• The Toyota Way to Lean Leadership

  • Achieving and Sustaining Excellence Through Leadership Development
  • By: Jeffrey Liker, Gary L. Convis
  • Narrated by: Jim Meskimen
  • Length: 10 hrs and 4 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (1,486 ratings)

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The Toyota Way to Lean Leadership

By: Jeffrey Liker,Gary L. Convis
Narrated by: Jim Meskimen
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Publisher's Summary

The missing link to long-term Lean success! Despite the fact that companies worldwide have adopted Lean production, none has sustained the same levels of excellence as Toyota. Why? Leadership. In The Toyota Way to Lean Leadership, Jeffrey Liker and Gary L. Convis, a former executive V.P. and managing officer of Toyota, help executives and senior managers get employees to refocus their efforts - from simply performing their singular function to continuously improving in collaboration across the organization.

Case studies from Toyota clearly illustrate the methods that create powerful, effective Lean leadership. Jeffrey Liker, author of the popular Toyota Way books, is the acknowledged expert on Toyota processes. He is professor of Industrial and Operations Engineering at the University of Michigan. After his executive leadership at Toyota, Gary L. Convis became the CEO of Dana Holding Corporation, a $6.1 billion supplier to the global automotive, commercial vehicle, and off-highway markets, and helped lead it to a successful turnaround from bankruptcy.

©2011 Jeffrey Liker, Gary L. Convis (P)2011 Audible, Inc.

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Disappointing. Here is a summary

I have just got to chapter 7 (out of 10) and can't take it anymore. Quitting.
Here is what I have learned so far:
- Toyota is the best. Even when it fails, it's still the best.
- Nobody really understands the Toyota Way (Toyota Production System or TPS)
- TPS is hard and takes a long time to figure out.
- Even if somebody figured it out, it would still not work for them, because it's very individual. Even what works at one Toyota factory, it won't work at another. And you actually need to figure it out on your own.
- There are no shortcuts in TPS. It takes a long time. Toyota has figured it out and it works for Toyota, but you probably won't understand anyway.

THAT'S IT. No details. No practical tips. Just self-accolades and cryptic messages. Soft of philosophy, but no practice whatsoever. So far, I have not learned anything. No practical insight. Only constant repetition that Toyota is great and it does something very deep and meaningful, but no explanation what it is and how it works.

Maybe there will be more substance in the remaining three chapters, but I can't take it anymore.

41 people found this helpful

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ONLY leaders should read, bean counters shouldn't

Good book on the origins of Lean Methodology and the Toyota system. Too bad most who practice Lean, Six Sigma, etc do not take in the whole education; as Americans we seem to short cut everything. Due to these short cuts, we have a lot of businesses that after recent economic circumstances are finding themselves at a point where they may not survive as a company. The recession was only the catalyst; shortsighted leadership was the true cause as most companies raced to the bottom in cutting costs to the point I fear a large number will not be able to recover. A tool is only as good as the craftsman that wields it. Needless to say Lean Leadership is all about leadership and has nothing to do with cutting costs. I would have recommended this book, but it is like handing a loaded handgun to a toddler."

16 people found this helpful

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It Isn't What You Migh Think

Everyone is familiar with Toyota as a brand. Some are aware of the Toyota manufacturing process. Being aware of the process is not being familiar and being familiar does not imply one is conversant with how it really works. Along comes Jeffrey Liker (The Toyota Way) and Gary Convis with The Toyota Way to Lean Leadership filling any gaps in our understanding. Importantly, Liker and Convis use a narrative approach to presenting their material. They use multiple examples and anecdotes to illustrate the concepts they are reporting. Their use of vignettes to describe how lead leadership works, certainly nourishes the reader’s understanding. Readers interested in manufacturing, Japanese culture, leadership, adult education, and other related topics will find this volume most informative. There is no need to be an engineer, Liker and Convis make the topic readily available to the general reader. The narration of Jim Meskimen is very good.

10 people found this helpful

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Don't Waste Time or Money

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

If there is one business book to pass, unless you have never been in business world, this is it. In the first part, the author cannot outdo himself praising the company. Most of the book offers advice that is simple and basic, such as when learning something new go slow first. To add air of sophistication, the author uses Japanese terms without any real justification, and repeats them over and over. You will have to translate them every time in your mind to figure out what he is saying. Instead of using workshop, as in check reality at the manufacturing floor, he uses the word gamba or something like that. This usage detracts from the points being made and is annoying. This book would be most useful for new hires at the company, to give them a feel of the culture. For insights and ideas you can use elsewhere, look elsewhere for another source or book.

What could Jeffrey Liker and Gary L. Convis have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

These authors could have done some evaluation and critical analysis, instead of repeating corporate corn.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

It does offer insight into the company.

Any additional comments?

Too bad that there are so many more business books than there should be.

10 people found this helpful

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Not Much Here

Has The Toyota Way to Lean Leadership turned you off from other books in this genre?

First quarter of the book they explain what they are going to do and then never really ever get to it.

6 people found this helpful

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Well worth the cost!

Valuable insight into the workings of Toyota, and the quality of this audiobook is one of the best I have heard. That makes sense since TPS is about quality and would have been ironic if the audiobook discussing it was itself of a low quality. Puts into perspective the application of quality improvement tools like Lean, Six Sigma, Kaizen, etc. in how they relate to culture of Toyota that focuses on continuous improve via leader development on TPS.

4 people found this helpful

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Love it

TPS goes deep and the authors flesh it out as much as practical in one volume. Recommend read for leaders especially manufacturing leaders.

3 people found this helpful

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So many takeaways to follow

It is a bible about best practices that you maybe have already read but the example and tips are great!

3 people found this helpful

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how to turn around and become better

If you could sum up The Toyota Way to Lean Leadership in three words, what would they be?

Think simple, think in the customer and how they use your product.

What did you like best about this story?

the way Toyota saw a problem and how they use that to change or innovate their way of thinking

What does Jim Meskimen bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Jim brings the right tone of importance and motivation to the book.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

transforming the present, developing a better future

3 people found this helpful

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I look forward to listening to this again!

I've always been interested in kaizen and intended to read "The Machine that Changed the World" but havn't had the opportunity. This book came up as one of the Audible 2 for 1 deals and I jumped on the chance. Over all I've been very happy. Even when talking about the mundane parts of management I was engaged and enjoyed it. I really recommend this for anyone that is interested in business, business history, management or just enjoys a well put together book.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Arturo
  • 03-14-15

Very general content

What would have made The Toyota Way to Lean Leadership better?

This book is riding on the success of Toyota and the Lean Leadership but it does not offer many practical and actionable insights or advices if that is what you are looking for.

14 people found this helpful

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  • Kamal Mamedov
  • 07-25-18

Great book, but...

... The Lean Start up is a better version of this one. Less story & more useful content

11 people found this helpful

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  • Alex Madison
  • 03-07-19

not bad but was glad when it finally finished

maybe not suited to an audiobook. the information is good but a somewhat tedious and uninspiring listen

4 people found this helpful

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  • Florian
  • 09-23-15

interesting

quite comprehensive...if one wants to learn how Toyota works.
Also interesting to see how things are supposed to be and how they actually are in most of the other organisations.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Joe
  • 10-08-14

Truly Inspirational!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Absolutely! This is a must read book for anyone in any managerial position and/or anyone who wants to understand how business is run efficiently and why it is important to spend 'quality time' on the floor with the employees.

Who was your favorite character and why?

The founder of Toyota -

Which scene did you most enjoy?

The whole book was very interesting and it was full of insightful information from the very beginning to the end. Listened to it twice in a row!

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

n/a

Any additional comments?

Brilliant book full of brilliant ideas!

3 people found this helpful

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  • Grant Hamel
  • 12-26-19

Personal application of the Toyota way

The most amazing part of this book was that it acts as your own sensai and that it is about a lifestyle of learning. Nd evolution. Being committed to constant improvement especially in a time of crisis helps you to progress more rapidly and to be a true leader your commitment to lifelong self development is critical. I recognise that I’ve been living the Toyota way all my life and that I’m now even more inspired to leverage the principles even better in my life and new roles at work. Thank you to Jeff and Gary I’m deeply grateful for your sharing these insights and wisdom with me and the rest of the world.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Craig B.
  • 02-08-19

mmm

Average listen, difficult to stay focused for longer periods of time as an audio book

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mr. G. D. Allen
  • 03-27-22

Just a long advert for Toyota

This is a very thinly veiled, elongated advert for Toyato and not much use fir anything else.

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  • MFS
  • 04-04-21

Manufacturing Excellence

As someone who has made and designed products and processes all all my working life, I find the Toyota story is at the core of all my experiences, regardless of the industry I was working in at the time. A fantastic read and dare I say bible for anyone wanting to drive change and empower their team to achieve greatness.

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  • Cristiano Santos
  • 10-30-20

Inspiring book filled with inspiring stories

Developing people is probably the most important, honorable and gratifying act of empathy a true leader could ever hope to perform. This book describes the path Toyota founder walked towards his ideal of creating a culture where leaders are sense's, also responsible for developing the next generations of leaders.

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  • Jordan
  • 10-08-16

good read. Plenty of real examples and strategies.

What did you like most about The Toyota Way to Lean Leadership?

Real world experiences and strategies.

What did you like best about this story?

Reinforced that this approach to the east and west.

Have you listened to any of Jim Meskimen’s other performances? How does this one compare?

No

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes.

Any additional comments?

No.

2 people found this helpful

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  • A
  • 08-16-20

A must read for any job, if you want to improve.

I highly recommend this book, I currently work in a contact centre environment which is similar to a car production line, and can see how this lessons can be utilised in this environment. I have also utilised, Agile and Lean in project & program management, worked in commercial agreements negotiator, as well in business development manager, and store management. This book helps all these areas of expertise.

i really found the explanation and real world examples of the belonof great help. Also, I can now understand why having a Black Belt Lean Six Sigma professional alone in your organisation will not deliver results, you need to have the Lean culture from the CEO down.
Gemba
Kaizen
Shuhari
Plan do check act
Kata

thanks for an excellent book

1 person found this helpful

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  • D V.
  • 05-14-21

Essential reading

Great case studies of what and what not to do.
I was a little frustrated by the “refer to figure...” throughout this book, but realise that a visual description of the chart may miss key points and add additional costs for minimal gain.

A great book, I just wish I had taken the time for this sooner.