This time, Inamori* spoke about the above motto in Kyocera philosophy.

What Inamori said is quoted with “”.


“ You can’t do your work alone. Work is something you do in cooperation with your superiors, subordinates, and other people around you. In that case, you must be proactive in seeking out projects or tasks and creating an environment in which the people around you will naturally get involved. This is what it means to ‘work at the center of the vortex.’

In a company, there are vortices of work swirling here and there. If you remain reserved, you would sooner or later realize that someone else is at the center, and you’re just going around in circles. In such a situation, you’re not able to enjoy your work and responsibilities. You must be the center of the vortex and actively get others involved in your work. ”


For us to be the center of the vortex, I feel we must be aware of the following three points.


1 Get the big picture

2 Be passionate

3 Action now



Let me explain one by one.


1 Get the big picture

“ In a company, the president’s role is to oversee not only technology, manufacturing, and sales, but also a wide range of areas such as accounting, education, human resources, and administration, and to give accurate instructions on everything. . . . Especially when the company is small, the boundaries between accounting, administration, and sales are not clear, and I think there are many cases where each person is doing various jobs concurrently.

In such cases, when a problem arises, there is always someone who says, ‘Everyone get together after work for a bit. The president has been saying that he wants to improve the quality of employees by training them, so I would like to talk about that with you guys.’ This does not necessarily have to be an older, veteran employee. Some young staff can ask their seniors to join and start the discussion. Everyone gathers around something like that and creates a vortex. One theme creates one vortex. “

→ When the company is small, I think the company will be very strong if all the staff members have the same perspective as the president. To do this, you must first start making staff aware of the problems. To be aware of the problem, you need to demonstrate a big picture of what they are doing and create an environment where staff can ask themselves, what is the problem there? What part are we doing? This is something that needs to be considered.

I think that no one can grasp the whole picture from the beginning. But we, top leaders, can encourage them to look at the whole picture and how the system works, by asking “What is the problem in the first place?” “Why does such a system exist?” “What purpose does this system and system serve?” I think this kind of encouragement, or instructions are quite important to think about the issues.

To do this, I think it is necessary to communicate the problems to the staff as specifically and simply as possible. For example, when trying to get the staff to understand the problem of pricing, first of all, we must demonstrate the example of something familiar to them. For example, “What do you do when you want to replace your car? Do you buy a new car or a used car? Where can you find that information? After researching this information, how much is the car you want being traded for? “ I will start by showing this way of thinking and explaining it to the staff.

We, leaders, should not make the issue complicated. If the staff can consider the issues as their daily topics, they would be able to get the big picture, and they would spontaneously find what the problem is.


2 Be passionate

“ When you present how to improve or solve an issue, people naturally gather around you and create a whirlpool -vortex-around it. That’s the kind of corporate culture we need.

For example, we target the double sales for this year, even a young staff, who has just joined the company, says, “Manager, the president says we’re going to double sales, so let’s all get together and think about how we can double them,” then that young guy is already a leader. They do this not because they want to do apple polishing, but simply because they want to solve issues, and be purpose driven. There must be people in the company who can become the center of this vortex. “

→ If you have the passion to solve this problem, to be of help to customers somehow, or to help your colleagues somehow, then it’s easy to become the center of the vortex. I think the source of enthusiasm is sincerity, compassion, and love for the people around you and your customers.

Some people have love, but don’t know how to demonstrate it. We all have a limited life, a limited number of days. So we should not hesitate to exert our potential by saying, “I don’t know how to express my passion.” I would like to show all the love and compassion I can, even if my trial may end up with a little failure.”


3 Action now

“ ‘If you sit around and do nothing, your subordinates and juniors will take control, and you’ll end up running around in circles. Be the center and use the people around you.’ That’s what I often say to veteran employees who can’t create a vortex, encouraging them. You don’t get people to move by giving orders. If you present issues or themes, people will naturally gather around you and create a vortex around you. “

→ In the end, it all comes down to whether you can act in this way. Even if you understand it in your mind, you may not be able to make an impact, or you may worry or feel that you are showing off and colleagues will stay away from you. Or otherwise you underestimate your potential by thinking that you are not someone who should be able to do such things, or that you will fail because you have never done it before.

If you have such worries and anxieties, you will not be able to act. Also, I think it will be difficult to act yourself unless you can naturally remain humble and ask for the cooperation of your colleagues.

To do this, I think it is especially important for smart people and people with high educational backgrounds to admit what they don’t know, be humble, and be willing to ask advice or instructions from others.


So, to sum up, to be the “center of the vortex,” you need to grasp the big picture, identify the problems, and act with passion, love, and compassion. Even if the result looks a little too much, I think the desire to be the “center of the vortex” is very useful in guiding your colleagues in the right direction. I will do my best so that the staff can be the center of the vortex.



* Mr. Kazuo Inamori, the founder of Kyocera, KDDI (one of the top tele communication companies in Japan) and the top of revitalization project of JAL. As a well-known Japanese entrepreneur, he has been sharing his experiences and management know-how with managements of small to middle companies in Japan.


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