2 Second Lean
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2 Second Lean

How to Grow People and Build a Fun Lean Culture at Work & at Home

About the Book

Welcome to my world of Extreme Lean thinking. Once you have experienced the vast benefits of Lean, you will crave it, want it, and do anything to get it. Because Lean thinking has made an enormous difference in my life – personally and professionally – I wanted the title of this book to convey how attainable it is to build a vibrant Lean culture. While there are many books on Lean, I have yet to find any that are fun. My mountain bike buddies would say, “It’s SICK!” In fact, when I went looking for books or websites to recommend to people, all I found were books filled with complicated diagrams and business school theory-speak – definitely not the fun Lean that I have come to know and love. This book is not intended for MBAs or those interested in manufacturing theory or flow charts. This book is intended to blast open the door of opportunity for people who want to improve their daily life, be it in their workplace or home. Lean is not as complicated as all the experts and textbooks make it out to be. In fact, as you learn to incorporate a Lean approach to your life, you will see that the more Lean thinking you have in your life, the more you will enjoy life.

About the Author

Paul Akers
Paul Akers

Paul Akers is an entrepreneur, business owner, author, speaker, Lean maniac!

He is the founder and president of FastCap, a product development company with distribution in 40 countries. FastCap, based in Ferndale, Washington, launches 30+ new innovative products each year and is regarded as a model Lean manufacturer.

The grandchild of Greek immigrants, Paul was born and raised in Southern California. At the age 14 he became an Eagle Scout, at 16 he built his own guitar and earned the attention of guitar builder Bob Taylor, who mentored and eventually put Paul to work for Taylor Guitars.

Paul graduated with honors from Biola University and then went to work in Pasadena restoring historic homes and teaching High school industrial arts.

In 2000, Paul discovered Lean manufacturing or Toyota Production System (TPS). This newfound knowledge helped him and his wife Leanne take FastCap from a small start up in their garage into the successful product development company it is today.

Paul is an international speaker whose core passion is teaching others how to implement Lean thinking in their business and personal life. Paul has worked with the US Navy, IDF Israel Defense Forces, Amazon, major European banks as well companies and organization all over the world.

In 2010 Paul ran for the US Senate in Washington State on a Lean platform of transforming government by developing a Lean thinking as a key strategy for all government organizations.

For the past five years Paul has produced a weekly radio show/podcast called “The American Innovator” where he interviews interesting people and tours sites and organizations from his travels around the world, including such notable people like Louis Zamperini.

Paul is an avid outdoorsman and regularly does day hikes up 14,000 foot mountains in California and Colorado. In 2014 he led back-to-back expeditions summiting Mt. Kilimanjaro and Everest Base Camp. He is also an instrument-rated pilot and has flown his plane all over the world, including 3 North Atlantic crossings in a single engine aircraft.

Paul has written two books, “2 Second Lean” and “Lean Health”, and is currently writing “Lean Travel”.

Reader Testimonials

Randall Benson
Randall Benson

Lean Consultant and author of The Quest Effect

This is the story of Paul Akers’ personal quest to create a Lean company, complete with his agonizing call to adventure, exploring new possibilities (in Japan, at FastCap and in his life), his path of mistakes and revelations, and eventually achieving the prize - the truth about the heart and soul of Lean...

Holly Duckworth, Ph.D.
Holly Duckworth, Ph.D.

Kaiser Aluminum Vice President of Continuous Improvement

This is awesome. Love all the photos. Love the home applications. If all Lean ‘gurus’ practiced what they preached. ….hmmmm….

Gary S. Jensen
Gary S. Jensen

Mayor, City of Ferndale, Washington

I met Paul Akers of FastCap more than one year ago. Paul personally visited the City of Ferndale and spent time with employees teaching the concepts of “Lean.” We have continued Paul’s teaching and embrace and use the Lean principles he writes so eloquently about in 2 Second Lean on a daily basis...Every city should explore what LEAN can do!”

Dr. Nido Qubein
Dr. Nido Qubein

President, High Point University and Chairman, Great Harvest Bread Co.

Learn how to operate with the maximum efficiency while creating a productive and positive environment in all that you do. The excellent examples and analysis in this book are a great primer for anyone seeking successful growth.

Harry W. Kenworthy
Harry W. Kenworthy

Principal & Manager at Lean Government Center

Paul Akers has a passion for Lean that is totally infectious. FastCap continues on their Lean journey to continuously improve. Their approach to engaging employees for their ideas is World Class and it shows with everything Paul and his team do.

Karl Wadensten
Karl Wadensten

President Vibco Vibrators and Radio Talk Show Host Lean Nation on AM790 and 790Business.com

A great book from Paul Akers - my Lean ‘brother from another mother.’ Paul shows you that Lean is simple stuff that is fun and really works! 2 Second Lean is a Lean Leadership and Culture story that will help you DO good, FEEL good, and RAISE THE TIDE for your whole organization.

Meryl Runion, CSP
Meryl Runion, CSP

Author of PowerPhrases and nine other books on collaborative communication

This powerful book takes you into the dynamic world of FastCap without the airfare. You’ll discover the powerful improvement community that Paul Akers’ simplicity, humility and enthusiasm created. As Paul notes - we have it backwards. And when we turn our thinking around, we’ll do things we never imagined possible. That’s why it heartens me to know that Paul teaches his continuous improvement principles to government...

Tony Oliver
Tony Oliver

Denver, Colorado

Everybody tells you how to implement Lean... but Paul reveals the values that make Lean grow from within your people. In my opinion, that is the significant contribution this book makes to the broader base of knowledge. Well done.

Linda Kleineberg
Linda Kleineberg

CMO at VIBCO Vibrators

Finally! A gloriously interactive book that makes learning about Lean accessible, easy to digest, and FUN! QR Code links to videos and thought-provoking reflection exercises engage you in an awesome reading experience...

Dr. Charles Schwahn
Dr. Charles Schwahn

Author of best seller Total Leaders 2.0

2 Second Lean is GREAT! Paul Akers is an innovator, who totally gets empowerment, culture building, and customer service. You might expect just a well written book that helps you to get Lean quick... well it does that, but the structure of the book itself demonstrates innovation, creativity, and customer/reader focus. You will love it. Today’s leaders are innovative, passionate, optimists. With Paul you get all three on steroids.

Gwendolyn Galsworth
Gwendolyn Galsworth

Author of Visual Workplace/ Visual Thinking and Work That Makes Sense

Bright, fun, and smart, 2 Second Lean is Paul Akers’ recipe for getting continuous improvement going and growing – homespun and proofed on the floor of his own company, FastCap. This is the voice and spirit of an authentic American entrepreneur, showing us Lean can be applied anywhere and everywhere...

Chris Collins
Chris Collins

County Executive, Erie County, New York

Paul Akers answers the question ‘why’ in his book – 2 Second Lean. Why Lean? Paul gives the reader compelling reasons to embark on the Lean journey. I highly recommend 2 Second Lean to anyone looking for answers to make their company or organization more efficient and more profitable...

Caleb Erickson
Caleb Erickson

Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office

Every time I visit FastCap the people motivate me. The Lean culture is contagious. Like most places of employment, it comes down to the staff. If the people are on board and excited, it works.

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