Characteristics of a Manufacturing Leader

Episode 49 | Challenges: Leadership

Guests: Peter Zelinski

What makes a good leader? Leadership is the single most important factor in the success or failure of any business. Great leaders use their leadership traits to motivate, inspire, and build high performance teams around them. The role of an innovative leader greatly differs from the conventional image that many people hold of good leadership. What kind of qualities do these innovative leaders share?

“The innovators in this industry, (machining, desecrate part production) are engaged together in this huge open source effort at figuring manufacturing out.” - Peter Zelinski

In this Episode of MakingChips, we sit down with Peter Zelinski of Modern Machine Shop Magazine. Peter has been a writer and editor for Modern Machine Shop for more than a decade. Peter regularly visits machining facilities to learn about the manufacturing technology, systems and strategies they have adopted, and the successes they’ve realized as a result. He shares many of his insights from these experiences with us, including 4 Traits of Modern Manufacturing Leaders and 3 Deep Level Trends in Manufacturing.  

“Even making metal parts is ultimately a people business.” - Peter Zelinski

Peter Zelinski’s 4 Traits of Modern Manufacturing Leaders:

  • Authenticity
  • Persistence
  • Love
  • Genuine Regard for People

3 Deep Level Trends in Manufacturing:

  • Automation
  • Additive
  • Atmosphere

Episode Outline:

  • [00:07] Intro/Preview
  • [01:36] Manufacturing News
  • [04:30] Welcome Peter Zelinski
  • [07:45] Leadership Characteristics
  • [09:10] Authenticity
  • [10:32] Persistence
  • [12:50] Baby Steps
  • [13:35] Process Improvement
  • [19:40] Love What You Do
  • [22:15] Regard for People
  • [25:00] Value of the Employee
  • [26:22] Bad Traits
  • [29:20] Culture Changes (Atmosphere)
  • [33:10] Jason’s Call to Action for Listeners

Shops Mentioned in this Episode:

  • Rekluse Motor Sports in Idaho
  • Baklund R&D in Minnesota
  • C&A Tool in Indiana
  • Byrne Tool and Die in Michigan
  • Tech Manufacturing Co in Missouri

Also Mentioned in this Episode:



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