Lead with Respect Workshops

Lead with Respect – Practicing Respect for People to Enable Engagement, Teamwork & Accountability 

Building a great organization requires effective leadership. It turns out that leadership skills can be learned. A key element that is often misunderstood is what it means to lead with respect. This learning session explores why leading with respect is essential in a successful transformation, what respect looks like in practice, and how it impacts your people to drive lasting change for the better.

The session provides an in-depth application and practice of the model introduced in the book, Lead with Respect, a novel of lean practice, by Michael and Freddy Ballé and was developed in collaboration with Professor Balle’.

Leading with respect involves awareness of our focus and intention, and how well we are connecting with people to create an environment of mutual trust and sustained high levels of performance. This is accomplished through the application of 7 core practices:

  • Go and See for Yourself: a primary skill of Lead with Respect is going to the gemba, where value is created, to see with your own eyes to begin to deeply understand the work environment and the obstacles your people face every day
  • Create a Meaningful Challenge: a key to getting people to work together is to agree on the problem before disagreeing about solutions – rather than setting fixed goals and objectives, challenge is about fostering self-generating relentless improvement
  • Listen Effectively: listening well means standing in the shoes of another and looking through their eyes to understand their point of view and the reality of the obstacles they face
  • Teach and Coach: the heart of people development is problem-based learning – teaching and coaching is a learned skill that requires a clear understanding of the mindset, methods, and skills of effective coaching
  • Support Others: the practice of daily improvement is the key to creating a kaizen culture – daily improvement is a natural offshoot of visual controls as teams see for themselves where the process is not performing and work to improve performance
  • Foster Teamwork: teamwork is the individual skill of working with others across borders – teamwork starts by respecting another’s opinion and trying to understand their point of view (which doesn’t always mean agreeing) – it also means knowing how to separate the person from the problem – being tough on the problem without placing blame so that a genuine win-win space can develop
  • Learn as a Leader: leaders discerning new ways of seeing the business to discover sources of strategic advantage – by enabling development of those around them, leaders learn to seek out others’ insights and discover what they have to teach them

Driving outcomes centered on Results & Relationships:

Effective leadership requires a dual focus: achieve great results through great behavior. Fostering the right behavior in others requires solid relationships built on trust, respect, transparency, and consistency. This workshop positions to drive engagement, teamwork, accountability, and trust!

Following this session, participants will be able to:

  • Vividly understand the 7 key practices of Lead with Respect
  • Apply Lead with Respect principles to their daily work
  • Manage their personal journey of development and growth


Through instruction, small group discussions, and hands-on exercises, session participants will:

  • Understand how to apply the 7 practices of Lead with Respect
  • Learn by doing through a series of exercises and breakouts
  • Leave the workshop with a personal plan of growth and practice
  • Return to work with a new paradigm of Leadership

Who should attend?

  • Senior Leaders
  • Managers
  • Improvement Deployment Leaders & Lean Champions
  • Lean and CI Practioners of all levels

What level of lean experience is this workshop appropriate for?

These concepts apply at all levels!

Comments from Workshop Attendees:

“Mike Orzen’s way of connecting the heart of leadership with the effectiveness of Lean Management System tools was the key that allowed my passion for who I am as a leader to engage fully.  As is probably true with many working with relatively new Lean Management System concepts, I was convinced that I had to focus on the tools, the steps, the data and concrete actions.  And as a relational leader I struggled with how I showed up given that focus, it did not feel genuine, it was not who I was.

Mr. Orzen makes the vital connection of the tools and methods of Lean and the behaviors of lean leadership, ensuring they “come to life” for workshop participants.  Mike effectively walks participants through important lean leader behaviors and provides time to process new ideas and explore new territory in a supportive environment. Mr. Orzen utilizes pictures, stories, and most effectively, exercises to coach the attendees and to practice these new behaviors.  He also supports participants with a personal assessment tool which we used to reflect and develop action plans for our reentry into the “real world.”  It was time well spent, with intentional practice of meaningful behaviors to achieve lean leadership transformation.”

Sara Criger

President Mercy Hospital, part of Allina Health


“Lead with Respect is perhaps the most important training we have brought in-house for our people. It is the missing link we we didn’t realize we were missing! The behavior-based practices were a game changer for us and have accelerated our rate of change, removed fear, and led to measurable gains in performance!”

Kevin Yania

Internal Process Management CI Consultant

Nationwide Insurance


“The LwR workshop was extremely beneficial to our team.  We have a decent understanding of lean tools, but we knew that to get truly outstanding results with operational excellence we were going to need to change the way we think about our role as leaders.  Often the results of Lean initiatives are muted, and the failure to address the cultural and leadership changes is usually cited as a primary cause. This course hits this issue head-on.  Mike does an excellent job of painting a clear and compelling picture of our role as leaders and the practical application of what it means to lead with respect.”

Rob Tracy

Chief Operating Officer



“For me the workshop Leading with Respect humanized the Lean Process. It is a valuable opportunity for those who work in all aspects of Leadership, but particularly for those who work in Healthcare. With so much focus on the Healthcare needs of our population it is important that we are caring and respectful as we lead our teams to experiment with different improvement opportunities with the goal of reducing waste and improving care. If we can’t effectively connect with our people at a very real level, all the Lean training and improvement effort is pointless. This workshop provides vivid examples and experiences to bring Lean beyond intellectual understanding to daily behaviors everyone can embrace. I highly recommend leaders, managers, and even front-line staff attend!”


Transitional Leader/Project Director ED