The Edges of Lean — Episode 35 Continuous Improvement and Helping Bosses Stop Being Bossy with Elizabeth Were

Every boss has their own style, but we know that the “bossy” boss will have a very hard time building and mainting a productive lean culture.  In today’s episode, I talk about that with Elizabeth Were, who focuses her consulting practice on coaching managers to get comfortable not being bossy (or to get comfortable speaking up, if they are the other kind of boss).  She also shares her lean story and how she came to learn that lean implementation requires a change in leadership behaviors. 

Elizabeth Were 

Elizabeth Were is a certified Business Process Manager and Lean Six Sigma Black Belt who specializes in helping companies improve their processes and is recognized for her facilitation skills and ability to resolve complex issues with practical and  simple solutions.





       Key Topics in this podcast:

  • Elizabeth’s career background
  • Conducting experiments and training the team
  • What are some reasons team members might not be cultivating their skills?
  • What are the solutions to help managers and team members develop their skills? 
  • The right process for the right team management
  • Different approaches to help bosses stop being bossy
  • Solutions to help the team members work efficiently 
  • Automation in the organization, Good or bad? 
  • State of lean in Kenya



  • Feeling comfortable with not knowing everything allows leaders to empowering their employees. Improvement is always possible!
  • Different coaching programs are necessary in different organizations, depending on the skill sets of the team members.
  • Leadership styles vary from shy to aggressive, so it is important to understand how each person operates.
  • Having a good leader makes team members confident  
  • Team members need to understand how to work together
  • Navigating the conversation about not diving into technology right away can be difficult, but is important for financial services organizations, and all organizations.
  • Human interaction is still important in many aspects of business and should not be underestimated, or automated out of existence.
  • Keeping a balance between automation and human interaction is key to maintaining your company’s efficiency.


Words of wisdom with Elizabeth Were

“Whatever you do, taking one step, and just being very curious, is really, really helpful”