03. Feb. 2014

KAIZEN™ story: Five Guardians

by KII

Once a village had been  threatened by frequent bandit attacks for many years. Their approach to the governor was not much successful. Finally   the village head decided to call upon the “Five Guardians” who were notorious for their courageous fight against bandits. Further they also trained the villagers to defend themselves against any future attacks. They charged a hefty fee for their service. The next attack of the bandits towards the village was a real shocking for them to face the tough five guardians. With heavy loss, the bandits retreated with fear. Then it was the time for the Five Guardians to follow up the bandits and killed everyone. They also rescued the girls taken by the bandits from the village. The villagers received them with warm greetings.

Next, it was their turn to train up the village. But once they train up they have to leave the village as agreed. The best food, best wine & most beautiful girls from the village tempted the wanderers to settle down in the village. So they decided to make an offer to the villagers in waiving their fee for settling down. So the guardians settled in the village by marrying their daughters. They also learned farming for their survival. But the guardians were not interested in training up the villagers, because they felt that once they train the villagers fully they lose their importance.

The villagers were also not interested in learning the defense believing the guardians were there to protect them. Years passed by and the villagers did not learn the warfare in spite of reminiscence by the village head. Instead the villagers considered his words as a nuisance until his death. The village was in peace until the guardians lasted.

One day, a cloud of dust was steadily approaching the village; soon it turned into bandits who were rushing for attacking. Then the villagers without the guardians could only run for their lives.

Moral of the story:

  • •Never stop learning
  • Be honest for the customers who pay
  • Listen to the leaders
  • •Create leaders for tomorrow
  • Leaders are fallible; hence leadership has to be collective and pervasive

Recent Posts


30. Oct. 2018

KAIZEN™ for Newbies

by Narasimhan Gopalkrishnan, Senior Consultant, Kaizen Institute India


23. Oct. 2018

Establishing a Standard Work Chart



09. Oct. 2018

Problem Solving



Popular Posts


05. May. 2015

SDCA before you do PDCA

by KII


02. Jun. 2014

16 types of loss in Gemba

by KII

arrow up