What it Takes to Succeed in Japan: Seriousness and Passion
One of the most famous business leaders in Japan today is Kazuo Inamori, the founder of Kyocera Corporation. He is the most famous Japanese businessman in China. In his way of thinking, there is a formula for success: Thinking x Ability x Passion. It is obvious to everyone that people with high ability have a higher chance of success. However, ability alone is not enough. Passion must be high, and thinking must be correct. Thinking is also a matter of seriousness. Konosuke Matsushita, the founder of Panasonic, whom Kazuo Inamori respected, also spoke about the importance of seriousness and passion.
You Have to Appeal to Your Subordinates with 1000% Enthusiasm.
As you try to lead your subordinates by setting examples, keep in mind that you should share your thoughts with all of your subordinates repeatedly. When you share your thoughts with them, in addition, what makes the difference is how much enthusiasm you can put into your words.
Normally, people would think that speaking with 100% enthusiasm would be enough to get their intentions across to others 100%. In reality, it is impossible to get 100% of your intentions across to the entire organization even if you speak with 100% enthusiasm. While your words are passed on among your subordinates, the enthusiasm you put in them is lost by and by and only 10% of your intentions will be conveyed to the low-level members of the organization.
Here is a psychological experiment. Assume that ten people are arranged in a line. The first person is shown a picture and told to memorize it. The person then explains the picture by words to the second person. Then, the second person explains it to the third person. This procedure is repeated until the last person receives the explanation of the picture. It is said that the picture drawn according to the last person’s explanation is surprisingly simple compared to the original one. The same thing happens to the words passed on within a company.
As a matter of fact, if leaders want to get their intentions across to their subordinates 100%, they have to put 1000% of their enthusiasm into their words.
Only when the leader’s words are overflowing with enthusiasm will the subordinates understand what he or she really means. Therefore, leaders have to focus first on appealing their thoughts to their subordinates wholeheartedly.
Some leaders may think it is shameful that their subordinates don’t understand them even though they have told them what they thought. But this is reality. I would rather like to ask them whether they have appealed their thoughts with 1000% enthusiasm. If leaders speak only based on passing ideas, superficial knowledge and/or someone else’s opinions, they can hardly get their thoughts across to their subordinates or employees.
I often come across corporate managers who complain that their subordinates do not understand them well enough. I can tell you that, however, if managers appeal what they think with 1000% enthusiasm, their subordinates will always understand what they mean 100%.
Managers’ Words Must Be Words of Real Gold.
Konosuke Matsushita, one of the most influential entrepreneurs in Japan and founder of Panasonic Corporation, had a reputation for being good at praising and getting the most out of his employees. Actually, many of his subordinates have a number of experiences where they felt happy to be praised by him.
However, this is not to say that he always used clever language or was eloquent in speech. In reality, his speech was not fluent or eloquent. He was not a person with a facile tongue but a person who spoke in a halting way using ordinary words.
That is to say, Matsushita spoke in his own words about what he really thought. He always spoke his mind humbly, using his own words.
Matsushita’s words were the words of real gold. They were not gold-plated words. Because his words were the words of real gold, Matsushita could always impress other people even if he said the same thing every time or if he used just ordinary words rather than elaborate expressions. I would say Matsushita had no interest in using fine language. He never tried to use witty or flowery words. But his words impressed a lot of people.
No matter how eloquently you speak, if you do not put your heart into your words, the audience subconsciously notices it.
By contrast, even if you say the same thing every time or use ordinary words, you can reach the audience directly if you speak from your heart with exuberant enthusiasm.
Making a good speech should not be learned as a technique. If someone’s speech is good on a superficial level but has little content, the audience easily finds out that the speech is gold-plated even if it is full of trendy business words.
On the other hand, if you have a philosophy or principles you have thought out by yourself, and if you strive to get better with each day, you will naturally become able to speak in a way where you can appeal to and convince other people.
The important thing for the manager is to speak in his or her own words. That is, to speak in earnest words or the words of real gold.