MLEThe feedback I have received recently about some of my controversial blog posts (here, here, herehere, and here) have led some people to question my motivations. In particular, accusations about common motivations such as fame or financial gain, and also some weirder motivations. So, let me address these here.

My motivations, from the beginning, are to:

I wish to serve others and do not have any desire to assume a position greater than I presently possess.

My vision for Lean management and for people who work for a living is:

My aspirations are simple, and they are not about me. They are to:

  • Advance the “Respect for People” principle
  • Expand awareness and understanding of Lean leadership
  • Help assure that Lean is practiced by leaders in ways that do not harm employees and other stakeholders
  • Help people and organizations succeed with REAL Lean

In regard to financial gain, I do hope to sell books that I have written, given that they were written for the purpose of helping people improve and avoid the many errors that one can make witn Lean. All of my books focus on the topic Lean leadership and the “Respect for People” principle because they have long been the major deficiencies in understanding and practice, and have resulted in Fake Lean and therefore harm to people.

And, as my teaching schedule permits, I like to do some public speaking and Lean leadership training. This income funds my research activities and helps me continue to do the work that I do. But I have no illusions about becoming wealthy from these limited activities. My first responsibility is to my employer.

Some time ago, Mark Graban characterized me as “the greatest advocate for workers and the ‘Respect for People’ principle.” That’s about right.

So, that’s it. Please do not imagine my motivations and aspirations to be anything other than what I have written here.

7 Responses to Motivations and Aspirations

  1. Hey Bob — If people are questioning your motivations, they haven’t been paying attention to your work. It’s pretty apparent that — unless your goal is to become a publishing colossus like Stephen King or Danielle Steele (unlikely in the gripping arena of lean thinking) — you’re just asking questions and trying to push all of us towards greater improvement.

    • Bob Emiliani says:

      Not so apparent to quite a few people. You’re right, I am asking questions and trying to push people towards greater improvement. That’s a good way to put it.

      Publishing colossus? No.

  2. Chris Turner says:

    HI Bob, I was taught to challenge every situation no matter how well it was working. I have enjoyed your posts! I can share the same issues around my own career. I have been amused and abused by experts for years, and welcome the ongoing challenge. Many who question your motivations have either never met you or have not read your published materials. They exist in a twilight world where their only weapon is to stop the discourse, not encourage it. Keep doing what you’re doing because many people benefit from your sharing, and if nothing else it will drive those who question your motivation completely stir crazy! Wishing you well lol

  3. As you know, I don’t always agree with what you write, but I would never question your motives. As an academic, you are not supposed to be a cheerleader!

    Also, I don’t think the work of Womack and Jones is scholarly. “The Machine That Changed The World” was journalistic; “Lean Thinking,” commercial. On the subject, I would reserve “scholarly” for the work on Lean of JT Black, Robert Hall, Yasuhiro Monden, Takahiro Fujimoto, Terry Besser, or Robert E. Cole.

  4. Kevin Meyer says:

    I’ll admit, I occasionally cringe and sometimes I don’t agree. But everything you write makes me think and therefore learn, and I agree you’re a welcome and outspoken advocate for “respect for people” – a passion of mine as well. Keep it up. I need to cringe every now and then. Keeps me young and thinking.

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