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Lean Manufacturing Articles


There are four ingredients for being successful at any­thing. First, you must know clearly what you want to accomplish (a "goal"). Second, you have to know how to go about attaining the goal (a "plan"). Third, you must have the requisite underlying aptitudes and abilities to get it done ("talent").

The fourth ingredient is that you must have the pas­sion and energy to carry out the plan. We call this ingre­dient "motivation." All things being equal, the difference between success and failure in life is often motivation, or the energy and the effort you are willing to expend.


If I had only one word to describe what motivation is, I would pick the word "effort."

Simply put: if you don't show me effort, then I can't say you're motivated.

Let's illustrate. I see George at work each day. He pro­duces just enough to get by. His work quality is mar­ginal; he often settles for the first attempt only. He attends the necessary meetings, but his contributions to discussions are limited. He never seems to be fully "engaged" or even interested. And as he walks out the door at night George doesn't give work another thought.

George is just going through the motions. His heart is not in it. He's motivated enough to show up, but that's about all. George is certainly not motivated to excel at work. How do I know? I just don't see effort.

Lynn is different. She usually can't wait to get to work in the morning. She arrives at her desk and plows im­mediately into her work. She'll stop co-workers in the hall to ask questions about similar projects that could affect hers. In meetings she will pay attention, ask ques­tions, and occasionally challenge the group with ideas about how to do things in a better way. Lynn always seems fully engaged and interested in what she's doing.

No one who knows Lynn will say she is just going through the motions. They'll say she is energized at work. It is clear Lynn is motivated to excel. How do we know? We see effort.

To Be Continued

For balance of this article, click on the below link:

Lean Manufacturing Articles and click on Series 14

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