While coaching a client recently, the boss bragged about his company being ‘lean and mean’. This makes absolutely no sense, and I told him so. Sadly, we have thousands of businesses around the world bragging about being ‘lean and mean’. “We’re lean and mean, and proud of it!” They’re mean to their customers, their staff, their suppliers and to the environment. But at least they’re consistent, they’re mean to everybody.

‘Lean’ I understand. Too much inventory or overhead or operational inefficiency can kill a business.  In fact, every business should understand and embrace ‘lean processes’.  So, I get ‘lean’.  But ‘mean’ is just wrong!

Think about the incredible goofiness of this. They want their customers to buy twice as much, their staff to work twice as hard, and their suppliers to serve them twice as diligently, and they’re going to achieve all of this through brute force. It absolutely flies in the face of human reality.

I understand why this nutty phrase caught on.  It’s short, it’s snappy and it rhymes.  But here’s the problem,‘We become what we speak’.

So, here’s my question.  What would be wrong with ‘lean and kind’?  It doesn’t rhyme and maybe it isn’t snappy, but it sure makes sense!   What could you do to make your business ‘lean and kind’?

About the Author

Donald Cooper, MBA, CSP, HoF, speaks and coaches in over 40 industries throughout the world. He delivers the ‘straight goods’ on how to sell more, manage smarter, grow your bottom line, and have a life!  



Source: Donald Cooper