People before products


An employee is a “client"


People are diamonds in the rough


Provide direction and moral support


Focus on people's strengths


Trust your employees


Consulting is better than ordering


Keep a firm grip on loose reins


Your subordinates are superior to you in various ways


Be realistic about people




An Employee Is a "Client"

Konosuke Matsushita avoided thinking in terms of labor versus management. He preferred to deal with his staff and employees as co-workers, in fact, as people whom he served. Matsushita called freely on his subordinates for advice, rarely interfered after delegating responsibilities to them.


People Are Diamonds in The Rough

Right from the very early days of the company, Konosuke Matsushita put immense effort into personnel training and development. "However much you rub it," he reflected later, "you can't make a diamond from an ordinary stone. But if you have a diamond in the rough, you can draw out its gleam with careful polishing. And depending on how you polish it and cut it, you can make it sparkle and shine in various different ways. People are just like uncut diamonds; they each have the potential for various kinds of brilliance, qualities which, if polished right, will shine radiantly. It is very important for personnel managers to have a proper grasp of this concept, and to attempt to draw out the special strengths of each employee."




Focus of People’s Strengths

Konosuke Matsushita used to say that, as a manager, focusing on people's shortcomings quickly gave him a headache. When you only look at weaknesses, every person you encounter appears inadequate in one way or another, and you end up vacillating about assigning anyone to the job or task you have at hand. Subordinates, too, are bound to be unhappy if all you ever notice is their failings. "I always tried," Matsushita said, "to notice people's strong points seven times out of 10 and their weaknesses the remaining three." By paying more attention to employees' strengths, he believed, he would be more likely to think of ways to put those strengths to good use. The important thing is to keep your assessment of others' strengths and weaknesses in proper proportion.


Keep a Firm Grip on Loose Reins

Though Matsushita easily delegated work and authority to others, he did not thereby abdicate responsibility for what was going on under him. He expected to receive reports about particular projects at appropriate intervals. Forced by chronic bronchial illness to rest for extended periods, Matsushita quite often summoned his subordinates to his bedside to report on the business, in response to which he would give new instructions or offer help in problems they were encountering. He called this keeping "a firm grip on loose reins"; it was Matsushita way of distributing authority and nurturing the talents of his staff.