Jimmy L. (Jim) Smith is quality division manager at the Caterpillar Inc. Mossville Engine Center (Mossville, IL). He also serves the Large Power Services Division as director of quality support. For more information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Should an organization focus on continual improvement or aim for the home run? As a follower of Dr. Joseph M. Juran, I see the value and power of his philosophies. Juran displayed his concept of continuous improvement gained through hundreds of projects with his spiral of progress in quality.
The quality profession has provided guidance that has helped businesses trim billions of dollars in waste using various improvement processes and training. More is needed, however, from quality leaders as well as business leaders.
All good leaders are not cast from the same mold. This is evident when we study those who have demonstrated good leadership. We might say that each is a good leader with certain characteristics that make them so, yet when we compare those characteristics with the characteristics of other good leaders we might discover that instead of a set pattern there is a wide range of characteristics-both in nature and intensity.