Family, customers, and employees easily represents and describes YKK! These principles and foundations were and still remain the heart and soul of what our founder Tadao Yoshida visualized for current and future generations. It’s expected and up to each of us to willingly carry this torch and pass it on each day with the same enthusiasm as the ancient Greeks during the first Olympics.
I am naturally a positive person and have often been described by my peers as Mr. Positive. The truth is that I have the same struggles, face the same challenges, make difficult decisions, make mistakes, and have failures as everyone else. However, I have the power, responsibility and choice to create a positive, energetic, optimistic, and enthusiastic environment around me. We have the choice each morning to determine our attitude. As leaders at home or at work, we must stay positive, even in the worst of situations, in order to maintain a high morale. This is how our Fundamental Behavior #25 starts out. You have the choice and power to choose your attitude and behavior toward interacting with others each morning.
It is true that I don’t worry about what I can’t control. I can’t control market conditions or any other outside influence to our business in a positive or negative way. However, I do subscribe to the idea that I have the power of choices in how I feel and discipline to adjust to the situation at hand with a positive attitude.
Musician, actor and businessman Jimmy Dean stated, “I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.”
Positive Leadership is not about being Pollyanna positive where life is full of rainbows, unicorns and fairytale endings. We have to embrace the idea that a setback is not a negative, but an opportunity to redirect our tactic or strategy toward something better.
John Quincy Adams, 6th President USA, stated, “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more and become more, you are a leader.”
I would like to share a few actions of others that have often inspired me to reach inside to do more:
“If not me, then who” were the words 1st Lt Travis Manion said to his family in December 2006 when asked he was deploying a second time to Iraq. On April 29, 2007, sadly 1st Lt Manion was killed in action while saving several of his wounded teammates from an enemy sniper. These words serve as a constant reminder to live with character and put other people’s interests before our own.
In May 2012 during a YGM Meeting, I had just finished my presentation on our Government / Safety Industry. We were having difficulties and in my mind I did my best to present the state of the business affairs and our plan to overcome shortfalls to plan. During a break, Mr. Yoshida came up to me and said these three words to me that carry on today. He simply said, “I trust you.” I can’t express in words how these three words motivated and encouraged me to continue on through the most of challenging business environments.
Sometimes, it is the little things we say or do that can have an everlasting positive impact on others to adjust their sails toward overcoming adversity.
I believe each of these words, “If not me, then who?” “I trust you” and other countless stories or quotes that we all have experienced in our life share a common thread with our on Core Philosophy to “Render Benefit to Others.”
In closing, I challenge each of you to take a negative you face as the fuel to the turn into a positive! It is not always easy or comfortable. However, the reward and outcome will be positive!
William K. Langley
Vice President, Sales
YKK (U.S.A.) Inc.