Posted by: productivityinc | January 16, 2012

An Exemplary Leader

Exemplary Leader, Raymond Floyd

What makes an exemplary leader? Certainly the answer might be that “it depends” on the situation.  That said, one of the key characteristics we trace among excellent leaders is an exceptional ability and inclination to embrace both the social and technical facets of organizations and processes. Hands down, one of the top leaders we know who exemplifies those attributes is Raymond Floyd, who was inducted into the 2011 Industry Week Manufacturing Hall of Fame last month.

Currently a senior vice president at Suncor Energy in Calgary, Alberta, Ray spent 24 years with Exxon, led six different businesses there, and was an early adopter of lean practices.  As a testament to his leadership, the outstanding performance of his operations earned his plants multiple public awards including the Industry Week America’s Best Plant award (two-time winner) as well as the Shingo Prize for Operational Excellence.  Ray is also an outstanding teacher who has shared his keen insight over the years at Productivity events.  And he’s shared his knowledge and experience with wider audiences as well, through two books published by Productivity Press—A Culture of Rapid Improvement and Liquid Lean.  (Note: Ray also recently added to his growing list of distinctions the Shingo Research Prize for Liquid Lean.)

Underlying his mastery applying lean techniques is Ray’s deep, demonstrated understanding of cultural issues and their impact on performance. In this area, Ray is one of a small and truly exceptional group of leaders.  His pioneering human diversity initiatives in the late 1980s demonstrated that engaging diversity is a key to fostering leadership at many levels and creating a high-performing organizational culture.  His work served as the cornerstone for many later efforts to include different cultural heritages in the workplace community.

Our heartfelt congratulations to Raymond Floyd on his well-deserved induction into the Hall of Fame. It has been a privilege working with him for more than ten years.  We urge you to learn more from his experience and the example he’s set by reading his books and taking advantage of opportunities to hear him speak.


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