My Favorite Mistake: 30: Isao Yoshino & Katie Anderson on Mistakes, Leadership, Learning, and Culture

Toyota veteran Yoshino and business consultant Anderson… Japanese and American learning together.

Show notes:

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Joining me for Episode #30 is Katie Anderson, the author of the book Learning to Lead, Leading to Learn: Lessons from Toyota Leader Isao Yoshino on a Lifetime of Continuous Learning. We are also joined by Mr. Yoshino, the subject of the book, who joined us from Japan. You can download a sample chapter via Katie’s website.

I get the very unique opportunity to ask each of them about their “favorite mistake.” Mr. Yoshino tells a story from his early days at Toyota, where he learned the importance of not blaming individuals for systemic problems. He later retired from Toyota after nearly 40 years of work in Japan and the United States.

Katie then tells a story, from early in her career, about being a “bull in a china shop” during meetings and getting feedback that caused her to reflect and change.

We then talk about lessons from Toyota and their book, including the importance of creating a culture where it’s safe for people to speak up about mistakes — either in a factory or in a hospital. Why is it important for leaders to create the conditions for people to be successful? Why should leaders take responsibility when mistakes happen? Why is intentional reflection the key to learning?

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