Chain of Learning: 6 | Inside the Lean Mindset: Behind-the-Scenes Leadership Insights

Quick question, have you ever wondered what it would be like to listen in to “hallway” conversations to discover what leaders say and reflect on with each other?

If you’re curious, you’re in the right spot. In this episode, I take you behind-the-scenes with exclusive conversations I had with transformational change leaders and executives in attendance at GE’s The Lean Mindset. This exciting event, hosted by Larry Culp, Chairman and CEO of GE and GE Aerospace, brought together executives from some of the world’s top companies, professional athletes, and thought leaders all focused on pursuing excellence through continuous learning. 

Thanks to GE’s generosity, I was invited to both share my knowledge and to collect knowledge, by bringing my microphone to glean insights from the leaders in attendance during the spaces between the mainstage events. I can’t wait to share them with you here! 

You’ll hear highlights from my conversations with leaders including: 

  • Chef Eric Klein – Culinary Vice President and Partner at Wolfgang Puck Catering 
  • Dr. Lisa Yerian – Chief Improvement Officer at The Cleveland Clinic
  • Betsy Bingham – Vice President of Lean Operations at GE Aerospace 
  • Phil Wickler – Chief Transformation Officer for GE Aerospace
  • Pat Byrne – Senior Vice President for Operational Transformation at GE

What you’ll learn:

  • The importance of embracing and learning from failure
  • The power of humility, empathy, and making daily connections with your team
  • Strategies to empower problem-solving and teamwork, including going to gemba, leveraging meaningful metrics, and creating structured approaches to improvement
  • The mindset and behavior shifts leaders need to make to build effective leadership habits and lead by example
  • Being an effective leader doesn’t mean you have all the answers; it means you’re willing to ask questions, go see, and always keep learning.

If you are trying to create a high-performing learning organization, you won’t want to miss these invaluable insights. Hit play now to be inspired about how you can embed a lean mindset in your organization and accelerate your impact as a change leader.

Important Links:


  • 00:55 – Delving into the Insights from GE’s The Lean Mindset Event
  • 01:27 – Reflecting on personal interactions at the event
  • 01:40 – A deep dive into the principles of lean management
  • 02:38 – Presenting the esteemed lineup of leaders
  • 03:10 – Overview of themes covered at The Lean Mindset
  • 04:14 – Excerpt from Chef Eric Klein: Exploring the Lean Mindset in a Kitchen
  • 05:14 – Emphasizing the importance of humility and the willingness to embrace failure to evolve as a learner
  • 05:59 – Dr. Lisa Yerian discusses balancing humility and hunger in leadership
  • 07:16 – Betsy Bingham on problem-solving and the human element
  • 08:04 – Phil Wickler shares Insight on the significance of Gemba
  • 08:55 – Pat Byrne explores the importance of Gemba for both employees and customers
  • 09:35 – Betsy Bingham on problem-solving efficiency
  • 10:57 – Recognizing the value of repetition to build lean mindset skills
  • 11:42 – Dr. Yerian reinforces the importance of quality repetition
  • 12:35 – Leveraging metrics to drive operational improvements
  • 15:35 – Embracing challenges and how to approach to problem resolution
  • 16:35 – Benefits of breaking the telling habit for effective leadership
  • 17:35 – Insights on cultivating a lean mindset within Your qrganizational culture
  • 22:30 – Larry Culp’s three key takeaways
  • 23:50 – Closing thoughts on the event and inspiring team dynamics