Regardless of the size of the firm, everyone involved in corporate management exerts their fullest efforts every day to ensure the continuing development of the company and its employees.
I think it is quite normal that once we establish a firm or take over a business, as leaders, we break our backs day and night without a moment’s rest, compelled by equal doses of anxiety and frustration. All the while, we imagine the disastrous things that all our employees—including those of us in management—would suffer in case of a mistake, even just one.
As we enter the 1990s, Japanese and global economies that had been steadily developing in the 45 years since the end of World War II have entered a period of dramatic structural change. As the world plunges into an era of turmoil and upheaval with the end of the century just around the corner, business managers should brace themselves for even more challenging times.
After college, I worked as a ceramics researcher for four years and, exactly 32 years ago, I established Kyocera with a staff of 28.
Since then, I have devoted my heart and soul to managing the business. Today, Kyocera group companies employ a total of 26,000 people globally with 500 billion yen in annual gross sales. The telecommunications company, Daini Denden, Inc., which I founded six years ago, has grown to include 1,500 employees with annual sales of 150 billion yen.
Since I first started in business, I felt that corporate operations were directed in large part by the philosophy, spirit, principles and beliefs of its top management, and I have striven to polish my character, elevate my spirit, and improve my philosophy. Today, I have reached the conclusion that everything—including business operations and the course of our lives—is determined by our state of mind. When I reflect on my own past experiences, I feel this is true.
Seven or eight years ago, I received requests from young business managers in Kyoto who wanted to listen to my ideas as a person who had been involved in management and had gone through struggles. They were interested in my thoughts as to how a corporate manager should operate a business. I was asked this several times, and I realized that what I am today is due to the support of the local society in Kyoto. I thought that if I passed on my experiences and my management philosophy as a means of giving something back, it might prove useful to young business leaders and might eventually help the Japanese and global economies as well.
Thus Seiwajyuku was born as an organization that would help create opportunities for young business owners to meet and study my management philosophy and view of life. Subsequently, some people who participated in those meetings established branches.
We currently have seven schools in Japan: Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe, Shiga, Kagoshima, Toyama and Tokyo.It was my great pleasure to witness these young participants who listened attentively to my talk absorb ideas like sponges, put them into practice, and achieve tremendous results in their management.
Recently, however, there have been requests from many participants saying that, as happy as they were to be able to study with me in person, there were many more young executives across Japan they wanted me to talk to so that they, too, could become excellent managers.
I myself have time constraints. But since I will turn 60 next year, and on the recommendation of the members, I decided to establish Seiwajyuku nationwide with 5,000 young business owners.
I hope that my efforts to convey my business philosophy and view of life will help elevate the character and spirit of many young executives and that, as a result, they will help their companies to prosper and develop a level of business management that brings not only employees but the world and all human beings peace and happiness.
As I said earlier, the essence of management lies in the spirit of the chief. I believe that business goes smoothly without fail if a leader understands the essence of governance and evolves spiritually. It is my heartfelt desire to be joined by those who wish to ennoble their own virtue and make their businesses stable and prosperous.
By Kazuo Inamori, Jyukucho, Seiwajyuku