Adapt the Company to Your Style

The most successful expat CEOs in Japan I know never adapt their leadership style to their company’s culture. They adapt their company’s culture to their leadership style, and there is no reason you cannot do the same in your company in Japan.

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Three Success Factors for Robust Strategy

All strategic plans are perfect on paper in a theoretical static world. However, no strategic plan ever survives confrontation with the ever-changing realities of business and your perception of them. A robust strategy is one that can adapt rapidly to change in the environment as well as to change in your understanding of that environment. Below are three behaviors and practices for robust strategy common to my most successful clients.

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change first

Change First, Buy-In Later

Buy-in is nice to have in theory but in practice no prerequisite to act. The most successful leaders I know do not delay execution only to seek buy-in. Rather, they act first and use successful results in to get buy-in. After all, nothing is more powerfully persuasive in achieving buy-in than experiencing real success. Continue reading


Cultivating Boldness

The scarcest resource in a business today is not talent, money, or technical ability, but rather independent thought and the courage to act on it.

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sales meeting

Sales is a Noble Profession

In a small Tokyo sales office of a Kansai-based company, the sales manager in charge habitually turns away sales people from other companies who call unannounced as a matter of course. It doesn’t matter what they have to offer or whom they would like to meet. He is uninterested. The office is small enough that when the sales manager sends a visitor packing, it is in full view of staff.

Yet when his own sales people make the same kind of calls on a prospect company, the sales manager expects that at least his sales people will be received, heard, and possibly connected with the right person who can judge for himself or herself if a longer conversation is warranted.

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