Kikkoman: Company, Clan, and Community by Mark Fruin

Category: Leadership

(93 von 100)

Why: I need to study what can hold one company together for over 300 more years.
Goal: Learn the qualities of the president.

Action: Take Care of Others as Your Family.

3 Key Concepts

  1. Concentrate your dedication in family first.
  2. In the long run, business success root in honesty and ability.
  3. Business life is based on everyday’s virtues.


How to Take Care of Others as Your Family?

First, reward the honesty and ability of a person by paying respect. Then, go over and beyond to take care of their well-being. Finally, wish them a warm family and a successful career. Think of them as if they are members of your real family.

More than passing time: Care

This book documented aspects of the oldest Shoyu company that is successful worldwide. It discusses the history of the time before corporate law is formed and how the industry is constituted with families.

Family First

Mogis chose to concentrate talent, production, knowledge, and experience in one industry, one won, and one kinship group.

Sincerity first and profits will follow. Neglect neither.
Take care to preserve the harmony and unity of the household.
Avoid luxury and cultivate simplicity and earnestness.
Avoid matters not connected with family business.
Learn to make money and not to lose it.
Competition makes for progress, but avoid reckless competition.
Attend to your health. Eat simple foods no different from that taken by your employees.
Economize on personal expenses and give what remains to charity,
taking care to preserve a sufficient estate for your successors.
Cultivate a positive attitude toward making money and be cautious in times of uncertianty.
Twice a year call a family assembly; praise family members according to their character, not according to their profits.
- Mogi Households Constitution

Honesty and Ability

Success is sustained with the basis of trust. Therefore, those who could not be trusted will be left out of all business activities. And do business of trusted people with a “profit for both sides” attitude.

The President’s Everyday Life

Here are virtues or practices mentioned in the book that I admire.

  • Warn about future, but never complain about the past. (consoled > criticized)
  • Do not lose your soul in order to succeed in business.
  • If our customers increase, the business will succeed naturally.
  • Never allow the profit motive define relationships, coexist and coprosper.
  • Be frugal: one drop of water is made in heaven and one grain of cereal is grown by the labor of multitudes.
  • Be conservative: all needs were relative and ought to be controlled.
  • Even the God of Wealth rolls up his shirt sleeves in order to work.
  • Because of his Self-Control, it is impossible to take advantage of a man.
  • Be social: we work in society and are maintained by society. Everyone is dependent on each other.
  • First step in achieving success is doing one’s best, but at the same time respect others’ effort.

To sum up

The history of Kikkoman illustrates how the company and life intertwine. Therefore, we must learn to coexist and prosper to attain long-lasting business success.

Every day is precious. To spend even a day without love is such folly.
Love, devotion, and diligence are the basis of life,
and to realize this for even a day is far greater than spending a meaningless ten or twenty years.

joyful adult daughter greeting happy surprised senior mother in garden
It is love, after all.

Goal check: I learned and confirmed that character holds a business together in the long run.

Wasu’s Review
( 4.0 / 5.0 )

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