Matsushita Leadership

Front Cover
Simon and Schuster, Sep 28, 2010 - Business & Economics - 320 pages
He was one of the most inspirational role models of all time. Thrown into poverty at age four, Konosuke Matsushita (Mat-SOSH-ta) struggled with the early deaths of family members, an apprenticeship which demanded sixteen-hour days at age nine, all the problems associated with starting a business with neither money nor connections, the death of his only son, the Great Depression, the horror of World War II in Japan, and more. Yet John P. Kotter shows in this fascinating and instructive book how, instead of being ground down by these hardships, Matsushita grew to be a fabulously successful entrepreneur and business leader, the founder of Japan's General Electric: the $65 billion a year Matsushita Electric Corporation.

His accomplishments as a leader, author, educator, philanthropist, and management innovator are astonishing, and outshine even Soichiro Honda, J.C. Penney, Sam Walton, and Henry Ford. In this immensely readable book, Kotter relates how Matsushita created a large business, invented management practices that are increasingly being used today, helped lead his country's economic miracle after World War II wrote dozens of books in his latter years, founded a graduate school of leadership, created Japan's version of a Nobel Prize, and gave away hundreds of millions to good causes.

The Matsushita story expands our notion of the possible, even for a sickly youngster who did not have the benefit of a privileged background, education, good looks, or a charismatic presence. It tells us much about leadership, entrepreneurship, a drive for lifelong learning, and their roots. It demonstrates the power of a longterm outlook, idealistic goals, and humility in the face of great success.

Matsushita Leadership is both a biography and a set of lessons for careers and corporations in the 21st century. An inspirational story and a business primer, the implications are powerful, for organizations and for living a meaningful life.

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MATSUSHITA: Leadership Lessons for the 21st Century from the 20th Century's Most Remarkable Entrepreneur

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A singularly uncritical and sketchy briefing on Konosuke Matsushita from a Harvard Business School professor whose stated intention is to showcase his subject's extraordinary achievements as object ... Read full review

Matsushita Leadership: lessons from the 20th century's most remarkable entrepreneur

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Noted Harvard business professor Kotter recounts the fascinating life of Konosuke Matsushita (1894-1989), the founder of Matsushita Electric Company. Matsushita started his adult life with no money ... Read full review


The Legacy
Early Loss and Its Consequences
Growth Through Hardship
Responsibility and Exposure at an Early
Risk Taking Perseverance and the Launching of a Business
Creating The Division System 10 World War II
Up from Ashes
The Globalization of an Enterprise
Fighting Arrogance and Complacency
The Study of Human Nature
Books and Philanthropies

Unconventional Strategies
Coping with Economic Hard Times
A Mission for the Corporation
Educating for Leadership
With a Humble Heart and an Open Mind

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About the author (2010)

John P. Kotter has been on the Harvard faculty for twenty-five years. He is the author of eight best-selling business books and a frequent speaker at management meetings around the world. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts and on Squam Lake in New Hampshire with his wife, Nancy Dearman, and their children, Caroline and Jonathan.

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