Deming’s 14 Points

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One of Deming’s points was pertinent to leadership. He felt that the aim of supervision should be to help people and machines and gadgets to do a better job. Supervision of management is in need of an overhaul, as well as supervision of production workers.

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(Cohen, 2008) Leadership influences people in order to achieve the set target. It defines what the future should look like, aligns people with that vision and inspires people to attain that vision despite of any hurdles (Hughes, 2006).

Leadership is the art of helping unproductive workers and machinery to be productive, organizations is full of inefficient workers and equipments and it is the duty of the leader to make proficient use of these resources. A good leader aims to remove the barriers in the organization so that improvement can take place not only in the workers but also in the processes and procedures. In order for the leader to center his attention to the quality of the system he needs to know the system, the leader has to be updated and knowing of all that goes in the workplace.

Deming also made it clear that supervisors should not act as managers rather leaders, he felt that this was essential if they wanted to attain the quality standards. Leaders are coaches, it is their jobs to develop and enforce rules in the company. Deming felt that supervisors and managers should be replaced by leaders as these people are more proactive. One might think that the supervisors are likewise to leaders but this is a misconception. Supervision is to oversee people under you while they are performing whereas leadership is to inspire people under you to get the assigned work done. Austenfeld, 2001) Deming’s was of the opinion that it is the duty of the manager to be a leader; he has to motivate the employees and make them more focused on meeting the quality needs of the company. Many people are of the opinion that a leadership skill in a quality that is in-built in a person but this is not entirely true this can also be developed through continuous learning process. If a person is getting work down via his power to dictate terms then that doesn’t make that person a leader.

A leader is a person who empowers the people under him to make the decisions affecting them . A good leader combines emotional intelligence with the courage to raise tough questions, challenge people’s assumptions about strategy and operations and risk losing their goodwill, i. e. he does not care about pleasing individuals but rather believes in the greater good of the company. Great CEOs are in fact superb leaders and hence organization should focus on retaining their assets within the organization.

As that will be beneficial for the business and provide it with competitive advantage as well. Its very common that people who are actually working would have better knowledge about the task being performed and can take better and more appropriate decisions when required compared to the higher authority therefore the goal of leadership is to empower employees so that they become motivated and work more effectively than before as they are being trusted and encouraged by their bosses to make improvements in the system.

Today management of people is not done the way it was done before. Employees need motivation else it will affect organization’s performance. The only object which is constant is change and organizations need to make changes in the system all the time and it is the job of the leaders to implement the change effectively that it won’t be considered as a threat to the employees and that they would accept it rather than resisting it. By applying this point of Deming we will have those leaders in the organization that don’t force people to conform to their opinions.

A new system based on equity and justice would be established and the employees will not commit fraud. If the organization has dynamic leaders then the employees won’t have to use under the table approaches to meet targets as a leader doesn’t focus on quantitative goals rather qualitative ones. The ethical dimension of leadership is based on establishing an example for the people under them by performing ethical behavior, by doing this they will help strengthen the moral behavior of the workers.

If this isn’t done then it will lead to the deterioration of the organization. An ethical leader should have pride, patience, persistence and perspective in order to be a role model. Leadership can be dangerous when the leader is so much involved in achieving the vision that he overlooks internal and external signals that highlight that the vision is not appropriate. Leadership is about inspiring people but if not done ethically then it’s not good as it will create negative perception and will in the end affect the organization (Hughes, 2006).

By instituting the element of leadership effectively we see the creation of sound ethical leaders, they have a lot of power with them but because of their high sense of distinction between right and wrong they don’t misuse their authority. This point made by Deming expresses the need for a leader to apply the ethical behavior model to them that includes moral sensitivity, moral judgment and moral motivation. So when a leader examines the consequences of ones action and then performing the best possible course of action and together with this he also inspires employees to be ethical in their approach.

By working in this manner the leader is being ethical. If leaders are ethical in their conduct then they could do wonders for the company. The customers of today competitive environment associate great worth to companies that are ethical and to institute this sort of environment in the company we need the presence of moral leaders. This point of Deming urges to replace supervisors with leaders as they are more proactive and charismatic. But this can also lead to some ethical dilemmas, the leader is now the person who has authority, he is the one who is making the system but what if he isn’t being fair?

What if the leader isn’t living up to the expectation and is rather engaging in fraudulent activities? In this case the benefits of Deming’s theory can’t be reaped. At times it is seen that the employees take advantage of the leader, they know that he will not severely punish them and keeping this in mind they start slacking and don’t consider the consequences of their actions on the company. Unethical charismatic leaders produce dependent followers though it’s wrong as mentioned before that the goal of leadership is to empower workers in order to increase their effectiveness.

Unethical leaders use their power for their personal benefit. They misuse the organizational resources for their own well being. Leader sometimes deviate from the strategic focus and start relaxing after getting success from past performance. Leader should be rewarded or punished based on the behavior, if they are being unethical then they should be punished as they have a great impact on the employees and if they are corrupt then there is no stopping the workers under them to be unethical.


Austenfeld, Robert B. (2001, May,10). W. Edwards Deming: The Story of. W. Edwards Deming: The Story of, Retrieved 2008, October, 21, from

Cohen, Phil (2008). Deming’s 14 points. Retrieved October 21, 2008, from Deming’s 14 points Web site:

Hughes, M. (2006).Change Management,A Critical Perspective. C/PD House 151 The Broadway,Wimbledon London,SW1915Q: The Chartered Institute Of  Personell And Development.