“Kaizen is a compound of two Japanese words that together translate as “good change” or “improvement.” However, Kaizen has come to mean “continuous improvement” through its association with lean methodology and principles.
Kaizen has its origins in post-World War II Japanese quality circles. These circles or groups of workers focused on preventing defects at Toyota. They were developed partly in response to American management and productivity consultants who visited the country, especially W. Edwards Deming, who argued that quality control should be put more directly in the hands of line workers. Kaizen was brought to the West and popularized by Masaaki Imai via his book Kaizen: The Key to Japan’s Competitive Success in 1986.”
Taken from an article on https://searcherp.techtarget.com/definition/kaizen-or-continuous-improvement
Like slipping off the top rung of a ladder we can only fall to the level of our self-image; level of training; and personal creed.
But… just like getting to the top of that ladder… rung by rung… improving your self-image; your level of personal training; and your personal creed can be accomplished one rung; one rep; one step at a time.
The “trick” being… the more concise; the more detailed; the more vivid you can make your goal the easier it is to see what you need to work on to be able to realize that goal.
Saying, “I’m gonna lose weight” is really quite vague. Saying, “I will lose one pound a week for the next thirty weeks” is really quite specific.
Then you would have to ask the question, “How do I lose one pound a week?”
And in today’s ease of access to good information, via Google, you’d sit down, research losing weight, get frustrated with having to wade through SO MUCH information, then… being determined to make a change… you settle on two or three articles that seem to make sense to you, and you start your losing weight journey.
You have just… “set up your ladder.”
You have created a new mental self image that you will work to make a reality; you have increased your training by learning about quality calories and what it takes to manage the calories you take in, versus the calories that you burn off daily while working toward your 1 pound a week goal; and your personal creed…
You probably have never thought about a personal creed.
What is a personal creed?
But just like an exercise and diet plan; and your self image; as you develop as an Emerging Man you will have to look at what it is you think your manly code is… and adjust it accordingly… being as specific as you can be.
You might be thinking, “I don’t think I have a personal creed.”
When asked today, most men can’t answer that question.
I grew up with a John Wayne; Lone Ranger type of code, with a dash of flavor added by learning about ancient Samurai warriors.
It was a simple three words.
“Duty, Discipline, and Honor.”
I had the Cowboy Samurai picture in my head provided by the movies… and I had the the three words… but what is the problem with those three words?
They are… vague.
I never felt like I attained to the three.
As I’ve grown as a man, and learned how important it is to learn as you go; garner new information; and then… the critical rung needing to be grasped… is applying that new information to your daily life.
The creed has to be specific… to you.
In the last year or so, I’ve reviewed my past… looking for a specific event; reaction; or behavior of mine that might help me determine what my true, inner creed may be.
The thing that struck me the most in my search was a bible verse.
“While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me.” ~ John 17:12
“… I protected them and kept them safe…”
I’ve never been a scary person.
As I aged out of my teens… where, lets face it… mistakes were made… and aged into being a husband and dad at the early age of twenty, and then finding work at a residential program for at risk teenage boys… one main theme revealed itself to me… if you are with me, you are safe.
I will do my level best to keep you safe.
I did it with my own kids. I did it with the young men who were “at risk”, I did it with the baseball players for our city youth programs…
as I was writing this article a memory came back to illustrate my point.
During one of our baseball tournaments I had to leave the ball diamond about mid-day. I was returning just shy of supper time; I believe I was gone from the main diamond, checking on some games being held at the high school diamond across town; when I pulled into the main diamond parking lot I could see a police car.
As I made my way to the concession stand to talk to the officer, one of our moms came up and said, “Nothing ever happens when you’re here. You leave for a minute and people lose their mind.”
When I’m around things are calm.
Because I am calm.
Because I am calm, you are safe.
Looking back at my journals; my past jobs; my past volunteer efforts; looking at my adult children; looking at my wife and our relationship; when I get involved with something, it gets organized, standardized, and… safer.
Being specific then with, “while they are with me I keep them safe” actually helps me attain to the original three.
It’s my duty; my discipline; and my honor… to stand in the gap, between you… and anything that might otherwise harm you.
As men, one of the fundamental reasons for our physical strength is to keep “the tribe” safe.
I know people feel safe around me; or appreciate me on a work team; they can see me being steady. I’m not scary.
Do you have a creed?
Do people feel safe in your presence?
Are you a calm; under self control; MAN? (Or if you’re a female reading this, a self controlled WOMAN?)
Are you able to ENCOURAGE, EQUIP, & ENGAGE… or would people rather not have you around… because, “You’re not helping the situation!”
Maybe you are the cause of the situation.
If you are… stop scaring people. It’s an obvious sign of weakness.
And you know it.