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The Toyota Way: Principle 9

systematicHR Avatar

Grow leaders who thoroughly understand the work, live the philosophy, and teach it to others.

A succession plan is nice.  You in HR get to figure out how to grow your successors and shape their future.  But if your current executives are engaged in the company, believe and act out the company philosophy, there is no better teach to coach your future leaders.

The problem is that your current has to have the foresight to actually be willing to teach their replacements.  Unfortunately this is often seen as a threat, with individuals thinking that their assistance will force their departure at an earlier date.  Instead, the reality is often that these types of leaders are retained longer because they are seen a an integral part of the company’s growth – not only of profits but of people as well.  Additionally they are often retained in advisory or directorship roles after their chosen time of retirement.

This principle also carries down to the lower levels of management.  Grooming individuals into a culture that actively supports mentoring should be part of your talent management and learning strategies.

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3 responses to “The Toyota Way: Principle 9”

  1. Ron Katz Avatar

    Confident managers are never afraid to mentor others. They recognize that being seen as a manager who develops greater assets for he organization is the kind that is never gotten rid of (sorry for the poor grammar but you get the idea). They are too valuable.

    Further, many managers are reluctant to develop and further the careers of their staff for fear of losing them. I convince managers to do this because good managers are never at a loss for replacements. Once managers get the reputation as someone who will invest his or her time in developing staff, other people will line up to work for that person. Nothing fills a succession pipeline with talented people like a reputation as a generous manager.


  2. systematicHR Avatar

    Ron: I agree with you, but there is a very fine line sometimes between hiring managers who are confident versus narcissistic. Both often display similar qualities when it comes to managing the business, but take vastly different approaches to managing people. Unfortunately, the execs at the top often like to look at business performance and are willing to ignore people management if business performance is good. I often wonder if having good people managers has more to do with changing the way executives think versus grooming good managers.