Kazuo Inamori, founder of Kyocera and DDI Corporation (now KDDI), Japan, talks about his management philosophy in the book A Passion for Success.
The book explains the factors that lead a company to success; the same factors may very well be relevant for individual success as well.
Inamori-san’s formula of success is:
Success = Ability x Effort x Attitude
of which he considers Attitude as being the most important.
He emphasizes the importance of the Ability to overcome oneself, to Focus the Intellect. Mindful focus or voluntary conscious attention, yuui chuui (有意注意) in Japanese, is the key. Says Inamori-san: Intellect is the rational part of the mind that reasons and judges. In order to use it you have to focus it like sunlight through a lens to start a fire.
He talks about the need to drive oneself to the limit with a spirit of urgency or kikikan (危機感).
All the same, one must not be a banyuu (蛮勇) or reckless fool, but be prepared for challenges that may come one’s way.
According to Inamori-san, business relations can be heaven or hell, depending on whether you view them as win-lose, zero-sum or win-win opportunities.
Follow your philosophy, he says. However, the suji – line of reasoning or philosophy that a person uses to make decisions – should be a line that follows the human way. Profit or mouke (儲け) – a Kanji (character) that is a combination of the characters for shinjiru (to trust) & mono (person) – is about trusting people and earning the customers’ respect.
The book also talks of the concept of Amoeba Management where the company is divided into small profit centers or “amoebas” with a leader as a nucleus to motivate and ignite passion of the team, “like a starter that has to be turned on to start the car.”
Wrestle in the center of the ring, is Inamori-san’s advice. We must act on challenges immediately and not wait to be pushed to the edge of a deadline. This gives us enough time and room to make our moves, he says.
An interesting concept is the Compa, a word that comes from the word “companions”. Managers and employees meet in an informal atmosphere after hours. It fosters fellowship and enjoyment; it is also a place for education, frank discussion, brain storming and sharing dreams. A place and opportunity to discuss “outrageous ideas” in an “ultra-optimistic” fashion.