March 29, 2011,08:52 +0900(JST) Message to the Administrative Members
I would like to offer my sincere prayers for the repose of the souls of those who lost their lives in the great earthquake and tsunami, and my heartfelt sympathy to all those who have been affected. I fervently hope for the earliest possible recovery of the disaster-struck regions.
I had, before the earthquake, an opportunity to have a half hour talk to our general managers, managers and other administrative members about hints and tips of a good leadership. Today, I would like to share with you a part of the lecture.
In “Action Learning,” the executive training program, a team described it like this: “The middle managers are functioning as a clay layer, through which no water passes.” In a corporate organization, middle managers play a very important part. When you are fully conscious of your position as a leader, communication between the top management and subordinates should be successful. Being busy is just an excuse.
Middle managers of our company play two important roles. One is from the management aspect; to exercise a strong leadership and achieve the organizational goals. The second is a role as a professional player; to contribute to the business performance with their advanced expertise.
Whichever role they may play, managers should understand the President’s visions and the corporate principles, set a good example to inspire others, and teach and develop the young.
For everyday duty, I particularly ask everyone to have in mind the Sumitomo Spirit, such as “Shinyo-kakujitsu,” “Fusu-furi” and “Jiri-rita Koshi-ichinyo,” meaning “place importance on integrity and sound management,” “no easy gains,” and “mutual prosperity, respect for the public good,” respectively.
Returning to the starting point, staying calm, fair play, and showing cordial attitude are very important. Among the Sumitomo Spirit, “Banji nissei” is the one that touched my heart the most. “Banji nissei” means “to do your sincere best, not only in business, but also in every aspect of your life.” This spirit is so important yet difficult to practice and it leads the way to “selflessness” as people say.
Now, it is getting more like a spiritual zen riddle, but the bottom line of my message to the administrative members is that you are the very core of the company and that I ask you to show your spirit in leading the future of the Sumitomo Electric Group.
I believe that this spirit can also be shared when engaging in the recovery and reconstruction effort of the great earthquake and tsunami.