‘Quest for Prosperity’ by Konosuke Matsushita
Reading is my passion and many books have inspired me in different aspects of my life. But one which helped me plan out my career was a book titled ‘Quest for Prosperity’ by Konosuke Matsushita founder of National Panasonic, Japan.
I read it at the early stage of my career. I was working somewhere but always wanted to be on my own, but I lacked the courage, confidence, willpower and tenacity needed. Two attempts made with some others ended as a failure and I was discouraged.
I read this book at that time. I found he too failed when he tried with his friends and they left him. But he pursued with tenacity and succeeded. I too guided by his idea succeeded in my effort.
Even though my interest was not product output I found the principles expounded by him were useful and guiding factor for any field one ventures in.
He did not formulate his ideas at one go. They were arrived at over a period. His crowning achievement is enduring love and loyalty he could command from his workforce. After WW2 occupied allied army wanted to remove him from his company as they made war products during war period. His workers went on a demonstration supporting him and he was allowed to continue.
Some of the important aspects are:
a. Failures should strengthen your courage and effort to a higher level instead of discouraging.
b. Be honest in your approach.
c. Strong competition should be used to improve your ability and effort for achieving new and higher goals.
d. Helping and guiding competitors are not deterrent but makes competition more interesting and all get benefit out of it.
e. Testing time are important to prove one’s ability. (During oil crisis all were cutting down production and retrenching workers. He without sending out anyone, reduced the number of days working but producing to full capacity, taking a wage reduction for all. Used the surplus for marketing and carrying out the improvement and training needed. When normalcy came while others were trying to regain he increased the output to higher level. (Use crisis as an opportunity)
f. Bring down the cost to an affordable level to all by increasing the output.
g. He made an organizational growth plan for more than hundred years stating while men are mortal organizations can survive for a long time if it is based on broad principle instead of centering round individuals. While he was active handed over CEO position to another capable person by becoming Chairman and then becoming advisor and ultimately away from that.