Lean Oops: Handicap Parking Space

Posted on April 13, 2012 | in Employee Knowledge, Error-Proofing, Lean Tools, Lean Wastes, Small Business, Sports, Standardized Work, Transportation | by

Yes, I’ve fussed about incorrect usage of parking spots before…but this one is considerably different. This harping is about leadership.

There are quite a few things wrong with this photo. First, this individual’s parking abilities should be called into question because they severely missed the mark, finishing with the right tires on the entrance walkway. Second, it so happens that this vehicle doesn’t have a handicap plate or placard, so they are using the space illegally (this is private property, so to what degree the legal arm can reach is unclear). Third, based on the fact that this vehicle is a Cadillac Escalade parked really close to the main entrance, it’s reasonable to draw the conclusion that the person violating these parking rules is an organizational leader.

One of my favorite quotes is “Do what you say you will do.” There are a lot of different definitions of integrity in the world, and this quote sums up my definition pretty well. Another way to define integrity, in my mind, is practicing what you’re preaching.

As a leader, you should be preaching about doing things properly but you should also strive to do things properly yourself. If you knowingly go out of your way to do things improperly (or, in this case, in the face of all that is obvious) then how can you expect others to respect your expectations of them?

There could be some explanations for why the Escalade is parked where it certainly should not be. Maybe it was parked there for just a moment while the driver ran inside and came right back out. Maybe there were no other parking spots. Maybe there was an emergency that necessitated parking improperly. There is some degree of reasonable doubt involved, I’ll concede that, but those reasons should be few and very far between.

Expectations to follow proper procedures should be applied to leaders if they’re going to be applied to those they lead.

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