Luck and Paper

I was lucky several times in my life: an enlisted bomb loader accepted into officer training school, landing a Lean Six Sigma job at Nellis Air Force Base, and even getting into the Air Force as a long haired burn out from New Jersey. I was lucky, or was I?
20+ years ago I heard a speech given by a Senior Airmen who defined “luck” in simple terms. Luck, he said, was when preparation meets opportunity. I had a high school diploma therefore I was lucky to get into the Air Force, I had a B.S. degree and was lucky to be accepted into officer training school and I had my Lean Six Sigma certification and was lucky to land a full time Lean Six Sigma position. All three of these life changing events have one thing in common…a piece of paper.
As all of you know, having a piece of paper does not make someone a better leader, manager or process improvement expert. The paper serves a single purpose, to allow your resume to move to the next stage of the hiring process…the interview.
  • Certificate gets you the interview
  • Knowledge gets you the job/client
  • Ability gets you the promotion/more opportunities

There are many good (even great) paying jobs around the world for people who can reduce costs, increase profit, solve problems and enable growth. Many of you are more than capable to take on those challenges and succeed. However, the reality of today is resumes are not read by a humans, most are scanned by a computer for key words before anyone reads it. Without those choice few words many resumes are discarded. I could never have joined the Air Force without a high school diploma…no matter how capable I was. The piece of paper matters.

A Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certificate combined with your current knowledge, skills and experience may enable your career to take another step forward. Maybe even help bring you prosperity…however you define it.

Then people will say how lucky you are.