Ownership is Taken, Never Given

A leader can never give anyone ownership of a business initiative or objective.

Ownership is always taken, and to take ownership requires the will to do so. A leader can no more give someone ownership than a leader can give someone will.

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Could You Get a Job at Your Own Company?

If you are finding it difficult to fill key roles with excellent people, don’t assume it is because your company does not attract the right candidates, but rather that the right candidates don’t get through your company’s screening process.

If you applied for a job at your own company, you too might not get through either. Continue reading

No One is Shooting at You

Years ago, I was having coffee with an entrepreneur who, at the time, was bootstrapping a software business. He had been a CIA operative during the Vietnam War, and told me about the time he had spent with a multinational special forces unit in Laos.

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Tsukiji, Sayonara

Saturday, October 6th, marked the end of an eighty-year era as the Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo closes following its final tuna auction. The fish market has been moved to a new site in Toyosu about two kilometers away, and opened on October 11th. Tsukiji is undergoing a dramatic change. Continue reading

The Ethics of Symbolism

There is nothing inherently wrong with symbolism. It is only symbolism that masquerades inaction that is unethical and destructive.

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Increase Your Attrition

Many companies are struggling to find the qualified people they need, so they resort to retaining the people they have whether qualified or not. They fight to eliminate or at least reduce rates of attrition when it is increased attrition that can do the business the most good. Retention of the best is all that matters.

Recently, the head of a large business unit of a major international company here in Japan told me that the company’s rate of attrition is of no particular concern to him, even though it is higher than industry average.

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No Path to Excellence in Market Price

Saving pennies should never justify forgoing dollars of income.

The most successful business people I know never consider cost, and only consider ROI, particularly when hiring people and engaging services.

There is no path to excellence through paying market price. A consistent ROI focus results in rapid growth and success.

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The Anatomy of Misogyny

The other week, Tokyo Medical University was revealed to have been deliberately boosting entrance test scores of male students to give them an advantage and to limit the number of female students since 2006. The motivation? Women shorten or halt their careers after becoming mothers, exacerbating staff shortage problems at hospitals. There is no real evidence for this, but whatever.

Misogyny, like all other forms of hate, is always rationalized as being in some arbitrary best interest of the greater common good. Continue reading