Yesterday, fourteen years ago we lived one of the darkest days in USA history. The 9-11 anniversary was everywhere on the internet and while I was browsing it I remember the ceremonies from 4 years ago. During the ceremony, the speaker said that out of the horrible reality of the thousands who died that day and the collective fear that comes after, something good born that day. For years the only time New Yorker’s thought about their neighbors was to wish that they don’t bother, but that day was born a sense of concern, a need to know whether or not those living around you are well. Greeting neighbors and strangers became a habit.
The purpose of the attacks was to rob Americans the sense of freedom, of being able to go anywhere and talk about what they want with the person they want. Just after the attacks, many were locked in their homes for fear of what might happen. They were afraid to be who they are, to live according to their beliefs and dreams.
Some terrorists live among us. I worked between terrorists, people who attack your lifestyle to steal your peace and your dreams. There are people who live their lives through others, some are just imitators but few others steal your peace, sabotage your work and stand in your way like a roadblock. During my lean journey, I found some terrorists, people who try to undermine our efforts, kidnapped our ideas and ultimately control our actions. For a lean implementation success, people are the most important asset. It is possible to show respect in different ways.
If that sense of neighborhood really born that day, then it was also the day on which the neighbors start to show respect to each other, respect on the form of being humble and humility and understand that there things bigger than them and together they will be better prepared to face any challenge.
Back in the gemba, there are people who play the role of terrorists who plant the seeds of fear and distrust on their peers. Our role as managers and lean students is to educate and support our employees through training and by showing respect during our gemba walks. America is now better because we learn that we have people around that don’t believe in what we believe but if we respect those that share our beliefs, they will be there with us whenever we need them. Our workplaces will be better when respect for the people become one of our priorities, never forget that.