Just a spoonful of sugar
“Respect for people” – This tenant has been thrown around a lot within the lean community in the past few years. It’s been used to challenge every company that’s ever done a layoff or anyone that is tough on someone else. Far too often, I see respect for people thrown around as “be nice, be gentle, be Mary Poppins.” Give everyone that spoonful of sugar with any medicine. And if they don’t like the medicine, they can skip it.
I believe respect for people is all about the medicine.
It’s about treating people with dignity, not taking it easy on them.
It’s about telling them the truth, not telling them what they want to hear.
It’s about holding people accountable, not letting them slide.
It’s about developing people through coaching and difficult-to-hear feedback, not allowing them to wallow in their current-but-unacceptable current state.
Respect for people is not about being Mary Poppins. It’s not about the spoonful of sugar. It’s about the medicine. And it’s time that the lean community took some of that medicine.