Lean Life: An Introduction – Part 1


Literature has always been my education of choice. I love to read and I love to learn. Maybe I have taken too many chalk board eraser’s to the temple and now value my solace too much or maybe I am free of distractions with no need for my ego to try and get itself noticed? Or maybe I am just older, more mature and also more understanding of the perils of a life that is not lean. Whatever the reasons I really do love to get down and dirty with a good book. By good book I mean a book that is going to transform your life. Transforming my life is my new education and I am addicted to it. I guess you are too?

This book will change your life of that I have no doubt. I would love to take all of the credit and tell you that I am some superlative Socratic philosopher but that would be so inauthentic of me. Instead this book is a group of ideas taken from the very best books I have read and the very best courses I have attended. Other people wrote this book and created these ideas. I just decided to package it up in a unique way and turn it into a way of life – lean life.

Lean Life is a transformation!

So before we begin changing your life I want to start by telling you a little story. I am a storyteller after all so please just divulge me and I promise I will make it as interesting as I can. I was in an office in the heart of Port Talbot Steelworks. The office had a dusty white sheen to it and I was stood in front of a bookcase waiting for my customer to make me a cup of tea. I pulled out a book and blew the dust off the head of the pages before breaking out in a smile. I turned around in unison with the sound that a spoon makes when it ratter-tat-tats the top of hardened clay.

“Great book,” I said.

My customer handed me the cup of tea and he held his other hand out in an indication that he wanted me to fill it with the book I was holding, so I completed the trade. I sipped the steaming hot tea as he walked past me. I watched him place the book back on the shelf and instead he pulled a much thicker book out turned around and dropped it onto the table. It landed with a strangely muted thud and a cloud of dust plumed into the air around it, most of which settled nicely in my customer’s cup of tea.

“Now that’s a book,” said my customer in the tone of Mick Dundee.

For the next hour we forgot all about our meeting and instead drank dust-covered tea and talked about The Machine That Changed The World by James P. Womack, Daniel T.Jones and Daniel Roos. I had been introduced to Lean Principles for the first time and my transformation had begun.

I bought it immediately and despite being scared of the thought of reading a book with the words The Massachusetts Institute of Technology 5-Million-Dollar 5-Year Study On The Future Of The Automobile inscribed on it, (I had no interest in cars and couldn’t change a light bulb) I found it captivating and I couldn’t put it down. After I had finished reading it my head was full of ideas. In fact they were spilling out of my nostrils, mouth and ears. Everywhere I looked I saw the potential to create more value, I saw waste everywhere and I wanted to continuously improve everything.

I was now addicted to lean and like a crack addict I needed another hit. A quick trawl through the world wide web and I was the proud owner of Lean Thinking by James P. Womack and Daniel T.Jones. This time it wasn’t a study about automobiles but a value stream map on lean, each chapter clearly describing each stage of the lean process.

It was another book that went down with the same velocity and haste as a crème brulee.

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  1. You’ve got me hooked–I need to learn more about “Lean Thinking!”

  2. Lee, you’re off to a good start!! Good luck with this.


  3. This is quite a teaser of an opening. Keep it coming!

    • Lee Davy says:

      Thank you very much. I cut down the length of it because it seemed too long for one blog post. The second part is coming on Friday and then hopefully one or two posts per week.

  4. Great start, Lee. I love the last line. You are on your way. 🙂

  5. Hi M8

    Just catching up after hols. Will be following along with your book


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