefer to spend your energy moving your team toward an improved culture with better business results? In today’s episode, Paul Dunlop explains how Leader Standard Work cuts through the chaos and creates a stable environment ripe for Continuous Improvement.  What You'll Learn from this Episode:The role of leader as coachHow to shift from reactive work to proactively adding valueSteps to slowly incorporate Leader Standard Work into an already-busy dayLearn more and find full show notes:
Is there any greater priority in today’s business environment than attracting and retaining talented and dedicated employees? In today’s episode, Tracy O’Rourke explains the critical impact of meaningful leader routines on the engagement of a company’s workforce.  What You’ll Learn from this Episode:  The role of leader routines in improving cultureSteps for implementing and enhancing Leader Standard WorkIdeas for effectively managing time while adding new leader routinesLearn more and find full show notes:
While work is made up of process, organizations are made up of people. That’s right, weird, messy, emotional human beings. So operations leadership isn’t just about managing operations or improving process - it’s also highly dependent on leading people. Moe Carrick joins us to discuss how we can lead people well while also getting results. What You’ll Learn from this EpisodePeople Make Organizations GreatSkills for Activating People’s TalentsWhy Investing in Your People MattersThe Value of Frontline TeamsLearn more and check out the links at our full shownotes: 
How often do you share your mistakes as a leader? So often in organization we celebrate success and share what went right, while shying away from the mistakes and lessons learned it took to accomplish that success. In this episode we talk with Elisabeth Swan about reframing mistakes as gold that can help foster stronger collaboration, team building and problem solving.What You’ll Learn:How improv made Elisabeth a better lean leaderThe power of storytelling in data-driven leadershipWhy Elisabeth says mistakes are gold and how they help othersWhy it's so hard ot listen and ways to practice intentional listeningRead more and get full shownotes at: 
Diverse executive teams deliver better performance. It’s shown in study after study. Despite modest progress, women are still dramatically underrepresented in leadership roles. How can women take steps to advance to the rooms where decisions are made, and then to confidently contribute in those rooms? How can current executives take responsibility and action to build greater diversity and inclusion among their senior ranks? Kelli Thompson, author of Closing the Confidence Gap, shares actionable advice on both questions.What You’ll Learn from this EpisodeFactors contributing to a lack of gender diversity in leadership rolesWays women can ground themselves in their career progressionThe Advocacy Model for closing the confidence gapHow executives can take intentional action and ownership to improve inclusion and diversity among their senior leadership teamsGet full show notes and more information here: 
Happy New Year! As we shift our focus to the next year by setting goals and thinking about what we want to achieve, it’s easy to limit what we believe is possible. In this episode, Sarah Tilkens shares how to shift from a goal mindset to a growth mindset to expand what is possible.  What You'll Learn from this Episode:Setting Meaningful GoalsHow Mindset Can Expand what is PossibleFive Steps for Expanding your MindsetBrainstorming Through ObstaclesLearn more and find full show notes:
What is your personal purpose? So often, we talk about organizational purpose as part of our True North, but what about you personally? What motivates you to keep going during those challenging days?In this episode, Sam Morgan joins us to share how he helps change people's lives by assisting them to uncover their personal purpose while also understanding the process of Improvement Kata and tying it together through daily coaching.What You'll Learn from this Episode:How Fear Shows UpFinding your Individual PurposeIncorporating Purpose into Continuous ImprovementHow Daily Practice Changes Your MindsetLearn more and find full show notes:
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