Dec 9 – Respect for People is more than bringing bread to the Fika


First off I guess I need to explain what Fika is. Fika is a social institution in Sweden; it means having a break, most often a coffee break, with one’s colleagues, friends, date or family.

With that said, let me very shortly explore the topic of Respect for People. Respect for People is one of the main pillars of Lean and especially so for Lean leadership. Respect for People is much more than being nice to people. Sometimes you need to challenge people. You may even need to give people a hard time so they will move out of their comfort zone, or they will not grow as people. You may need to give them a push in the right direction. You need to give guidance in what direction we are moving. Both on a personal and professional level.

I really like this definition from Michael Ballé and Freddy Ballé great book Lead With Respect: A Novel of Lean Practice

Respect of every person’s development to the full of their abilities, respect of every person’s wish to succeed, and respect in doing our utmost to understand each other and solve problems together.

As a Lean leader you should:


Give a helping hand when needed. Be a teacher when people need to learn.


Give a push in the right direction. Be a leader and show the direction we are moving.


And you should help every person to be able to reach their full potential. It is your responsibility to make people able to achieve personal and professional success.

For me Respect for People is more than being nice and bringing bread to the Fika. But don’t forget to bring something to the Fika at least once a week 🙂

This is my Lean/Agile Advent Calendar. I will publish a short post on a Lean/Agile topic every day up until Christmas. I will based each days topic on what is behind the door in the LEGO® City Advent Calendar.  So be sure to check back every day!

DISCLAIMER: LEGO® is a trademark of the LEGO Group, which does not sponsor, authorize or endorse this post and blog in any way.


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