Here is an excerpt from Chapter 2 of my new book…Always Improving: Lessons from the samurai

“The purpose of today’s training is to defeat yesterday’s understanding.” – Miyamoto Musashi

Miyamoto Musashi quote

“The purpose of today’s training is to defeat yesterday’s understanding.” – Miyamoto Musashi

I’ve always felt that there is a similarity between the work of a Continuous Improvement professional and the samurai & martial arts. Not just because Lean Six Sigma decided to use different belt colors to denote levels of expertise. But, there’s something significant about the way that you progress through the different levels of understanding of this work. It tends to have a strong similarity to that of a student and master’s relationship, such as the samurai or martial artists have.

Some people refer to me as a Continuous Improvement sensei; but frankly I prefer the title of senpai. The difference for me is that the idea of a senpai is more of a mentor and guide – as opposed to a master who everyone looks up to for all the answers. Learning is a daily process for me. I feel there will always be things for me to learn, but I also understand that I have a lot to share. Let me break down where I see some of the similarities of the Continuous Improvement world, and that specifically of the samurai culture.

For example, both the Continuous Improvement practitioner and the samurai practice the principles of kaizen (continuous incremental improvement) and zanshin (focused mind). More on kaizen in Chapter 3, and zanshin in Chapter 7. I have also learned that both roles seek to improve themselves by doing what they do best, every single day. We both also appreciate the little things. We look for meaning in everything we do; and we both strive for mastery in the pursuit of our professional goals. For all intents and purposes, I like to think that Continuous Improvement professionals are a version of the samurai of the 21st century (minus the swords of course).

To continue reading the book purchase either a Paperback or eBook copy on Amazon:

#myfirstbook #personalkaizen #kaizen #alwaysimproving #leansixsigma #samurai #worklifeharmony

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