Artwork for podcast Life as Leadership: Where Leaders Gather to Grow Together
Take Your Lean Systems to the Next Level with Sean Fields and Michael Sanders
Episode 13519th May 2021 • Life as Leadership: Where Leaders Gather to Grow Together • Josh Friedeman
00:00:00 00:36:39

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Sean Fields and Michael Sanders are the authors of Quantum Lean: Taking Lean Systems to the Next Level.


Sean has over 30 years of experience in a variety of industries, working in many different phases of business. He is a network member of the nonprofit organization BeehiveFund, which assists companies with production scheduling, inventory control, and developing quality-management systems.


Michael has worked in every phase of the supply chain, including as CEO and president of food, energy, distribution, and high-tech firms. He is also the cofounder of BeehiveFund. He is sought for his expertise in negotiation, organizational psychology, Six Sigma, quality systems, and regulatory compliance.



  • Most people use Lean as LAME (Lean as Mainly Experienced). Quantum Lean
  • Lean is system of continual improvement primarily focused on efficiency and effectiveness.
  • Lean allows businesses to have the best in quality, speed, and cost.
  • Everything comes down to product. If you focus on product, profit will follow.
  • Focusing on product for the customer does not have to hurt organizational culture or employee satisfaction.



  • What is some lesson, saying, or experience that continues to influence your leadership to this day? Sean: Your leadership can be derived from three sources: Your persuasion, your knowledge, and your formal authority. Formal authority is the least powerful, and you shouldn’t need to rely on it.
  • Use three descriptors to finish this sentence: “A leader is…” Michael: Understanding of people, and understanding of circumstances imposed on followers, and an identifier of the core objective.
  • What is a question that leaders should be asking either themselves or others? Sean: Is what I’m doing ultimately beneficial to the product or service my organization is providing?
  • What book would you recommend to leaders? Michael: The First 90 Days: Critical Success Strategies for New by Michael D. Watkins
  • If you could get every listener to start doing something THIS week to help them be a better leader, what would it be? Sean: Make sure you feed the troops – do your people have the tools, information, and materials they need to do their jobs? Michael: Commit, don’t just support change.
  • As a general life principle, is it better to ask “why?” or “why not?” Michael: “Why?” immediately followed by “how?” This is critically important to help build, think, and perform. Sean: Personality determines which is better. Those who do stuff without questioning should as “why?” but those who always find a reason not to do things should as “why not?”








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