I’ve learned that making a ‘living’ is not the same thing as ‘making a life’.
– Maya Angelou
A 2011 Gallup poll showed that a third of working adults felt like they were strapped for time. This percentage went up as education and income increased, roughly corresponding to increased professional responsibilities. As perceived lack of time increased, the negative impact on people’s personal life also increased dramatically, creating the “imbalance” that so many selfhelp books try to remediate.
Instead of trying to create a balanced life with existing inputs and outputs, shouldn’t we instead look at the root cause of the imbalance and attack it at the source? If we can reduce the inputs by simplifying personal and professional leadership, we can create more time and more focus for our tasks. Creating more time and more focus results in fewer necessary outputs, allowing balance to simply happen. This is what happened on my leadership journey—a journey where I discovered how Lean and Zen concepts can eliminate the unnecessary and create an improved, balanced leadership framework.
My goal with this book is to provide a personal and professional leadership guide for the new or struggling leader that creates balance and efficiency by leveraging the simplicity concepts of Zen and the continuous improvement, problem solving, and respect for people attributes of Lean. The Simple Leader is a collection of concepts and ideas I have discovered and developed over time. I do not claim to be the originator of any of them, but by bringing them all together in one place, I hope to make your leadership journey smoother and more successful.