Dr. Deming’s Influence on Me – Point #2

Derek BDerek B PQ Systems Employee
edited April 2019 in Quality Discussion

It's hard to work at PQ Systems and not be influenced by the teachings of Dr. Deming.  His thoughts on quality in leadership and management are woven tightly into our company's culture and - I believe - directly impact most of our decisions regarding the system in which we operate.  Over the next few weeks, I'll be introducing each of Deming's 14 Points for Management along with an example or two of how I've caught myself implementing them into my everyday life.  I would encourage you to share your experiences by commenting as well!

Point #2
Adopt the new philosophy. We are in a new economic age. Western management must awaken to the challenge, must learn their responsibilities, and take on leadership for change.

My Reflection

There are two key takeaways for me regarding this one.  First, is that you can only expect a focus on quality to be successful if the entire team becomes members of the movement.  Dr. Deming simply refused to lead his 4-day seminar on quality to organizations unless their CEO was present.  He often used the term “transformation” as a striving point and realized that it was only possible with support “from the top”.

That leads to my second takeaway: “On the top”.  Most of us have endured the manager vs. leader debate at some point in our professional careers.  With only a few years of management under my belt, Deming’s 2nd point is a constant reminder to find more ways to lead than to manage.  In the Harvard Business Review, I found three distinguishing differences between Managers and Leaders that I think Dr. Deming would agree with:

1.       Managers count value – Leaders create value.

If you spend all of your time reporting and grading your team, are you really creating additional value in your organization?  Instead, consider trusting your team to perform one task while you handle another.

2.       Managers have circles of power – Leaders have circles of influence.

Do you have followers or subordinates?  Those who have mastered leadership will catch themselves being asked for input/advice from more than just members of their own staff.

3.       Managers enable work – Leaders enable people.

Is your staff openly involved in conversations about the vision, purpose and aspirations of the company?  If so, you’ve probably done a good job at leading by example and influencing/motivating others to contribute towards the success of the company.  If your staff is simply getting “your” job done, then you’re probably doing less leading and more managing.

What about you?  How has Deming's 2nd Point presented itself in your professional or personal life?


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