Konosue Matsushita

As Konosue Matsushita is a paragon of Leadership/Management harmony, it is not surprising that his path to that status was filled with a lifetime of embracing failure.

“In a pattern that would be repeated throughout his life, KM turned hardships that often exhaust people into a source of learning and, ultimately, into a driving force behind his subsequent success.”

“He was thrown into poverty at age four, lost one sibling at age five, two more at age six, and was forced to leave his mother at age nine. These events would have unleashed powerful emotions: sadness, anger, humiliation. As his parents helped direct those feelings, he undoubtedly began to dream of a far better future. Those ambitions then helped him to take advantage of the harsh apprenticeship years…At a very young age, he also developed a sense of independence and a willingness to take risks. Perhaps most of all, he learned something about coping with difficult times and benefiting from them.”

“In many ways, the initial phase of KM’s life ended on that day in June of 1917. He graduated from a difficult childhood, an apprenticeship, and the journeyman years, and he moved in a new direction…His life would become even harsher, at least for a while. But that possibility did not deter him much. By this time, Matsushita knew he could handle hardship and grow even stronger as a result. He had been doing just that for nearly two decades.”

“In subsequent speeches and books, Matsushita said repeatedly that he thought economic hard times were good for the company. He clearly believed, from his own experiences earlier in life, that adversity could make one stronger. ‘Workers must submit to many test and difficult discipline before they can be considered mature and trustworthy.’ He wrote in his autobiography. ‘One of the most effective tests of workers’ dedication and resourcefulness is imposed when their company encounters financial difficulties and must pull itself out of a crisis.’“

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