Inamori Kazuo : The Working Method

Fundamental significance of work for individuals is that It can help to develop their personality, sharpen their minds, and elevate their souls to become more noble and better.

Inamori Kazuo : The Working Method

Kazuo Inamori’s “Working Method” is an incredibly inspiring book that has completely transformed my perspective on my job and career. I used to view my job solely as a means to make money, which often left me feeling frustrated whenever I encountered obstacles in a project. I believed that I could only start enjoying life after I retired and had enough savings. However, the reality is that I spend one-third of my time at work, and if I’m not happy there, how can I be happy in my life?

Why we need to work?

Kazuo Inamori observed that many people have lost the correct understanding of the goals and meaning of their work, leading to more and more confused lives, especially among young people. He believed that the fundamental significance of work for individuals is to help develop their personality, sharpen their minds, and elevate their souls to become more noble and better.

Inamori’s life achievements have attracted worldwide attention. He started his own business at 27, establishing two Fortune 500 companies, Kyocera and KDDI, with his bare hands over 40 years. At the age of 65, he retired, only to be repeatedly asked by the Japanese government to serve as chairman of Japan Airlines for bankruptcy and reconstruction. Within a year, he brought JAL back to life, achieving the highest profit in its 60-year history, which is still the highest among aviation companies worldwide. With his background as a scientist, entrepreneur, and philosopher, Kazuo Inamori has become a global marvel, juggling three roles at once.

Inamori’s success did not come easily. When he entered the workforce at age 23, he lamented his fate, wondering, “Why do misfortune and suffering come to me again and again, and what will my life be like in the future?” Fortunately, he found a solution: to face up to the “view on labor” and “view on work,” and to treat work as a “good medicine for curing all diseases.” Inamori believed that work could also help overcome the hardships of life and turn fate around.

The “Working Method” is a work methodology based on Inamori’s life experiences, which seems to describe how to work effectively. However, Inamori’s focus is on a more profound question: why do people work, and what is the purpose of labor? He used his own experiences to deeply interpret the “concept of labor” and the “concept of work” that one should stick to. He firmly believed that if one could understand the profound meaning of “labor” and “work,” their mentality towards work would change, and the god of fate may favor them.

Inamori emphasized that the purpose of work is to improve one’s own aspirations, not just to earn money. Life is not always smooth, and the same goes for work. Only by working hard and persevering in adversity can one develop a strong character, remain steady, and not falter in life. When a person has the tenacity to work hard and persevere, even in the face of setbacks, those difficulties will eventually accumulate into experience, which may become the greatest “lucky” moment in life.

Working earnestly

Diligence and a sincere attitude towards work are key elements of a successful career. Kazuo Inamori believes that we can derive true happiness from work itself, rather than just from hobbies or recreation. Neglecting work may provide temporary pleasure, but it won’t bring lasting satisfaction. We spend most of our lives working, so finding a sense of fulfillment in our work is crucial.

According to Kazuo Inamori, there are only two ways to have a fulfilling life: either “do what you like” or “make yourself like work.” However, the chances of finding a job that one truly likes are slim. Instead of constantly searching for a job that one loves, it’s better to give up this fantasy and fall in love with the work in front of them.

By changing their mindset, the world around them will also change. Despite countless days and nights spent in the research room, and countless failures, Inamori found that he started to enjoy his work. From infatuation to love, he fully embraced his work, and success followed as he persisted.

When we focus on our work with diligence and earnestness, we can experience unfettered happiness from accomplishing something meaningful. The best way to motivate ourselves is to love our work and put in all our effort to do it well. With each success, we gain a sense of achievement, confidence, and the desire to take on new challenges. Repeating this process reinforces our fondness for our work and helps us to achieve wonderful results.

Only when we reach this state of mind can we accomplish truly outstanding work. So, let’s strive to love our work, be diligent and sincere in our efforts, and find true happiness in our careers.

From “ordinary” to “extraordinary

When it comes to electrical products, Japanese manufacturing often overwhelms us with its sophistication. Behind each of these products lies the operator’s attitude towards achieving excellence. This is the fundamental reason for their transformation from “ordinary” to “extraordinary”.

But how much effort does it take for a person to make this transformation? Inamori Kazuo has two mantras that answer this: “Run at the speed of a 100-meter race” and “Pay no less than anyone’s efforts”. He demands these from himself and every Kyocera employee.

Kyocera’s corporate goal, according to Inamori Kazuo, is “There is never a product that Kyocera cannot develop.” This is not because of their advanced technology and equipment, but because as the last company to enter the race, their only chance to survive is by accepting products that their competitors cannot make.

Therefore, only through efforts that are no less than anyone’s, and by running at the speed of a 100-meter race, can Kyocera overcome technical difficulties and ultimately produce perfect, high-quality products to meet their customers’ demanding requirements.

Inamori Kazuo believes that success is very difficult to achieve with the same effort as ordinary people. Only through extraordinary “efforts no less than anyone else” can we achieve outstanding results in fierce competition.

According to Kazuo Inamori, it is essential to adhere to correct values and moral principles, whether in work or life. Doing so is critical to achieving success and making progress in both personal and professional endeavors. By upholding these values, one can navigate challenges more smoothly and reach greater heights in their career and life. Inamori believes that a commitment to ethical principles and values is key to building a fulfilling and meaningful life, both personally and professionally.

Have you ever wondered why some people succeed in both their work and personal lives while others struggle? Is there a set of rules to follow? In his studies of successful work and life, Kazuo Inamori uses an equation to express the results:

Results of life and work = way of thinking x passion x ability

By using the correct way of thinking and being filled with enthusiasm, you can do your best work, and the happy life you desire may not be too far away.

I wish I had read this book earlier, as it would have given me a different experience in my profession. It could have improved my performance and relationships with my co-workers.

Inamori Kazuo : The Working Method