Michelle Kumbier: The Woman Behind The Harley

Posted by on Jan 17, 2015

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michelle kumbierKey Lesson: Invest in yourself and others by encouraging lifelong learning; lead by example.

This week’s Grounded Leader, Michelle Kumbier, is Harley Davidson’s Senior Vice President of Motorcycle Operations and a 2014 winner of the STEP Ahead Award from the Manufacturing Institute. As a leader, Kumbier’s focus is placed squarely on developing herself and her team — in both leadership and in life.

“I believe in lifelong learning and try to inspire my employees to believe that. You don’t become a leader and then forget about it, you need to continue to grow and develop.”

In her operations role, Michelle has to know when the product is ready to go, or whether it needs work:  “I’ve had my motorcycle license for over 10 years and have ridden seriously for the last six…I have to be able to ride motorcycles competently to be able to evaluate our products and those of our competitors.” In addition to her hands-on approach, Kumbier also watches performance runs, endeavors to remember the first name of each of her 1000 employees, and recently reorganized her office so that it would be more inviting and welcoming to those who stop in.

Michelle Kumbier is our Grounded Leader of the Week for her commitment to lifelong learning and her focus on personal mastery in achieving her and her teams goals.


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1 Comment

  1. Staying Up to Speed on Leadership Reading | The Talkative Man
    March 1, 2015

    […] Michelle Kumbier, senior vice president for motorcycle operations at Harley-Davidson believes in lifelong learning and aspires to inspire her employees to believe in that. She says, “you don’t become a leader and then forget about it; you need to continue to grow and develop.” […]