In this episode, Tim talks with podcast guest George Trachilis about recognizing and cultivating leadership in their work as leadership coaches. Both Tim and George share their history of how they found themselves working with organizations to improve their processes and systems and the top takeaways each took regarding the power of leadership. As an expert in Lean Leadership, George provides insightful ideas on workplace culture.
About George Trachilis
Author and speaker, George Trachilis, is the Shingo Research Award winning contributor and publisher of the book, Developing Lean Leaders at All Levels. His insight as an entrepreneur and Lean Coach will astound. George is one of the most experienced and knowledgeable people alive in the Lean world today, and his focus has changed from Lean, to operational excellence to leadership excellence. It has always been about leadership and leading by example. Connect with George today to address your leadership needs.
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Contact Tim Sweet | Team Work Excellence:
The more you focus on the laggards, the more attention everybody else will want from you, and you'll lose good people. Focus on your superstars. You know, that's the direction you're going people get caught up.
I'd like to ask you some questions. Do you consider yourself the kind of person that gets things done? Are you able to take a vision and transform that into action? Are you able to align others towards that vision and get them moving to create something truly remarkable. If any of these describe you, then you my friend, or a leader, and this show is all about and all for you. Welcome to the Sweet on Leadership Podcast, episode 16.
Thanks again for joining us on sweet on leadership. I'm really pleased today that I have person who I have followed for years joining me. And when I contemplated what we're going to talk about today was the obvious choice for who to reach out to and that's George Trachilis. George, thanks very much for taking the time.
Oh, thank you. Thank you, Tim. So
today, we spent a little bit of time here before we hit record talking about what we want to cover. And we don't really know where this is gonna go. But I believe it's all around how both of us, our careers have taken us into the area of strategy, leadership development, team development. And we share a common starting point. And that is really moving from operational excellence, and the tools that are involved there all the way into this, this era. So maybe as a start, why don't you tell us a little bit about yourself, what you're working on. And then we can get into how we found ourselves down this path.
So, my name is George Trachilis. For those of you that don't know me, I started off in Lean In 1994, working for a company called Motorcoach Industries, which was Greyhound Buses. And in those days, I was a young engineer, just coming out of school basically. And I was asked to be on an implementation team for an ERP implementation, which took me to Pembina, North Dakota in the US from Winnipeg, Canada. And we implemented an ERP system, which included total quality management, and what we knew as Lean back then, and Kanban, and all the tools. And we had consultants come in from all Oliver White Consulting. And what they did was they share the tools with us, the leaders of the group, and then they asked us to go train others. And I loved it. What I say is I caught the bug, that was it, I can no longer work in a regular job. It needed to be about change, and looking at the light go on in people's eyes. That's what it was all about. And it hasn't been for 30 years now. The first 10 years was me implementing with a team of people the second 10 years, was owning my own consulting business going to Edmonton Calgary throughout Canada. As a matter of fact, I had an online course that created maybe the first online course, on Lean 101 the Lego Simulation Airplane Game. And the Government of Alberta bought it, which means I was allowed to sell it for them. And they trained 300 companies in Alberta, Canada, which then expanded because in 2011, I just said let's give it away to the world. And I had like in December of that year, something like 300 students on average registered per day. So, it was pretty amazing that everybody in 2011 love this thing called Lean. Okay, Lean is great. But I found I was missing something because I would go into a company, somebody would show me the Toyota way and the 4P model. Okay. I didn't know what all that meant. And then in 2012, I was doing more online courses and I met Jeff Liker, and I met Norman Bodek. Actually in reverse Norman first, Jeff Liker, and met a lot of the Guru's and I went to Japan learned a lot about the Toyota way of doing things, met with a lot of Toyota coaches, especially on Toyota business practices, and learned that and now I coach and develop people using Toyota business practices. But throughout the last 30 years, even though the last 10 is all on leadership development, I still go in, I still do value stream mapping, I still do the tools. So that's not a problem. I love doing that. But I get the benefit there. Not everybody else necessarily. If I can teach that, well, somebody else is getting the benefit. Now I coach and develop companies. And I've got two big clients today where I'm coaching leaders to be leaders. And they're coaching others. So, the mental model I used to have in the first one years was the five principles of Lean. Okay? Define value from the customer's perspective, right? Define the value stream, first flow, then pull, and strive for perfection, great five values, great five principles of Lean. Now, ever since Jeff Liker and I put the book together, called Developing Lean leaders at all levels, the model we share there is, number one, live the core values of the company. Okay, that's number one. Number two, commit to self development, because everybody knows, if you don't develop yourself, you don't have that attitude, you're going nowhere, you're going nowhere, plus, you're causing everybody else, no end of pain, because you're in it for yourself, everybody's got to do something for you. And you're not enough for the customer or the company, or your teamwork, or your team players. Number two coach and develop others, we need everybody to be a coach, as a manager. If you're not coaching and developing somebody, you're just not doing your job as a manager. Number three, support daily Kaizen. And then number four, define your targets and align all of your processes towards those targets for that year. So create vision, and align targets. That's number four. So that mental model today is a model that I refer to as the Lean Leadership Development Model. Jeff, and I created a company called Lean Leadership Institute. And we have an online course that trains that to the masses. But really step one, I always say if you can't improve, if you can't say, I want to improve, there's something wrong. And it's not with a everybody else. It's with you. So, so just just making sure people know and then I usually get the question is like, what happens when you meet somebody like that? Well, don't worry about them, don't focus on them as a leader, the more you focus on the laggards, the more attention everybody else will want from you. And you'll lose good people focus on your superstars, you know, that's the direction you're going people get caught up. So what I'm working on today is remote coaching for several companies, and helping them understand how they should be thinking so that they can teach that mindset to others.
It's a real basis and thought, when we think of just the pure efficiency of playing to your strengths, or supporting, I liked what you said there about focusing on the superstars. Because we're going to improve our reach, we're going to make sure that we have all the right thought going on in the organization, rather than focusing on constraints, it it's a good place to be but with teams, we need to be marshaling everybody into a common goal. And what was that old saying that they used to say? You know, do you want to be the hero with 1000 Helpers? Or do you want to be the leader with 1000? Heroes? You know, really, can we bring that out in people? I'm still floored by just how similar the evolution is between yourself and myself and where we've landed.
I'm not. I think it's funny, because when we're a Lean thinker, what is it we're looking for? We're looking to help people, okay. And when we see the gap, we kind of say, hey, let's close the gap. And this is the gap for a long time. We just never saw it. And we've been distracted by others, like, let's call them thought leaders that have driven us in a certain thinking process. We've been distracted for about 10 to 20 years. But today, I think we're on top of the real issue, which is our leaders are not leaders, at times, they're not behaving that way. They're thinking about short term results and behaving in a way similar to get those versus the long term game that they could get by staying on course, you know, making sure people understand they're valued at the company. They're the only appreciating asset. You're growing the people that's your job. When I was in Japan, it was funny because Matt Amezaga he was the Vice President of Operations at all of Toyota. He said that Fujio Cho, asked him to go back to Kentucky and get the culture back because they had a leader there. This particular leader didn't do a good job. And in a matter of one year, he destroyed the culture. And it took four years to get it back. But he did it in three, he was very impressed with himself. So, this is the kind of culture that you need. And you, you got to think of the culture as the behaviors. And the behaviors, behaviors of the leadership go furthest. When you see somebody in front of you, and they're the CEO of the company, and they bend down, they pick up a piece of garbage, and they throw it in the garbage can. That's not like for show. That's because they live it. That's because they, they understand that if they don't demonstrate what they want from others, they're not going to get it.
Yeah, I think tied on to that is, if the leaders are behaving in a way, or if the managers or the executives in those that should be in leadership roles are behaving in a way that demonstrates the worst possible things, then that also becomes how we define the culture because you know, that culture is defined by the worst behaviors we're willing to accept. And it can be so debilitating for an organization to have the wrong people getting the attention. It really takes away from the enjoyment and from the fulfillment, that everybody who's fighting the good fight is able to derive from it. And when I think back to some of the experiences that I had, I remember what my first major regional management role was with was with a large commercial bakery, and I had Thunderbay to Vancouver Island. Spent a lot of time in Winnipeg, incidentally. You know, working in that area, I spent two years creating, I was deploying TQM back in the day. So we were doing quality circles and having a bunch of unionized employees wrangling waste, and getting it down and, and really working with the union to help them understand why we were having people work off page and not necessarily working to their their job description, but getting excited for their role. And one organizational shift where they decided to take our regional office out of Calgary and send it back east, and that we were no longer going to play nicey nice with the unions, it dismantled culture overnight, it dismantled all of that positive work we had done, and really made improvement. Not impossible, but a fight again, that didn't have to be. And throughout my career, I think as I evolved, I could design great, elegant processes. I could go in and do the work, I could come up with the answer I could, I could define and measure and analyze and improve till the cows came home and loved doing it, it was a lot of fun. You could get the right answers. And if the leaders weren't on side, you were done. You were dead in the water. And if you manage to get it over the line, the leaders decided that that wasn't what they were interested in anymore. They could dismantle it overnight. I started out as a junior team-building consultant, and then I and then I went in school, I found operations management, and loved it. And then I came full circle. And I realized that really, I could enable other people to do the improvement, teach them the skills and let them go out and, and reengineer the processes. But I needed to focus on hoeing the row for those improvement projects to take place. And getting leadership excited. Yeah, so I mean, that's very similar in terms of where I've ended up because it yes, the other work is very, very important. But it needs to have fertile ground. Otherwise you're, you're throwing good money out.
Yea, it's interesting, you say fertile ground. And I think immediately about the leader. If the leader doesn't have fertile ground in their brain, we've got a problem. And Gallup, for example, just came out with a statement that 70% of all hiring decisions are wrong, based on you know what a good leader is. And you think, well, what's the characteristics of a good leader? They only have other than the skills, the hard skills, the soft skill, one of the main ones is that they're willing, and they believe in improvement. They believe in Kaizen, it's almost like Kaizen resides in their heart. I believe I can be better tomorrow than I am today. And the day after can be better than tomorrow. And ultimately, if they have that belief system, and they're willing to do the work on themselves, that's like a beacon. It'll just generate light for the rest of the organization. Nobody tests for it. So the fertile ground in my mind is in their brain. And today, I've actually avoided working at mid-level in a company. Avoid 90% failure rate is guaranteed when you're not dealing with the executives, and you're not dealing with the people who actually can, in some ways, demonstrate and expand and proliferate Kaizen and improvement and call it Lean, call it excellence. If they don't do it, nobody else is gonna do it.
That lesson was hard one for me, because often, I'd be entering into the wrong level of an organization. And, you know, it took me losing. Well, we did great work, but the work was…
It's not sustainable. Okay.
Well, there's priority changes, and the work was just the work was just taken out from under us. And, and it was, it was awful. That, because we knew we knew where we were in the answers we were bringing in, but it was a fickle leader made a snap judgment. And so yeah, I have since for several years now, I only work if I'm starting from the top, because you need to have that conviction. And that willingness, and that space, that space to improve. It's really interesting. Sometimes when you're talking about, you'll run into teams that have capacity challenges and want to improve. And one of the first things that I say is a great reason to go and chase some waste is we have to create enough capacity that we have capacity to improve. And then that is that, I think back to that Covey model, where they talk about the Covey's quadrants, and how that quadrant one is urgent and important. And Quadrant Two is really important but not urgent. If we can get operating in quadrant two, that would where Lean resides in my mind, it's the only quadrant that pays dividends. It's the only one that creates more space to create more space, more efficiency to create more efficiency. Capacity building on top of capacity. If we don't have the support of the leaders to start that process, it's really tough. You have that support lined up top to bottom cascading down through the organization. And it's really easy. That's not only easy, it's fun. And I mean, the work is tough enough, trying to convince leadership trying to work and overcome turbulence in teams. That's tough. Like it's, let's let the work be tough. Let's not let's not make working with people tough. So you'd said something earlier again, before we had hit record here. I want you to share that thought around starting in the students mind. You take care of that a little bit. You're talking about Gemba. And I thought that was fascinating.
Like a progression for me over the years. But I brought Ritsuo Shingo, bless his heart, he's the late Shingo now. Shingo San, I brought him to Santorini, Greece, along with others, who were leaders in their industry, you know, there's business owners, there's, you know, others like Paul Akers, as an example, I brought him to Santorini, Greece. And we did training there. And we went through a Gemba Walk of Santo Wines, one of the biggest, the biggest winery in Santorini. And we're watching somebody work, we're watching somebody work. And what they're doing is they got a big light facing them, and they got, you know, like three bottles on each end. And they're looking, their eyes are focused on the bottle, and the light is behind it. So, you might be able to see something, you know, in the bottle. And so they're looking for spiders, because the bottle sometimes just, just over. So they do wash the bottles, but sometimes, you know, if there's like a big nest in there, you put that bottle aside and needs extra washing, but this is what this person's job function was. And ritual wouldn't leave. And he's just observing. And I'm thinking, what's he, what could he possibly observe? Like the flow is such that there's such a queue in front of them, and the line is running, and there's no way he's gonna be out of work. Like, he's got a lot of work and the lines running, maybe he's not, maybe they're slack. I don't know if he's trying to calculate how much time he's actually working, versus how many bottles are moved. I don't know what he's doing. And it was so shocking. I said, what do you what are you doing? He says George San, watch his eyes. And I'm watching the workers eyes. And as he lifts the bottles, his eyes are down. I'm going oh, Shingo San I never thought to watch the workers eyes. Like pretend you’re in the worker shoes, and think you're the worker, and your job is to do this function. And he says also, there's no standard. I sai, what do you mean no standard. Sometimes he lifts up three bottles, and two, and sometimes two and two, sometimes three and three, there's no standard. And I'm going, Wow, he got all that from what I would just say that's just not important. Okay. So from that, I thought, How does somebody look at improvement? And so for example, I'm coaching somebody now he’s a, he’s a great coach. His name is Raj Pathak, I'm sure he's he's okay with me using his name. He just went through PDCA excellence training with myself and Dr. Jake Abraham, who is my Toyota coach. And we just finished training. And he did a great A3, now it's time for him to train others. And they've got a big project to do. He's leading the project. And I said, So Raj, tell me what you're thinking, what's the first meeting look like? And why? He says, Well, I want to go right into step one, okay. And I'm trying to understand why he would want to just go right into step one, for everybody of problem-solving, when we got a whole team here, and they're different areas, and he might not have a challenge for each one. So I said, what's your challenge for each individual, and he doesn't have that thought through. So I'm thinking, we need to do some visualization, what this might look like. So that's kind of the biggest thing for me, is if you can't visualize the end, to some degree, getting into it right away, that's the gap. There's a gap between being able to visualize the results, and get everybody else signing up into a charter saying, Here's what we want to do great. That charter, I've seen so many places, I've seen it work, it never works without everybody signing. So that's part of the Nemawashi though the consensus building that you need in Lean today, in order to make it work. So that's why I say you got to think about like, what's in their head? For two reasons. Number one, you want to know if there's any gaps. But number two, what are the gaps between them, and you. You could be the one in the learning seat. And so that's where the teacher sometimes learns more than the student. You know, show me more, tell me how you get that. I did that a couple of times, with students that I'm going, okay, I better pick up that book and read it.
Yeah, in my parlance, over the last few years, fluency has been the big word. And it's, you know, are you fluent in your own beliefs and your own thoughts around what we're about to do? Are you fluent in that and how you conceptualize work and what you value? And how you align to the corporate goals? Or what are your own goals? What's your workstyle? What's your genius?
We call that a little different. We call that the line of sight. But let me ask you this. What's your long term goal?
Yeah, 10 years.
10 years out? I mean, I think it will be that I've managed to train enough leaders in this, in this practice, that they are self-sufficient, that my own company has a body of work behind it, that allows what can be would you say automated or that can be approached individually is happening and that we are focused in that space where other people can can begin to do some of the heavy lifting, I guess. Whereas for myself, I focus primarily on the teaching, and, and really getting the senior most leaders lined up for the work. The challenge becomes, can you carry that work all the way down to the coalface can it cascade through the organization effectively? And so, I mean, from my own practices, I think that's really important that the company has my clients have the ability to carry this thinking all the way down, internally. And so I'd say for the next 10 years on this, it's really about Systemizing. And in getting that, that together, and I'm on track for that. Whether or not it will materialize in that way. I'm not sure. But I don't exactly know “the how” yet to be frank.
Yeah. So one of the most amazing things I've come across is some guy on the internet. Norman Bodek, by the way, who's dead again, you know, like he he's gone. Mike, another coach is gone. Norman Bodek said, You need to learn about the people-side of Lean. And I'm going I don't know what that means. So he was talking about the Harada Method, with Kakashi Harada in Japan, teaching people how to be self-reliant. And they come up with their goal. They come up with their tasks, they go and execute and and one of the famous, the famous baseball player in the world today Shohei Ohtani did the 64th chart with Takashi Harada, in Japan. So it's pretty amazing that there is a process for almost every problem. But when you want to be successful, you need a system. You can't just have a process, we can go in with Lean. And we can say, here's a problem describing the problem, which is obviously half solved if you can do that. And we put together some tools and we say let's go through this. And we got a solution. For every problem, there's a solution. But for really successful people, they need a system. And that's why the Harada Method came into into play for me as well. 10 years ago, yeah,
that'll help me answer that, that question. More retrospectively, but yeah, the biggest leaps that I've taken in my business and my coaching practice and, and working with leaders, and again, I specialize in academics, and STEM leaders, people that are they're fairly linear in their thinking or at least linear in their, in the practice. And it really has been. It's funny, because as we talk about where that catastrophic derailment happened due to a that's actually what was the impetus for me taking a step back and looking at everything that I practiced over several decades of doing this work two decades doing this work. And deciding that I wanted to just really box what was working the best and I ended up starting to put my practices into some structures and into some processes. And I'd shied away from that. As the Lean guy, I'd shied away from that instead, you know, opting for more of a artisan approach or job shop approach, because I wanted, I wanted to make sure that I gave everybody a unique path through and I had to get my own mind around the fact that you know what, once I had systemized my approach my first conversation, say with with new coaching clients, suddenly I had a bunch of things going for me one, I didn't have to imagine where I was going next I had a place that I could start. And I knew they were reliable tools I used the most. They're things that I believe in, and that they've always worked. So there, I had linear thinkers I was dealing with, I could show them the path. I remember one point in my career, I had an engineer come up to me and say, Man, that was amazing. You did it was a piece of collaborative contract we're doing. But boy, you sure you sneak up on people. He said to me, I said, What do you mean, he says, We I didn't know what this was all about. And then towards the end of it, I was just like, amazed at how far we come out sure would have been calmer. If I had known where you were gonna take us well, now I can put a roadmap in front of this is what we're about to do, I'm not going to wait and deliver a punch line and, and make a guess at what we're going to do. And then the ability to just really test those theories, as blueprints for people doing well, and prove them out until they can be now I can isolate if I'm going to improve something about them, I can see the whole path. And, you know, it's so funny because I try not to be too hard on myself. But you know, you know these tools, and just the ability to step back and apply them to your own business, something that could seem rather chaotic, has made a big difference.
The entrepreneur does that. The entrepreneur thinks they must recreate everything for our client for every customer. So look, that's not a bad thing. You just got to recognize that if you want to stay a one person company, you'd better start thinking differently. Entrepreneur not. Because yeah, because there are people out there that like a system. And nowadays two companies are growing. Their reference of the past is not as relevant as it was. So what they're doing is they're experimenting their way towards the future. And understanding how to experiment is critical. So you know, of course Mike Rother is, you know, that Toyota Kata guy, and he used to be a student of Jeff Likers. So, you know, it's coming kind of from the same place. What did we miss with Toyota? What we missed was the soft stuff. We got the hard stuff. You know, 4S, they have at Toyota not 5S, we kind of know how to do that. But we don't have the discipline. And we're always thinking, look at all these tools, what are they there for? They're there to develop the people. And we never thought like that. We were, you know, great people, great products, they kind of bound it in between you got all your tools and systems and results. But it starts with great people. And it ends with a great product. You know, they kind of bound the problem there. And I don't know too many industries that wouldn't start like that, you know, we need great people. And what are those great people? Well, they're the ones that want to improve. And because they're doing it, they can demonstrate to others, in several ways coach and develop them to do it. And what are they striving for? Well, we need to get short term and long term results, you got to do both. So it's kind of like a big challenge in industry, especially everywhere, it doesn't matter. But we got the quarter crunch, the year end, you know, we got to make our numbers all the time, I just remember that the nightmare I was in, when I worked at New Flyer Industries, which ultimately ended up going bankrupt or taken over whatever. But it was a nightmare. We owed all our suppliers, like a lot of our suppliers, tons of money 120 million past 90 days. So it was like crazy, that's the way to run a business is to try to start a bus so you can get a progress payment, and then pay for parts on the buses that are in the yard. So you can actually get them shipped to the customer. So the challenge is applying lean is like an exercise in futility. What we got is great people, and we got to get those results. So we kind of nailed it. And Toyota went bankrupt way back in the 50s. So that's where, you know, they kind of learned their lesson. That's why they have a big bank account.
The big question that's left is you think about your journey through and how your thinking and your and your application. And your focus has evolved. When you think about that leadership experience that you're now focused on the other part of that Gallup poll that I thought was really interesting, or sorry, not Gallup poll, but their their recent publication was, they had said, They figure 10% of the population has the DNA of a leader, the ability to actually, you know, operate in them. And I my hypothesis is, it's actually smaller, because although they may start with 10%, only a fraction of that, I like to say 6% have the opportunity to lead or have not incurred other baggage, or something that will take them out of the mix, or don't have a personal situation that wouldn't allow them to do that, or haven't suffered trauma that wouldn't allow them to do that. So when you look at the leadership experience, and as you watch the leaders that you're working with, really grasp these concepts and then apply them and become higher and higher performing. What do you think the key, in your experience, what are the key mindsets? As I say, you know, you've talked about the five principles, what are some of the watershed moments that you see with leaders where they, you know, a light bulb goes on? And, and it clicks and they really get something? Could you share some thoughts on that? In terms of what are some of those big pivot points?
Yeah. Okay, I'm not sure they're big pivot points. This is part of the problem.
The problem is we have a lot of little pivot points, which end up making a lot of big change at the end of the day.
Great, perhaps, what are some of the common little pivot points?
Yeah, so, number one, when I look at leaders getting excited, I think about why are they getting excited? It's because you've pointed out something, whether it's through your book or what have you. It's something that they did not expect. Okay, here's what they expected. And they got something else, there's a gap between what they expected and what they got. That gap is called learning. And as soon as you can increase the learning for that leader, they get hooked. It is the adrenaline, it's the dopamine that you know, gets released in your head. As soon as they do that, they get hooked. So one of one of my students in Germany, she was, I can't remember how we got to this. We were talking about a book called The Power of Habit or something. And I said, Look, a company is made up of habits. So tell me the behavior you would like to see. Tell me what the trigger is and how do you make sure that trigger happens? Because you got to have a trigger. You know, and then you can do the routine was the behavior and you need to kind of reinforce for yourself that that was a good thing to do. And you reinforce it in many ways. So she was, I want to make my bed every morning. I don't know why maybe she heard it and you know, they do it in the army and stuff. Okay, I want to make my bed every morning. So I said, Great. Let's talk a little bit about the trigger. So the trigger is, okay, I'm not gonna have my coffee. I'm gonna get up, I'm gonna put my clothes on, I'm gonna put my slippers on or whatever she's doing. There's a trigger somewhere for her to make her bed. Good. Then she makes the bed. And I said, what's the reward? And she struggled. We have a hard time programming our own thinking to say this is successful. And I said, Okay, I think in the book, they talked a little bit about somebody going on the sheets, just straightening out the sheets. And that felt good. I think it was a Febreeze thing. I mean, they did that as a reward. And I thought, Okay, why don't you try that. And she says, George, it worked the next day. It worked. I can't believe it. Specifically thinking about the reward. I did this on the bed, and it smoothed out. And I felt good. I smiled. Well, okay, good. The smile is the reward too. So we have a hard time building in new habits that we know we need to have. Because we don't understand that we need a trigger. We need to do the routine because you know, it's important. And we need to create that little reward. And after that becomes a habit, you're done. You're done. Because every time today, when I go into a meeting, I always ask, what's the purpose? And what's the desired outcome of that meeting? I always ask it's a habit for me. And at the end, I always say it's time for Hansha, which is Japanese for reflection. Okay, what went well, during this meeting? What can we do better? How do we build that in for next time, and we improve our meetings each time. So that's just my meeting routines. But the habits make the difference. And so when I start with somebody, what, what we're doing is we're learning. And when we're learning, I'm saying, Are you satisfied with everything? You know, the way life is? Or would you like to improve something? And of course, we bring up the Taiichi Ohno no problem is the biggest problem of all? Yeah, okay, if you're, if you don't have a problem you want to fix then then I'm really no good to you. But let's, let's fix something, let's break it up, let's make sure we have little habits that we put together, maybe that'll create a routine, maybe that falls into a system that we built for you. Okay, so this is excellent when they can see how all this comes together. And they're excited about it, and then they transfer it to others. So I just think it's those little learning bits that make all the sense in the world.
Well, there's one other thing that you said there that I think I like to just stop on. And that's for your students that you talked to make the bed and then smooth out the sheets. And take a moment to reflect that you did this and that you're enjoying it and that the smile is the reward. You had said earlier that it's really important to, you know, go to the Gemba. And that being get into the students mind and understand what they're starting with. Right, this kind of thing. And I think it's a really interesting concept to say, maybe that going to the Gemba is getting into our own mind for a minute. And just stop for a second. And appreciate why you appreciated the reflection again, but saying, hey, you know, understand what you're out for here and understand what you just created for yourself. And take a moment, I used to be a chef. I was so I was a I was a classically trained chef, before I went back to business school. And what's the most important thing that a chef can do throughout that, that experiences if you're not tasting, you're not in control of the process? You have to stop and enjoy. Your own soup for a minute, if you're going to truly understand is it ready to go out? You have to look at it and say is this beautiful? What I just created here? You have to take a moment. And I think that's also part of sort of empathy when we're dealing with other people see it from their perspective. Appreciate it for a moment for what it is take a moment to be there with the person but you know, and this is where I'm like be there for a moment with yourself because I'm I was always really bad at that. I would do something meaningful. And I would steamroll right past it. Right. I wouldn't take praise for it. I wouldn't. Very bad at saying You're welcome. These kinds of things. You have to take a moment and say we just did something for a minute here, let's just put pause and realize, we got to the milestone we thought we were gonna get it because that gives us fuel for the next time we make the push. And the next time we do the next piece of effort,
That's called celebration, but we have to celebrate. Yeah. And being grateful. Look, that's all preparing your mind. And that's preparing yourself to be a better person, which you can then translate to others. So all of this is all teachings that you can apply to work. The customer, really, we got to turn this into value-added, we've run a business, we can't go home and say, Hey, I did this, I smoothed my bed. And now I want you to pay more for that product. No. So all of this is part of the little steps that it takes for them to say, Hey, I did this at home. Why can I do this at work? What's wrong with doing five paths? In a way, where there's a trigger? Five minutes before the end of the shift? Everybody does a five-minute 5S and we give each other a high five before we leave nothing wrong? Unless you're in COVID times, then maybe it's an elbow bump, you know?
Yeah. Well, it's been really enlightening to hear your perspectives on this stuff. And I hope we can do it again, because I'm having a lot of fun. And I'm learning through this conversation. So thank you very much for that. I want to make sure that people know how they can get involved with your thinking, how you'd like to be contacted, if somebody is inspired to reach out.
So my name is George Trachilis, they can go to georgetrachilis.com, they can contact me if they want to talk to me, or, you know, book me for a meeting and my calendars right there. That's the best way. Also, there's resources like the Harada Method I mentioned, you can go to finditgeorge.com, which is a great place that I'm building up now. And anybody can type something like A3, and they will have examples of A3s there. But if you type Harada, you'll get the five, five worksheets to use in the Harada Method. If you buy the book, I don't have anything to do with the book. But I promote the book. And those five worksheets are in there. So type Harada and download them for free.
Great, we'll make sure to put those links in the show notes so that everybody has quick access to them. One piece of advice from George Trachilis.
Yeah, and you know what I put it as a quote on my website, too. I've been where you are Tim, and I thought I've got so much to offer. You know, these executives, they just, sometimes they just don't see what I see. The key is to have an open enough relationship with these people where you can ask a question, and you ask a question to learn. And you can ask a question to teach. And in those situations, you're going to have to ask a question to teach, you're gonna have to figure out what that question is, that will allow you to not be offensive. Because Lord knows we can be offensive in what we're asking, and come across in a way that's very respectful, but gets your point across. But it's a question. They don't have to answer it. So many times. They're thinking short-term. And the question can simply be, are we thinking about the long term and the ramifications of doing this? Six months from now, versus what we get today? So, you know, I my quote was always just ask questions. Sooner or later, you'll become a teacher.
Once again, hey, thank you for for doing this. It was fantastic to spend some time with you. And we'll do it again. I'll talk to you real soon. Thank you so much for listening to Sweet on Leadership. If you found today's podcast valuable, consider visiting our website and signing up for the companion newsletter. You can find the link in the show notes. If like us, you think it's important to bring new ideas and skills into the practice of leadership. Please give us a positive rating and review on Apple podcasts. This helps us spread the word to other committed leaders. And you can spread the word to by sharing this with your friends, teams and colleagues. Thanks again for listening. And be sure to tune in in two weeks time for another episode of Sweet on Leadership. In the meantime, I'm your host, Tim sweet, encouraging you to keep on leading.
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