(Time to read this blog article is about 30 seconds)

While coaching an American client recently, the boss bragged that their company is ‘lean and mean’. This makes absolutely no sense…and I told him so.

Sadly, we have 1,000s 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 fair…they’re mean to everybody.

‘Lean’ I understand. Too much inventory or overhead can kill a business. 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 by being ‘bastards’. It absolutely flies in the face of human reality. I understand why this nutty phrase caught on. It rhymes and some people think it’s cute. But here’s the problem…‘We become what we speak’.

What would be wrong with ‘lean and kind’? It doesn’t rhyme…get over it. So, what will you do to be ‘lean & kind’ in 2017?

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