As part of my continuing efforts to grow personally and professionally, I recently applied and was accepted for membership in the Chicago chapter of Seiwajyuku. For those not familiar with Seiwajyuku, the Chicago chapter website describes Seiwajyuku as a “dojo (training hall) of life for business managers who wish to actively examine and develop their philosophies of business management and of life in general with Dr. Kazuo Inamori, Founder of Kyocera Corporation.”
In May, I had the opportunity to participate as one of the member organizers of a Seiwajyuku business management seminar held at the Hilldale Golf Club in Hoffman Estates, Illinois. The speaker was Nem Bajra, President and CEO of Calsoft Systems. Calsoft Systems is a software development and consulting firm that has realized significant growth during the past 10 years in spite of the turmoil in the markets and the economy in general during this period. The title of Mr. Bajra’s presentation was “Success with Intellectual Growth” and he discussed his learning experience as a member of Seiwajyuku and how he used this knowledge to develop a sustainable business philosophy for his business.
With that background, I want to share in this post a few of the insights I jotted down during Mr. Bajra’s presentation. These are in no particular order but hopefully, provide a flavor of the content from the seminar. My thoughts and comments follow each item.
- A good philosophy is needed as a foundation for a successful business. My initial reaction to this comment was to reference the concepts of vision and a corporate “why” statement. However, upon reflection, I think the concept referred to by Mr. Bajra is more expansive than a corporate vision or “why” statement. If an individual takes the time to seriously consider his or her “philosophy of life”, he/she will inevitably turn to defining what they believe to be true and worthy and will consider those things that matter most to them. This is about the “who”, not the “why”. Once they have then settled on the “who”, they can begin to seek a purpose for themselves and define both their values and a worthy vision. This sounds challenging enough when considered at the individual level; but the business owner has to do this with a view for the philosophy to be embraced throughout the organization.
- Look for ways the philosophy can be practiced by all. The leaders at the top of an organization may, in fact, be very enthusiastic about the “corporate philosophy” they have created; but it is the employee focused on his or her specific day-to-day tasks who has to embrace the philosophy if it is truly to become a defining feature of the entity.
- Attitude x Effort x Ability = Results. I find this a very encouraging formula because two of the three components are immediately under my control. The third can be worked on and improvement realized if one has the right attitude.
- We can maintain our attitudes and we can improve our attitudes at any time. Mr. Bajra considered the quality of attitude as a matter of degree ranging from a complete focus on self (i.e., competitive) to a complete focus beyond oneself (i.e., collaborative). If you reflect on some of your attitudes, you will probably see that this is a nice framework for checking your attitude.
- Using the horizontal “attitude” axis as previously defined and an “effort” axis ranging from idle to diligent will give you the four quadrants of outcome: stressful (diligent but focused on self), depressed (idle and focused on self), complacent (idle but focused beyond self), and successful (diligent and focused beyond self). Where do you spend most of your time?
- Elevate your mind and expand your business. Interesting concept. Consciously working on yourself and raising the quality of your thinking leads to increased business opportunity.
Remember, if you have thoughts to share, I’d love to hear from you. BDavidson@cdhcpa.com