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Kaizen story: Five Guardians

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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



Author: Kaizen Institute - India!

Kaizen Institute – India is part of the Global Kaizen Institute operations. Kaizen Institute was established by Sensei Masaaki Imai, the GURU of Kaizen. He wrote the 1st book 28 yrs ago and that is when it all started . We operate in 30+ countries today and have over 400+ coaches helping more then 600 organizations Learn, Apply, Sustain – Kaizen/ Operational Excellence. In India we have two physical offices – Pune & Ahmedabad and 27 coaches in all.

One thought on “Kaizen story: Five Guardians

  1. Excellent article.

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