When you talk about a project, it’s good to keep a certain distance, but when, for example, someone in-house makes a presentation for a new project in a meeting, there are times when I feel a distance like an agency making a presentation to a company.
They’ve really prepared it, and they spent most of their time on it. When I’m listening, I just want to say, “Cut the introductory remarks, would you?”
I do know what they mean. But they’re nervous and prepared, so I figure it can’t be helped.
Our company isn’t that kind of place.
Oh, is that so?
Maybe because we have so few people. I think I’ve said it before, but we don’t have the whole concept of presentations at our company. If you’re going to go to all the effort of preparing counter-proposals for a presentation in case it is turned down, it would be much better to just go home and sleep!
I say this everywhere, but rather than preparing presentations of Plans B and C, you should use your time to polish up Plan A, the one you really think is good. You’re the same way, aren’t you, Miyamoto-san?
Yes. I’ve never thought of alternate ideas.
Or, you haven’t ever attended a meeting where you had to pitch your presentation so that it is accepted, have you?
No. I was in an environment where I made decisions myself and continually asked myself whether it was truly good or not.
Uh-huh. Only environments like that nurture leadership. If you’re constantly worried about what so-and-so will say, the project or team will never grow.
For example, even if you don’t have a picky boss, you may think, “What will the customers say?” You may worry too much about these customers you can’t see, which shrinks your idea.
Oh, that’s true.
Your idea rapidly shrinks back before thoughts like, “If we do this, some people might not like it.”
That’s right. And a narrow focus on marketing and zeroing in on a particular target audience and so forth can also obstruct the freedom of a project. So you mustn’t say, “That can’t be,” too much early on.
That’s true when either of you develop a plan on your own, isn’t it? You don’t ask so-and-so and so-and-so for instructions or narrow down your target.
Yes, that’s right. When I begin something, I ask Miyamoto-san if anything seems out of place, and then decide. Of course, the persons with whom I consult differ depending on the subject, but it isn’t the case that I can’t do something without first getting someone’s understanding.
Yes. That’s right.
And that’s not because you both have positions near the top of the company and have authority.
Right. After all, Miyamoto-san, you’ve been that way ever since before you became senior managing director.
Yes, that’s right. But I was like that before I became any sort of manager at all. (laughs)
Ah! (laughs) That’s interesting! It gives me courage!
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