Official Website of Kazuo Inamori


Learning about the Ideal State of a Leader from Nanshu Saigo
Seiwajyuku Kanto Region Jyukucho Meeting (December 11, 2007)

Main quotes

A person who leads a group and intends to take the “Divine” road must not entertain any thoughts of self-importance.

Through steady effort, an ordinary person can transform into someone extraordinary. Even someone who exhibits no particular talents may, through 30 years of wholehearted dedication, be transformed into someone of uncommon ability. People who are renowned as being accomplished in their fields have often spent many decades in the pursuit of one objective and refined themselves in the process.

A graduate of a leading university, with an excellent academic record, will not necessarily achieve greatness in the world. It is the accumulation of effort, continuously applied over a long time, which develops the individual. Therefore, we must value those with whom we have experienced highs and lows. These people form the foundation of our company. Neglect the foundation, and you will never build a great enterprise.

When the company does well, many managers quickly become elated. They become arrogant, believing success resulted from their own abilities. Ultimately, the company crumbles. “Remain humble” after achieving success is vital.

Whether a corporate manager, a politician or a bureaucrat, the higher you rise, the more essential it is for you to take the lead and practice self-sacrifice. Unless you are prepared to set aside self-interest, and have the courage to sacrifice more than your subordinates, you should not be leading others. Simply put, you are not qualified to stand above others. When someone who does not have the courage of self-sacrifice stands above, the people below will suffer.

All human beings have self-interested desires. Acknowledging such desires, controlling them wherever possible, and becoming fair and disinterested is, in my view, the ideal. Because you have become a leader, you need to consider your employees before thinking of yourself. This is precisely the same as the mother who is willing to go hungry so her children may eat. This exemplifies the “Selfless Mind.”

Seiwajyuku Kanto Region Jyukucho Meeting (December 11, 2007)

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