Team Building: Soichiro Honda
Soichiro Honda is an exemplary leader. He was a simple man and people followed him as he inspired them. He was a person with vision and passion. Honda created the vision – a view of the future that excited people and directed them toward the goal: ‘With a clear vision that is communicated to the company, a strategy and purpose becomes clear and a concerted effort towards reaching logical goals becomes possible. Along with that vision comes the ability to carefully assess the importance of the technology being developed and a balanced picture of its impact upon the market to which it is addressed. That careful assessment might result in the abandonment of a product or company structure early on, and prevent the loss of precious time and money, or it may just as well focus the efforts of the forming company and play a key role in its growth’. (Collins & Lazier 1993, pp. 61-75)
Soichiro Honda’s management style differed from Japanese business traditions by emphasizing individual achievement rather than company’s harmony. He hired creative people and promoted research that resulted in technological innovation. Soichiro Honda worked alongside his employees with an enthusiasm that inspired them to perform better. His unique leadership has allowed the Honda Motor Company to become a world power in the automotive industry. Now, it is necessary to analyze components of effective leadership – team work and team building, organizational culture, and motivation in connection with Honda’s leadership style.
Soichiro Honda was a true leader who had the ability to create a healthy working atmosphere within the team. In reality, team work success does not happen without hard work of a manager – leader. Honda focused efforts and activities of a team for achieving the desired goal – effective and successful team work. He set clear goals and everyone accepted them. Soichiro Honda demanded practical results, and he knew how to achieve these results. He learned to see failures as necessary steps toward success. He instilled in his employees the drive to learn without fear of failure, having built the road to success.