月別アーカイブ:2020年02月

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Going beyond “sharpening the saw”: professionals need to learn to be free!

2020/3/25  

We often introduce the story of a woodcutter during personnel training. This story appears in Stephen Covey’s “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” as the seventh habit, “Sharpen the saw.” A hardworking woodcutter goes to work at 6am in the morning and comes back home at 10pm in the evening. He goes straight to bed and hardly spends time with his family. One day, a friend comes over to his house and sees his saw. The blade is so worn and round. The friend, just trying to be helpful, tells the woodcutter: “You should sharpen your saw.” The woodcutter gets ...

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“Boys, be ambitious!” – And pursue your dream as a future leader!

2020/4/3  

We at MindSeeds, Inc. mainly offer training programs to Japanese managers and business executives. One thing I notice, and I wonder if it is unique to Japan, is that I often meet businesspeople who are smart but lack goals in life.  These people are tricky. While they secretly consider themselves to have abundant knowledge and thus take pride in their lofty views, they also maintain some strange self-preservation or some sort of a defeatist position, saying things like: “Japan is not going to make it.” “Japan shall soon wither and die like a flower.” “This industry will continue to decline, ...

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You think you understand? You might be suffering from the same problem even after 500 reincarnations

2020/4/5  

The growing political risk is a major concern nowadays. The bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers and the Greek Debt Crisis were fiscal and financial risks, but with the emergence of Trump administration and Brexit, the situation we face nowadays has a clear association with increased political risks. Even among EU countries, nationalists and Euroskeptics have grown and populism has surged. It seems that the long-dominant societal foundation based on Western democracy has considerably weakened. However, if you think about the fact that liberalism became the mainstream after the Cold War, the current system has only about 30 years of history, which ...

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“Let him who has never been ill cast the first stone at the Chinese” - A note for a constructive criticism

2020/4/5  

The coronavirus has now become a worldwide concern. COVID-19 (source:cdc https://phil.cdc.gov/Details.aspx?pid=2871) My friend, a Japanese who works in the Middle East, said, “Japanese, Korean, and Chinese are all the same here. Whoever sneezes or coughs is seen as a Chinese and a potential coronavirus carrier.” By the way, Mongolian and Kyrgyz also look very much like Japanese. To protect ourselves from the virus, we obviously must avoid crowds or contact with a carrier, but an excessive reaction such as “all Chinese are dangerous, all Asians are dangerous” is, although human nature, quite sad. In addition, even though it might have ...

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“Oh, East is East, and West is West” – Give me a cow, and I will milk it by myself!

2020/3/13  

There is a famous poem “The Ballad of East and West” written by British poet Rudyard Kipling: “Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet.” Rudyard Kipling “The Ballad of East and West” Rudyard Kipling three quarter length portrait ( From Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository ) The poem is about the Indians (people who belonged to what-was-then India) and the British Colonel's son, but the fact that two parties do not easily understand each other is common everywhere, be it the West or Japan. Michio Takeyama (1903-1984), who is known for having ...

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Let them develop questions instead of giving them an answer: My thoughts about the importance of timing

2020/2/21  

Timing is key for learning. As we often say, “Suit your speech to the audience”, or in Buddhism, “Taiki Seppo” (Buddha adjusted his teachings in accordance with the personality and ability of his disciples). The essence of education is to tailor to an individual’s needs, not to teach in a one-size-fits-all manner. Giving a level 10 lesson to someone at level 1 would be meaningless, or even misleading and harmful. In Zen, there is a saying, “Sottaku Doji (啐啄同時)”: the first character “啐” is the pecking sound of a chick fighting its way out of an eggshell, and the second ...

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