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

What Inamori said is quoted with “”.


“ To have help from your subordinates and those around you in your work, you must be the one who initiates and demonstrates tasks as a good example. Even for the tasks which your staff don’t do, you should be willing to do them first. No matter how beautiful your words are, unless you conduct what you say, those words will never sound convincing to your staff. By being the first to demonstrate through your actions what you want your staff to do, those around you will follow you.

Leading by example requires courage and conviction, but by always keeping this in mind and putting it into practice, you can also improve your personality and can be a better person. We must create a corporate culture in which everyone, not just those in leadership positions, leads by example. ”


Leaders need to demonstrate the following attitudes to educate staff in the working place.


1 Humbly ask others’ advice

2 Appreciate others’ support

3 Conduct boring& time-consuming routines


Let me explain one by one.


1 Humbly ask others’ advice

“ To those who lie and say they see the whole picture while running away from the front line, I want to say, ‘What are you talking about? If you’re a leader, come out and work. You go out and get orders. Don’t tell people to get orders when you can’t even get orders by yourself.’…But even so, the most important thing is the courage to lead the way for your employees, while doing your managerial job through hard work. “

→ One of our main jobs is the appraisal of real estate. Appraisers need a sort of certificate and they tend to be arrogant as clients call them the ‘Master’. Under such circumstances, most professionals hesitate to say, “I don’t know what to do, please teach me.” As a result, you can only do work within the scope of your knowledge. Also, because you can’t ask other’s help, even if you don’t have such knowledge, you may end up doing the task in the wrong way and having to start over.

I think it’s the leader who needs to humbly ask others for instruction, and learn what to do.

I wondered why our staff members didn’t ask me how to proceed with the assignment. Instead of asking my instructions, she works according to her own understanding and ends up making mistakes. I realized probably I was not able to humbly admit that I did not understand, bow my head, and ask for instruction. First of all, I reflected on the fact that I was not able to show my staff how to become humble and ask for advice.”


2 Appreciate others’ support

“ In corporate management, it is necessary to align the vectors of the group, maintain a good atmosphere of trusting each other, and operate the workplace with high efficiency. In order to foster this wonderful corporate culture, the managers themselves must have a humble attitude. By leading by example and striving to adopt such an attitude, employees will be able to learn and demonstrate the good practices. “

→ If you have pride or stick with the patterns or formats, you cannot humbly ask others’ advice or instructions. Sometimes, even though we are grateful, we may not know how to express our gratitude. I wonder whether I am watching the staff work hard and expressing my gratitude to them.

The other day, I went to help with the recovery work in Noto region after the earthquake. The people gathered there were all so-called experts, but I thought that they didn’t say “thank you” to each other quite often. I realized that I don’t usually express my gratitude either. So I decided to take the initiative to say “thank you” to others for things they have done for me, even for minor things. I thought that an atmosphere where such gratitude can spread is necessary especially in the area damaged by disasters.


3 Conduct boring& time-consuming routines

“ You may worry that doing the mundane work you’re doing now won’t lead you to the business goals, and simply by doing this, you won’t be able to make your company the best in Japan, and you feel a big gap between the goal you envisage and the reality. I also have worries like that.

I want to make my company better, but what I’m doing now is just repetitive mundane work, struggling with daily issues which come up to me one by one. I was worried that if I kept doing this day after day, there’s no way I could make the company bigger. “

→ Every industry and every job has basic and fundamental work flows. Many people must get used to those work flows but while doing those works, they tend to get bored with them, and eventually neglect those basic tasks.

In our company, I have been once again working on the assignments that I did more than 20 years ago. From those basic workflows, we can see what is happening in the real economy, what is the background, and how will this phenomenon develop in the future? We must develop our analysis and views from those questions. These mundane, boring works are actually very important tasks of predicting the future economy.

I also took the initiative to participate in reconstruction work in the area damaged by the earthquake. The actual support work was more difficult than I had expected. However, I think it was a really good experience. I wanted to know what kind of mindset Japanese have in creating the residential damage certification system, how it helps disaster victims, and what the challenges are. To do that, I must learn and analyze in practice, which means I have experienced those works by myself.

By experiencing it, I was able to think about whether this system can be applied to other countries and what the challenges would be in system implementation. I would like to take the initiative to do these mundane jobs, the jobs that people are reluctant to do.


So, to sum up, when a leader “leads by example” and shows the staff, there is an attitude of being willing to learn from others, an humble attitude in conveying sincere gratitude, and an attitude of willing to do mundane and boring work. I think that the attitude and actions of a leader change the atmosphere of the company itself.



* 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.



Further queries or doubts, please email to

News Letter subscription is here