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About Panasonic

Konosuke Matsushita on Human Development

5. Placing Your Subordinates Ahead of Yourself

My company started out very small, and has grown to what it is today.

During that period a number of people have worked at the company.

Looking at all those people, they all seemed better than me.

There was hardly anyone I thought was not as good as me.

Because I was president of the company, it was my job to tell people to do this or that. And sometimes I would have to admonish them.

I did it because I had to.

But still I was thinking...“This person is better than me.”

That feeling made me and the company what we are today.

It was all because I was helped by so many, many people.

From that standpoint, if you look at all the companies that are out there, or even just at our own customers, you’ll see many companies, even with a great president or directors, that aren’t doing well.

Companies not doing well often complain that their employees are lazy and inefficient, and that’s the reason for their poor performance.

That kind of company will never be successful.

But when the president of the company says, “My employees are great, they’re better people than me” ...That company will do well.

The point is whether or not you can say that and mean it.

That is my conclusion after 55 years of observing our customers, suppliers, and the many other companies out there.

When you are placed in charge of a section or a department, you will have 10 or even 100 people working for you.

If you can feel that each of your subordinates is a better person than you, you’ll be on your way to success.

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