Mother Teresa

A nun and a fighter

Back in the day there was a young nun in Calcutta, India. The situation in Calcutta was dire; poverty, starvation, crime, disease, government corruption on a scale most of us can’t fathom. Into this scene of horror walks a young nun who goes into the streets and begins helping homeless people one at a time. The nun’s name: Sister Teresa, later promoted to Mother Teresa.

What does Mother Teresa have to do with Lean Six Sigma? Let me explain.

Mother Teresa referred to helping one person at a time as “The little way” – meaning taking action on what is right in front of you. By taking this simple approach she is the most famous nun of all time and her name has become synonymous with kindness and generosity. Wow, not bad for someone who did so “little”.

Often, as leaders we find ourselves looking to far away problems and process that are controlled by others, ignoring what is right in front of us. I stress to Green and Black Belts to think like Mother Teresa, find the problem that is right in front of you and solve it. By focusing on actionable processes we can get results and build momentum. If you want buy-in, show results.

Make no mistake about it, Mother Teresa was a fighter of poverty and despair. She knew how to get results and she got some, in fact she got more than some…she hit it out of the park!

Your mission (if you choose to accept it) is to find waste in your work center, select the Lean Six Sigma weapon of choice and eliminate it without mercy! That’s what Mother Teresa would want you to do.

Bless you, Erik