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September 07 Businessexcellence 25 who adapts to the needs of the people he is leading, not the other way round. “We work through a process of understanding their readiness levels for a particular situation or task,” says Kenna. Managers who are new to the company, or existing personnel who are becoming leaders for the fi rst time, all undergo leadership training. “If we bring in somebody who is already a leader, we want them to have the same leadership style as people who have been around for a long time,” continues Kenna. But the training is not only for leaders. “Everybody gets trained,” he adds, “so they understand what our leadership style is. As our CEO Ray Mills says, if you’re in the military, you might not be offi cially recognized as a leader, but you might become the leader if your boss is shot. We want to give everyone an understanding of our leadership, so if your boss is away or there’s an emergency, somebody can step in, or somebody other than the boss can run a project. “We also teach people on the shop fl oor to understand what their readiness level is, so I can have an open discussion with someone and come to an agreement on the way they should be managed, as opposed to having to guess what leadership style is right for them.” As was suggested in the previous article, customers continue to pose challenges for lean organizations too, especially when they have no concept of lean principles themselves. “Some of our export customers want to consolidate their shipments,” says Kenna, “so even though we might be single piece fl ow, they want to consolidate to keep their shipping charges down, or just deal with one crate or one container. Because a huge portion of our sales increase is international, we now have a container full of stuff sitting around waiting for the last piece to be fi nished.” If you read the fi rst article, you’ll know how Kenna hates inventory. Strangely, however, these customers have been hard to convince. “The only way I can convince them is if they are getting other products from Alberta,” he says, “so we can use a shipping company and consolidate it in their yard. If you ship a container with fi ve of ours and fi ve of somebody else’s and fi ve of another’s, the customer has KUDU Industries Stellar Tech Energy Services Inc. specializes in electronic control systems specifi cally designed for the artifi cial lift activity in the petroleum industry. The WellMax Data Logger & Controller provides the user with well-site current and historical data and control parameters essential for optimizing the production as well as the reduction of lifting costs as experienced by Kudu Industries’ customers since 1999. Stellar Tech Energy Services