16 Mar W. Edwards Deming
When I was 24, the headaches I’d been having for four years got worse and I was on my way out of the Navy to be medically separated. These kept me from becoming an aviator, and each month the depression and hopelessness dangerously spiraled into self-destruction. I grew more depressed and demoralized as I saw no hope for an enjoyable future with constant pain for the rest of my life and the lifelong professional dream eliminated as an option due to my health history. (Chiropractic changed this and gave me hope for a healthy future several years later. I’ve been seeing one at least twice a month since 1996 with nearly 100 percent relief).
On my shore duty tour, for the next year, I was in the right place at the right time. The Navy was rolling out a new initiative called Total Quality Leadership, following the concepts of W. Edwards Deming. My new assignment was to serve as a leadership trainer at the world’s largest naval base and introduce these ideas as a trainer. It was a vibrant experience. I trained thousands of military officers, senior enlisted and civil service workers on the Deming concepts. This morphed into a role as an organizational development and management consultant, where I consulted to various military and civil service commands to seek improvement in their processes.
It was a profound and impacting experience and a life-changer, which goes to show you that no matter how bad your situation, there is always a reason why things happen. I can trace back nearly every business success to these bittersweet early professional years. What was initially a depressing mark of painful finality transformed into the most positive and impacting experience of my professional life.
This is the video that opened up the mind of Americans on why the Japanese were so committed to quality. Their concepts were based on the work of Mr. Deming. The video is now on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tsF-8u-V4j4