The Last Lecture, Football, and Lean

I just finished the great book, The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch.  One of my favorite parts was where he describes his football coach when he was a kid. 

He explains how all of the kids arrived on the field only to find there were no footballs.  The coach asked them how many players are on the field at a time.  Answer = 22 (two teams of 11).  He then asked them how many footballs are on the field at the time.  Answer = 1.  The coach advised the kids he was going to teach them what the other 21 players are doing and not just the ball carrier.

The coach focused on fundamentals.  Lean improvements are built on fundamentals.  Ever have a client want to implement a cell when they don’t even have a reliable method?  Frequent “small plays” of incremental improvements will transform your organization better than always looking for the big glories as the kicker or quarterback! 

Take a moment for some relentless hansei and think where you might have strayed from the fundamentals.

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Filed under Encouragement, Improve With Lean, Learn Leadership, Project Management

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