English is not just a Language, It’s a Mindset

Many Japanese companies, and not just foreign companies, are pushing their employees to improve English–some more than others. Many people struggle with the grammar, pronunciation and endless nuances of vocabulary, and wonder why they must suffer through this even though their current job involves little or no direct interaction with people who speak the language. They may be missing the point. Learning language is just as much about changing mindset as learning the functional aspects of communication. Continue reading


Why doesn’t my leadership team bring new ideas to me? The “wa” of Confrontation

CEOs often ask me this question, as most would like their team to propose ideas and alternatives to them.In Japanese culture, proposing an idea can be viewed as suggesting you know better than your boss, and that you disagree with his or her point of view. At best this can be interpreted as impertinence, at worst as insubordination. Continue reading


The Fallacy of Monetary Incentives

Most leaders view monetary incentives as the most important driver of performance, whereas most employees view it as the least important. Monetary incentives reduce performance to an economic transaction—an offer for a price—which he or she may accept or walk away from. Continue reading


You Cultivate Leaders, Not Train them

Leadership training does not work. Click To Tweet

You improve leadership capability through coaching and mentoring leaders in their current leadership roles, whether heads of small teams or of global organizations. Learning is applied in vivo, and feedback immediate. Continue reading