Bitterness, doubt, envy, fear, grief and hatred are all a waste of our life energy. We have all experienced these negative feelings in one way or the other, but in order to heal ourselves we have to let go of our worries to heal our wounds.
I have personally lost many friends, one of whom suddenly died at the age of 45 with a heart disease, leaving behind a loving husband and two small children. I have personally survived two near-death experiences, which I did realize only months and years after they occurred. My guardian Angels were there for me.
One of my aunts had a rare lung disease, and received a rare lung transplantation in 2011. Without this donation, she would not be here today. I also have two very close relatives who have suffered serious kidney problems, one of whom had a new kidney transplanted in 2012. The other person has this in front of him, and I am only praying for him to have courage and health to go through all of this.
We often waste time on useless activities, worry too much, fear too much. While you are healthy, make sure to live your life fully and never waste a day to do the things that are really important to you. You never know what will happen tomorrow, so let go of all fears and negative feelings, make sure to transform them into positive actions and energy and live your life fully.
Did Nelson Mandela end his life in bitterness after 27 years of wrong imprisonment? No, he was a true hero and a leader who we all should admire greatly. Even after he was treated maliciously, he rose up after spending almost three decades in prison to become the person who ended Apartheid in South Africa and who became a hugely loved president and world leader.
What are you waiting for? What do you personally want to change/improve in society? Do not hesitate – take action NOW! And, always remember, the future is created by those who believe in the beauty of their dreams (Eleanor Roosevelt).
We have learned how to develop five-minute and even one-minute managers. But we would do better to ask ourselves what it takes to be an executive who helps build a better future. (1000ventures.com. Continuous Improvement).
Societies can be developed, changed, and improved in a number of ways. It is worth noticing that societies are always made up of people, who are the driving force behind all societal development, and who are in the center of creating a culture allowing for sustainable, economic growth to take place. Geography, and natural living conditions including climate/micro climate are factors that cannot be influenced by individuals, although recent development including the fact that geoengineering in fact does have an impact upon e.g. weather conditions and global warming, demonstrates that even geographical aspects can be influenced by man, often in a rather negative manner.
This article reflects upon Six Sigma, Lean Manufacturing (now combined and known as Lean Six Sigma) and Kaizen, and upon how these methodologies of improvement can be implemented not only in businesses and organizations, but also in all kinds of societal contexts in order to bring order to “chaos”, the usage of these methodologies as tools in transformation processes with the purpose of changing, improving and developing environments and societies.
Lean Six Sigma and Kaizen, methodologies of continuous improvement designed for, and relying upon, collaborative team efforts, have the common goal of improving performance through removing waste. According to iSixSigma, the roots of Six Sigma go back to the 18th century, although Six Sigma as a trademark was registered, and the techniques developed, by Motorola in the late 20th century. Since then, Six Sigma has been successfully used in industries and sectors in order to improve quality, and in removing defects. Lean Manufacturing as a management philosophy centers on reducing everything that is not of value. In previous years, Lean Six Sigma has become a combined methodology using both lean manufacturing and Six Sigma. Kaizen (KAI = Change, ZEN = Good), is a Japanese practice of continuous improvement, involving everyone in the process where many small changes, when practiced by everyone regularly, eventually result in bigger, positive changes and improvements.
Illustration of core ideologies in Six Sigma, Lean Manufacturing and Kaizen:
Diaz Otero (LeanImpact.org. Effectiveness of Aid to Developing Countries: How to Improve it with Diminishing Resources?) concern about efficiency and effectiveness has increased, foremost in developed countries. With major financial cuts in international aid assistance, IGO´s and NGO´s need to improve their systems and increase effectivity. Furthermore, according to Diaz Otero, Lean Six Sigma can lead to better results even in transformation projects, and in improving people´s lives in developing countries.
As an example, in Zambia, economic and social progress has been made possible through implementing Kaizen. The Government of Zambia, in cooperation with the Japanese Government, successfully imported and facilitated the Kaizen management model both in the private and public sectors in Zambia, leading to benefits in both production levels and in the quality of products. Through implementation of Kaizen, Zambia managed to rise from being a country of low-income status into the lower margins of middle-income. (saisprogramme.com. Zambia innovating its way out of poverty with the Kaizen management model).
World Vision, a global non-governmental organization established by American evangelist Bob Pierce to help children orphaned in the Korean War in 1950, has expanded and today includes community development, disaster preparation/ response, and advocacy for the poor. Transformation development programs are today implemented in almost 100 countries worldwide. World Vision, today run by business professionals, strives to integrate the best business methods in line with the organization´s values. The organization has successfully applied Kaizen, Lean and Six Sigma methodologies in East Africa. (Parris, A. 2013. Improving processes for good in East Africa).
Examples, experiences and results indicate that Kaizen, Lean and Six Sigma (or a combination of these), are methodologies leading to improvements when correctly applied and integrated into an organization or society. Applied and used by different industries, and sectors, the methodologies can be useful in many ways.
But: Are these methodologies applicable in any kind of cultural setting, and if, how can they best be integrated into societies and organizations worldwide in an effort to, and when striving for, less bureaucracy, better results, less waste, and when improving lives: in other words, when reducing factors that lead to e.g. poverty?
Certain is that people are always the driving force behind short-term, and long-term development in a society. In every state, PESTLE (Political, Economical, Sociological, Technological, Legal, and Environmental) factors have direct influence upon how the most important asset of a nation, its people, can develop, change, and improve the society it is living in (and surrounded by).
Below a video which discusses the Problems of Societal Development from the perspective of managing complexity in modern societal-systems. In essence, according to Center of Systematic Peace, the density of communication and exchange among the members of a group add resilience and persistence to the form of a social group. Furthermore, positive group dynamics include socialization and conflict management functions.
Thank you for reading, reflecting, commenting, and considering the actions your business/organization can take to improve society.
As a leader, if you follow your heart, you will have the courage to take on any risk because your heart will lead you to the solution and avoid the risk. (Angeline Kobe Chan).
Leadership, as everything else in life, includes many risks. Life itself is a risk, because no matter how much we plan and strategize, life will always have its surprises in storage for us. In terms of risks, leadership can also be compared to entrepreneurship – you cannot lead if you are not capable of taking, and living with them, neither can you be an entrepreneur without being prepared to take risks.
What are the biggest risks of leadership, then? Observation, personal life/work/study experiences as well as learning about leadership through online and printed media have taught me a number of lessons, including seven themes that I consider being the major risks and obstacles on your path to becoming a great leader. The 7 major risks are:
1. Being mentally (or physically, but usually mentally) blocked due to a specific reason (or, due to a number of reasons). Most often, the main risk on your path to being a great leader is YOU yourself, personally.
How can you overcome this? Depending upon YOU, you will have to make efforts including the fact that you agree with the fact that YOU personally are the one who is standing in your own way. Once you have realized this, take needed actions towards removing and overcoming your blockages. There are a number of ways to do this.
2. Negative self-talk, or listening to skeptics. NEVER EVER look down or yourself, or on others. And, never let other people put you down.
Solution: Whatever you do, focus on positivity. Start by cleansing yourself from any negative energies, or negative self-talk. Instead, wake up each morning and remind yourself about how great you are, and be thankful for everything you have in life. Be thankful for your life, and embrace the day by living in the present instead of thinking about possible past failures, or having too much concern about the future. Your life is here and now, in the present, and in order to be(come) a successful leader, you have to focus on living 100 % in the present moment. This life was given to you for a reason, and make sure to enjoy it to the fullest.
3. Focusing too much on external factors and motivators.
According to psychological theory, and studies about motivation, motivation is at its best when it is “an internal thing”. Truly successful, driven people, are motivated by internal, rather than by external factors. You have to find your true purpose inside yourself, and then get out in the world and release all the positive energy that is in store inside of you (in your body and soul).
4. Comparing yourself with others/Fear of loss and/or giving
What to do? Never compare yourself, your achievements, your life purpose, or your life path in general to those of other people. Your life path is always personal, and you should not have to explain your choices or decisions to people around you. Those who matter do not mind, and those who do not mind, do not matter. Peel the onion, get to the root of you, your desires, and instead of comparing yourself to other individuals, start living your life, and working towards your personal goals, to the fullest. The more you give, the more you will receive.
5. Lack of vision and purpose.
Are you in a state of amnesia, or at a crossroad, not knowing in which direction to go or what path to choose in life? Do not blame yourself. This is a major theme for many people, so you are not alone with this obstacle (it may be relieving to realize this). GIVE YOURSELF TIME. Sometimes, and very often, even the best of leaders get lost on their track. Instead of having feelings of despair, focus on the essentials in life, such as breathing, eating, and resting/sleeping enough. Meditate. Take some time out. Realize that Rome was not built in a day. We all have a purpose in life, and vision will come as soon as you take care of yourself holistically.
6. Isolation and lack of support/help.
Many people, and leaders, are lonely. Loneliness is not equal to being alone. Many people, and leaders, prefer spending some/a lot of time alone without feeling lonely. Nevertheless, we human beings are always more or less social, and need other human beings around us. Get a role model/role models, seek out the best mentor/s you possibly can, surround yourself with people who can help you on your path, and who support your growth. True leaders are never afraid of helping/seeking help or support, and they let others grow along and beside them without interfering.
7. Not enough self-knowledge/self-esteem
Leadership comes to those who are ready for it, regardless of age or other external criteria. You will know and feel your personal readiness, and so will the world around you. Leadership requires emotional maturity, a willingness to lead because of purpose and drive, and not because of other facts such as wanting to micro-manage or have power over other individuals.
At its best, leadership is wonderful, energizing, fulfilling, purposeful, exciting, uplifting, and contagious! And, as I have learned from my many mentors and role models, the purpose of leadership is to encourage, and grow more leaders. Leaders, who have a purpose and mission, and who are passionate enough to make an effort to fulfill their life purpose while engaging others along the way.
Attached an attached lecture about leadership and decision-making in the Face of Great Risk (Harvard Kennedy School):
You must do the thing you think you cannot do (Eleanor Roosevelt)
An individual who wants to lead the orchestra must turn his/her back on the crowd (Max Lucado)
The biggest risk is taking no risk (Mark Zuckerberg)
When you play it too safe, you are taking the biggest risk of your life. Time is the only wealth we are given. (Barbara Sher)
Leadership is action, not position (Donald H. McGannon)
Surrender to what is. Let go of what was. Have faith in what will be. (Sonia Ricotti)
Never allow waiting to become a habit. Live your dreams and take risks. Life is happening now. (unknown)
We make a living by what we get. But we make a life by what we give (Winston Churchill)
There can be no great accomplishment without any risk (Neil Armstrong)
Thank you for reading, commenting, sharing, learning, and for leading!
I am still learning, but my experience has taught me that true leadership is a quality that only a few men, and women, possess. More than 20 years of activity in working life, but only rarely, if ever, have I encountered any man or woman fulfilling the qualities of a truly great leader.
Yet, our world needs excellent leaders more than ever. In times of increased demand for excellent leadership, how can we achieve our target of developing such qualities in people? And what are the qualities that a great leader ought to have?
Many times, a leader is thought of as someone capable of inspiring, motivating, and driving “the pack”. True, to a certain extent, but a true leader is always willing and ready to walk the talk alone if required. Sometimes, a leader should not listen to what everyone else is saying, but rather show the way and take action – followed or not.
A true leader always expresses integrity. Intuitive and awaken people will always sense honesty – from miles away. Non-loyal and dishonest behavior always leaves a trail – direct, assertive, and honest behavior, on the other hand, require no further explanations.
Furthermore, excellent leaders do not engage in “lower spiritual activities”, such as gossiping, poor behavior, backstabbing, spreading rumors or anything alike. Neither do they behave in a way that increases uncertainty or mirrors non-excellence in other people. Excellent leaders focus on achieving a goal, a mission, and work with purpose.
Excellence is a choice, and a path of learning. Leaders can be both born and developed, and despite of insecurities and deficiencies, almost anyone can be developed to become an excellent leader. Moreover, excellence has nothing to do with age but rather with experience, behavior, and readiness for leadership.
We all have our weaknesses. One step towards achieving greatness and becoming a great leader is to recognize our humanity, our personal weaknesses, and the ability to transform those into our greatest source of strength. If you want to achieve greatness, stop asking for permission!
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