Leslie Russ


Leslie is a People-Centered Lean expert who combines her lean background with years of Human Resource experience.

Leslie began her career in Hiroshima, Japan teaching and running public workshops for the community around the Mazda automobile plant. Upon returning to the US, she worked at Toyota Motor Manufacturing (TMMK) in Georgetown, KY where she was directly responsible for the Japanese trainers teaching the Toyota Production System to the American workers. In this hands-on lean environment, Leslie learned first-hand how to create the Toyota culture in the U.S. facility by managing over 400 Japanese trainers.

Leslie’s next move at Toyota was into the Organization Development department where she led efforts to create a performance management process that aligned with the purpose of the organization. Her work included the implementation of an organization-wide values-driven decision making process as well as designing and developing core and role specific competences that served as a basis for linking the people systems of education, recruiting, development, performance and compensation together.

Leslie holds a BA in Economics and a BA in East Asian Studies from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN, as well as a Masters Degree in Human Resource Development from Xavier University, Cincinnati, Ohio. She has also achieved her Senior Professional Human Resources (SPHR) certification, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, Firo- B, and Profiler 360 certifications as well as a deep knowledge of many other lean leadership tools and practices.