PDCA Cycle Post 3, Mentoring Leadership Life Coaching, Plan Do Check Adjust.

One of the advantages of developing and following a proper PDCA cycle is the ability to learn and acquire wisdom.  There is an old cliché that says, “experience is the best teacher.”  I don’t agree with that at all.  I believe “evaluated experience is the best teacher.”  It does no good to have experiences without learning.  That “old cliché” assumes that the only thing needed to have experience is age.  Sadly, most live their lives in such a way that they aren’t really learning.  They’re repeating.  How many of you know people in your own life that are getting older, but are not getting any better?  Experience doesn’t always come with age, sometimes age comes alone.  John Foster Dulles, former Secretary of State said, “The measure of success is not whether you have a tough problem to deal with, but whether it is the same problem you had last year.”

Quitters,  Campers and Climbers.  Great article by ORRIN WOODWARD, Mentor, Leadership Guru, Coach, and Author that talks about PDCA and how to use it on your journey in LIFE.

Wisdom requires that we arrange what we observe and know, and create meaning from it; it also requires that we consider what we need to unlearn as well.  American essayist Norman Cousins wrote, “Wisdom consists of the anticipation of consequences.”  Throughout my leadership walk I have discovered that wisdom is about the thinking through of thoughts, behaviors, and actions while at the same time, being able to see their relationships.  It is seeing how things are connected.  Understanding how everything is connected is a daunting task, but it shouldn’t cause indecision. We still have to function.  Professors Pfeffer and Sutton suggest in their book “Hard Facts” that “we must travel through life with an attitude of wisdom.  That attitude is described as the ability to act with knowledge while doubting what you know.  This attitude enables people to act on what they already know while at the same time doubting what they know. It means they can do things now, as well as keep learning along the way.  It implies a certain degree of humility to make it work.  You really have to be able to get out of your own way.  The best leaders never believe they “arrive” in any area, but they always strive to improve.  We should never expect perfection, but we should continually expect better!

Lead On.


13 Responses to “PDCA Cycle Post 3, Mentoring Leadership Life Coaching, Plan Do Check Adjust.”

  1. claudehamilton Says:

    Very insightful post on the PDCA Cycle, Terry! I agree with the fact that evaluated experience is the best teacher and it is essential for our personal improvements. I especially liked the part where you said that the best leaders always strive to improve! This couldn’t be more accurate. It is human nature to strive for perfection; however, we know that is an unrealistic goal. Instead, focusing our efforts on continual learning is a more realistic way in which we can improve ourselves and be successful!

  2. Jonathan Hall Says:

    Great Post!

  3. Rob Crichlow Says:

    PDCA has been one of the most valuable things I have been able to apply to my life. The require for “unlearning” is great insight. Many of us need really focus on forgetting what has happened in the past and reach for the future. Thanks for a great post.

  4. Chris Brady Says:

    Some great teaching here and in the previous posts on the PDCA process, Terry! Appreciate how you describe that this is a process of action and responsibility for it to be effective.

  5. SJ Says:

    The quote, “A room without books is like a body without a soul.” by Roman orator, Cicero comes to mind here; books, whether download-able, paperback, or hardback, can and definitely do offer clear opportunities to learn and acquire wisdom. Wisdom, then, can be applied into one’s daily actions, integrated into his/her thoughts, and thus lead to results — which can then be PDCA’ed. Great series of blog posts! Thank you!

  6. Jamie Cree Says:

    Terry…great series on the PDCA process. Though an engineering principle, I really enjoy the fact that this principle can be applied in every area of our lives…and it should be. Personally applying the PDCA process over the last number of years has really made a measurable difference in every area in which I apply it. Thank you for the awesome post & series!

  7. Justin Hogan Says:

    Great post Terry. Thanks for your insight and wisdom.

  8. M Hess Says:

    Well said sir. Keep up the great work!!!

  9. Eric H Stone Says:

    Great series on Plan, Do, Check, and Adjust. If more people applied this in all areas of their life I think our country as a whole would be in a much better place. Thanks for the information.

  10. gregjohnson on leadership Says:


    Wow, there are a lot of lessons to be learned in this article alone!
    As they say lessons repeated until the lesson is learned.

    Thanks for sharing the wisdom you have learned on this process.

  11. Gia Says:

    Wow. There are so many great nuggets here. This PDCA process has totally changed the way I analyze myself in everything I do. It has taken a lot of the guess work out of being a great wife, mother, and overall best me I can be. I’m not just hoping anymore that whatever I’ve done will work to the betterment of my family. I can actually measure the results. Thanks for being such an inspiration and guide to me and so many other people.

  12. James B Says:

    Thank you for your info. Love the Team approach with learning and teaching. I’m so happy that I’m getting involved with the Team-Life people.

  13. Is your mental fitness up for a challenge — or are you stuck in the rubber ducky race? « Christopher VanDevere Says:

    […] Woodward always describes a process applicable to any issue: PDCA.  His award winning engineering background boldly announces “Plan, Do, Check, and Adjust.”  […]

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