Our Management Assessment Course has given me practical ways in which I can be more effective in solving problems in the work place and at home. The course focus on the importance of understanding other people and their point of view is valuable to me in two major areas. One is communication that includes excellent listening and gaining consensus. The other is problem solving through learning and understanding the root cause. Listening and learning help me lead effectively.
Each and every one of us should be a self-aware leader rather than doing things the same way each day based on stale assumptions. The Listen Learn and Lead approach helps me to keep focus on my environment. By paying attention to and understanding what is happing on an ongoing basis, my perspective is realistic, timely and fresh. Taking a step back from my own prejudgments and listening to others, I get the benefit of enabling myself to communicate better. I enhance my utilization of time and resources more effectively when I listen to ideas and solutions proposed by others. The synergy of multiple ideas and perspectives produces better solutions for all kinds of problems from the mundane to the most critical.

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Part of learning is to investigate other management frameworks. One of my favorites is Toyota’s management methodology which includes genchi genbutsu. This means go and see the real place where work is happening. This approach is more a frame of mind than a plan of action. To minimize distortion of information, this leading international automotive company avoids the generalizations that typically occur within an organization because of word of mouth communication. They agree that the way to perceive the real cause of a problem is to see it in person (The Economist).

Root Cause Analysis is not something that happens once a year or once a month. It should happen continuously. Organizational learning is driven by continuously solving the problems of root cause. So many times both personal and professional management is based on addressing the problems of side effects rather than addressing the true cause of a problem. Out of the box solutions are often a good way to find lasting benefits. In a crime ridden and corruptly governed community, for example, it is possible for a small group of people to take control of the situation by blogging and creating videos of street crime as it happens.

Root Cause Analysis is popular nationwide and worldwide. The State of Washington recommends root cause analysis for enterprise management. RCA is also one of the most widely used approaches to improving patient safety. Toyota has been using root cause analysis for nearly 60 years.

Leading means determining the underlying cause and effect, considering multiple solutions and to creating an action plan built upon consensus of teammates and the community at large. Leading does not mean being afraid to do things in a way that your neighbors and competitors have not done. It means to be fearless about being first.

A true self-aware leader listens well to others and pays attention to their environment each day. This includes thinking effectively by realizing the value of resources available and managing with consensus. A continuous process of achieving goals with team members and the community is essential. Maintaining a fresh perception each day and not being burdened by preconceptions and fear of being first is an effective mindset for success. As leaders, we must strive for continuous personal improvement and project improvement by optimizing awareness, communication, and analysis with a Learning Listening and Leading approach.

    References
  • Agrawal, N. Leadership Is About Being Fearless, But Also Constantly Scared. Retrieved from https://www.battery.com/powered/leadership-carlos-dominguez-sprinklr/
  • Genchi genbutsu. The Economist. Retrieved from http://www.economist.com/node/14299017
    US Department of Health. Root Cause Analysis. Retrieved from http://www.des.wa.gov/services/Risk/AboutRM/enterpriseRiskManagement/Pages/rootCauseAnalysis.aspx
  • Washington State. Root Cause Analysis. Retrieved from http://www.des.wa.gov/services/Risk/AboutRM/enterpriseRiskManagement/Pages/rootCauseAnalysis.aspx