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About Panasonic

Konosuke Matsushita on Human Development

4. Educating Oneself

It is very important for people in leadership positions to encourage their subordinates to improve themselves.

Although a superior should normally provide training for his subordinates, if thatís all he does, thereís something missing.

Real education begins with oneself.

You first have to educate and improve yourself.

I myself am in charge of managing the entire company, so who is going to educate me?

The customers, of course.

By making various demands from time to time, saying “this is no good- this is what we want...” in their own way, the customers are educating me.

I think about what they are saying, and that is an education for me.

But that is not enough.

It is also necessary to educate and improve yourself and your performance.

Of course, I can not claim to be completely successful in educating myself all of the time.

But I can honestly say that I at least try to maintain that frame of mind.

There is something that I have recently been thinking about.

Our employees visit a lot of companies, and later I often have the chance to talk with the people at those companies.

Many times they say something like, “One of your employees came to our office the other day...”

“I wondered how you had trained him so successfully.”

I respond by saying, “I have no specific policy for educating my employees”.

“I just tell them they have to educate themselves.”

I believe that one of a companyís most important responsibilities is the education of its employees.

Thatís why we are as dedicated as a company to fulfilling that responsibility.

But thatís not all.

Each employee must consider what is demanded of him by the company - by society - and then educate himself.

I believe both types of education are necessary.

I really have no idea how successfully our employees have been taught.

But when Iím asked how our training has been so successful, I guess it has been somewhat effective after all.

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