In the United States – and other countries, actually – financial troubles began partly due to the fact that corporate bigwigs received fat bonuses. The so called fat cat bonuses have long been part of their corporate culture. In Japan, the opposite is true.
Perhaps this is the reason that the country has been so successful in keeping their companies and the whole economy afloat. It is definitely the reason behind everyone’s positive outlook. In Japan, CEOs know how it is to sacrifice so that their companies can weather tough economic storms.
Let’s talk specifics. Haruka Nishimatsu. He is the president of Japan Airlines. You would think he had the money to take a car to work; even have someone drive for him. He probably does have that money BUT he chose to commute using the public transportation. He would take the bus just like the average person. Compare that to Wall Street businessmen who still want to buy their own private jets! More than that, though, Haruka Nishimatsu chooses to line up at the company cafeteria just like other employees!
Then there is Yukio Sakamoto. He is the president of Elpida Memory, a computer chip maker. In order to keep his company afloat, he went without pay for two months- all voluntary!
They are not the only ones taking this route. Toyota Motors, a renowned leader in the automobile industry, has scrapped bonuses for the year. Other companies – big or small – are doing the same thing.
Perhaps the rest of the world can learn a thing or two from them.