The preamble of the Constitution of the United States of America begins with one of the most powerful principles of our country, We the People.
“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
In reflection this Independence Day, our country was founded on extremely high principles and values. Our founding fathers envisioned a country that could rise higher in its purpose, standing for truth, justice, freedom, democracy, equality and tolerance. We proclaimed our lofting ideas in the Declaration of Independence for the world to see - that every person enjoys a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Over the course of our nation’s history, we have found that our noble ideas are simple in word but hard to live up to. We have not always acted in a way that is described in our own inspired words. The journey is difficult by we keep trying as a nation to follow this path.
Our lean journey is not unlike our nation’s journey. The high principles of the lean philosophy, like respect for people, are easier said than done. Respect for people is about treating others as we wish to be treated. Respect for people is focused on total employee involvement, team work, inclusion in meeting a higher purpose.
We the people and respect for people appears to go hand in hand. When we refer to our nation, we mean all our citizens, just like when we refer to our company, we mean every employee. Our employees are the company.
Sometimes we forget this and think of employees no different as our machines, to be used or discarded as needed all in the name of profit. Profit in itself is not evil however greed and power can blind us from our principles and values.
As we return back to work, take a moment to reflect on our nations founding ideas and be thankful for our freedoms. For those of us on our lean journey, look to our lean principles and ask ourselves how we can better live up to them. Most importantly, do we say we believe in respect for people but fall short in our daily actions and decisions? How much better could we build our company and our nation if we could improve our actions in line with our inspired ideas and principles? It all begins with “We the People.”