For awhile, I kept seeing the book “Legacy” recommended as a must read for leadership. Having checked out the book on Amazon, I realized this book could be a huge improvement to my mindset in how I approach my life. The book centers around the All Blacks, the national rugby team of New Zealand. The All Blacks hold a 77% winning percentage in test matches. That number is strangely close to what the New England Patriots have achieved since 2001 in the NFL. The only difference is the All Blacks have put up this number for over 100 years. Year after year, win after win, they find a way to constantly improve. This is where the concept of Kaizen comes in.
I don’t claim to be the most cultured person of all time. But when a word resonates so much with how you feel about your life, you do everything you can to use that word and pass it on to others. Kaizen is a word originated from Japan that translates to “continuous improvement” in English. The All Blacks use this concept as one of their building blocks of their organization. Even after winning the World Cup, they continue to find ways to improve their teamwork, culture, process and ultimately, results.
Kaizen can be applied in so many different ways. I think applying it to performance gives you a constant chip on your shoulder to never be complacent with your progress or results. Everyone should take time to celebrate their victories. What makes special people unique is they find way to build off of these victories and reach for new heights. Run your first marathon? Train to qualify for Boston. PR in your squat? Get your deadlift numbers up. Score 20 points in your basketball game? Shut down who you are matched up with next game. Too many times in our society people are born on third base and think they hit a triple.
For anyone looking to improve their personal or professional life, I highly recommend giving Legacy a read. It’s a relatively shorter read that made quite the impact on how I approach my career in physical therapy and strength and conditioning. Know another good book? Send it my way and I’ll give it a read. Never stop improving!