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About Panasonic

Konosuke Matsushita on Human Development

2. Seeing People’s Strengths

The key to managing people successfully is sincerity.

If there is any one key to managing people successfully, it is to treat them with total sincerity.

Specifically, it is necessary to see each person’s strengths.

An extreme example is how Hideyoshi Toyotomi and Mitsuhide Akechi saw their overlord, Nobunaga Oda.

Hideyoshi saw Nobunaga’s strengths.

Although Mitsuhide is also regarded as having been very sincere, he always looked at Nobunaga’s weaknesses.

Hideyoshi saw Nobunaga’s strengths and could identify with them.

Mitsuhide saw Nobunaga’s weaknesses and wanted to correct them.

From Nobunaga’s perspective, which do you think was better?

You might think that he should have been happy to hear Mitsuhide’s opinions.

But that’s not how he felt.

He thought that Mitsuhide was constantly nagging him.

In contrast, he felt Hideyoshi was more like himself, and praised him for it.

It made Nobunaga very happy, especially because it was not just flattery.

Hideyoshi was able to see Nobunaga’s strong points.

Employees have strengths as well as weaknesses.

Discovering someone’s weaknesses doesn’t make me happy.

And no one is happy to have their weaknesses pointed out.

But everyone has strengths.

If you can see someone’s strengths, you will think what a wonderful person he is.

And if you ask him to do something, he will do his best to please you and reinforce your high opinion of him.

You have to approach people with sincerity.

If you try to see each person’s strengths, you will be able to manage many people successfully.

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