//Empowering People Power

Empowering People Power


Quality & You

Quality must affect every conversation and interaction that we have with peers, subordinates, and leaders; every interaction that we have with co-workers, friends and family. That is why Quality is Everyone’s Business.


Books by Subir

The Power of LEO
The Ice Cream Maker
The Power of Design for Six
The Power of Six Sigma
Organization 21c

Several years ago, in an article entitled “In Pursuit of Excellence” for Personal Excellence magazine, Michael Jordan said that he always had the ultimate goal of being the best. “I approached everything step-by-step, using short-term goals. When I met one goal, I set another reasonable, manageable goal that I could achieve if I worked hard enough.”

That approach worked well for one of basketball’s greatest players. That same approach can help steer just about any other career from accountant to zoo keeper. Find a vision that you feel passionate about, and pursue it with the idea that you will achieve many goals along the way.

Companies work from a strategic vision—why shouldn’t you and your organization? Want to drive people toward a common goal, or inspire excellence? Observe every great talent and you’ll find a strategic vision at the core of their success.

When we look for excellence within our organizations, we seek out people who have the talent to make things happen. The “things” can be large or small. Mostly, we need people who have the ability make their efforts sustainable. Sometimes, I have found these people simply by engaging them in a discussion about excellence.

I also believe that there’s much to be gained from knowing your personal strengths, as well as being able to transform your weaknesses into strengths. But the fact remains that our strengths are places where we feel the most comfortable. In fact, you might say that it is our strengths that empower us the most.

Keeping that in mind, you should identify performance areas where people are forced outside of their comfort zones. When we build outside our comfort zones, we tend to destroy barriers that prevent us from growing stronger.

Let me give you a quick example. I have never been shy about challenging myself. Before I left my home country of Bangladesh for the United States, I learned to speak English. I knew that I would not be competitive if I did not communicate effectively. That meant I had to get to a level where I could speak and write well. Writing was my greatest weakness.

Day and night, I worked on my writing skills. Ultimately I completed a Masters’ degree in engineering at a U.S. university. I have written 13 books, and have consulted with many of the largest corporations in the world. My ability to communicate in English empowered me, and drove my career in quality management. I guarantee that if you improve yourself by focusing on your own weaknesses, you will find new strengths and empower yourself.

When we encourage talent, we cannot forget to demonstrate how discipline and determination turn dreams into realities. Discipline focuses our work effort; determination forces us to keep working at every turn—together, they empower us.

LEO Revisited: The benefits of “Listen, Enrich, Optimize”

I have mentioned “Listen, Enrich and Optimize” in previous articles and I'll probably mention them again. They are the main principles of my LEO methodology and they are integral to "Quality is Everyone’s Business” (QIEB) philosophy.  We use QIEB to ensure that everyone in the organization is driving toward the same goal of Quality. LEO helps ensure that this transformation is sustainable.

What does Quality mean to You?

When I ask people, “what does Quality mean to you?” I hear a wide range of answers. For some people, their answer is, “Quality means putting out the best product or service possible.”  Others may say, “Honesty and trust.” Many will tell you, “Quality means doing the right thing at the right time.” Still others will say, “Quality is a resistance to compromise.” However, more often than not, I still hear “ I have no idea, that’s why we have a quality department,” or “Hey let me ask my Vice President of Quality,” or even worse yet, “I’m not sure what quality means to me.”

Make Quality a Lifestyle Choice

A few years ago, a colleague of mine was driving his car and hit a big pothole in the road. He stopped the car to make sure everything was okay. The car was fine, but at some point, he must have dropped his wallet, because when he got home he couldn’t find it. Sure, he had some money and credit cards in there, but he said that he also had some pictures of his family, and was devastated to think that he’d never get them back.

The Quality Habit

Did you know that people have been trying to define “quality” for more than a thousand years? I found one of the earliest attempts by the Greek philosopher Aristotle from his text the “Nicomachean Ethics.”