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It’s Not What You Kenshu November 20, 2007

Posted by ActiveEngine Sensei in ActiveEngine, Coaching, Mythology, Personal Development, Problem Solving.
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Steel is forged, not uncovered, and forging steel is a violet process, but the end yields a magnificent tool. An ActiveEngine is not born, it’s made from disciplined process of training, learning, relearning and unlearning.

For those familiar with Bushido, there is a concept of an advanced study called Kenshu. This is a specially designated class where top students are taught to unlearn all bad habits, study the basic fundamentals in such detail that there learning abilities are transformed, enhanced to quickly acquire and adapt new skills at rapid speeds. A Kenshu student is distinguished by their ability to adapt new methods born from new understanding of old habits or from newly discovered techniques. The price to pay for such skills is the ability to endure intensive periods of repetition of movements, recital of rules, and study of martial arts technique.

A sensei is a teacher or mentor who selects and prepare students of Bushido or martial arts and the progenitor of the habits that will one day, hopefully, give rise an ActiveEngine. There is an old saying you do not find a sensei until that sensei has found you. If you want those skills you must be willing to submit to that process of repetition.

Technical teams need to be placed through the rigors of “forging steel”, as the leader is the Sensei who will set their goals, who finds the avenues for growth, and who guides the team members to greater heights of productivity and capability. This is not philosophical farce such as “the sound of one hand clapping”. No, it’s the repetition of basics in attention to quality, or the reflection of things gone right and wrong on a project, and the drive become better. Then repeat, repeat, unlearn bad habits, repeat again.

The older teams members deserve to be honored, as their productivity can be jump-started by including their opinions, relying on their recalcitrance, asking them play the gadfly, or by allowing them to try something new. In the middle of a crisis, and there will be crisis, the older team members will provide balance. When Sensei is not present, hopefully they reflect an image of his teachings, and move others along.

You’ll want all of their minds and efforts focused, and maybe you can build an even bigger, more productive ActiveEngine that is ready for the next challenge.

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