February 25, 2014,11:35 +0900(JST) A Strong Team is Cheerful!
On February 3, on the invitation of Sumitomo Electric, Akemi Masuda gave a lecture to our staff members. Ms. Masuda used to be such a competitive marathon runner that she once competed in the Olympic Games. Currently, as a sports journalist, she demonstrates her wide range of knowledge and skills before the world, such as explaining marathons and other races on TV and writing newspaper columns. I first met her two years ago. Partly because Sumitomo Electric contributes to the Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon as a special sponsor, I asked her to share her experience with our staff, and she readily accepted the offer, making the lecture possible.
The lecture was broadcast live from Itami Works, the main venue, to our other business facilities, enabling more than 500 members to hear it. I myself headed to Itami to listen to the lecture, soon after a meeting at the Osaka head office. My seat was right in front of the speaker’s platform, and Ms. Masuda subsequently told me that it had made her very nervous. However, she did not look so at all, and she impressed the audience with her speech filled with good humor.
In the lecture, she spoke mainly about her race in the Los Angeles Olympic Games, in which she had participated carrying on her shoulders the burden of Japan’s hopes, as well as about what happened after the event. She said that mistakes are an opportunity to learn, that it was important to value everyday life to reach a distant goal, and that it was necessary to remember to appreciate one’s predecessors and the people around you. We were very impressed by her persuasive lecture, which could only have been delivered by a person with a top-level career such as hers.
The title of this blog is “A Strong Team is Cheerful!” Actually, Ms. Masuda used this phrase in the Q&A session after the lecture. All the audience agreed with this simple but succinct comment.