The Leadership Japan Series By Dale Carnegie Training Japan



THE Leadership Japan Series is powered with great content from the accumulated wisdom of 100 plus years of Dale Carnegie Training. The Series is hosted in Tokyo by Dr. Greg Story, President of Dale Carnegie Training Japan and is for those highly motivated students of leadership, who want to the best in their business field.


  • 446: Rule By Fear Or By Motivation in 2022

    12/01/2022 Duration: 11min

    For a big chunk of my working life, I have been ruled by fear by my bosses.  With the value of hindsight and having run Dale Carnegie Training here in Tokyo now into my twelfth year, I wonder why it was like that or had to be like that.  Not every boss was a tyrant, but most were.  Today we are talking about psychological safety, diversity and inclusion, the end of power harassment, etc. I didn’t see any of that in my career as an employee.  Sadly, I inherited some of these negative leadership traits myself and ran my teams hard.  I was ignorant and thought that was how it was done, because that was how I was being managed.  I am a slow learner, but I have subsequently learnt that leading through fear gets you compliance, but it doesn’t get you brilliance.   I wonder how many bosses out there in supremo land are still running their teams in this fear first mode?   My way or the highway is a dead duck for a recruitment strategy today.  Many big Japanese companies have recruitment staff from HR clinging to the

  • 445: The Clever Leader's New Year Resolutions

    05/01/2022 Duration: 12min

    It is an irony that in the most technologically advanced era, the human dimension is so much more critical to success in business.  When I was first entering business, the boss knew every aspect of the company and knew it better than everyone else. Education was working on the basis of limited access to information, so a lot of memorization was required.  An entrepreneur was a rare bird in those days.  A mainframe computer was huge and housed in it’s own hermetically sealed environment. Only a select few had access to the machine itself or the computations it was possible of.  A telex machine, something the size of a washing machine today, sat in a corner of the floor spitting out large sheets of paper with perforated edges, as a means of semi-automatic communication.  All the eligible young women sat in the typing pool on their own floor, so any excuse which could be found to head down there was a major opportunity to be seized.   A lot has changed, but the importance of human to human relations, has only be

  • 444: The Planning Process

    29/12/2021 Duration: 12min

    We have all heard that old saw we “don’t plan to fail, we fail to plan” and we go back to our work, somehow imagining we have mastered the planning process. It is very insightful to however to watch a team when given a simple project.  Our instinct for action seems to overwhelm us and we leap straight into the details.  The nitty gritty of the execution is occupying all of the brain space. No planning is going on whatsoever. How can that be when we know we need to plan if we don’t want to fail?   One of the problems is that very few people are ever given any training on how to do the planning itself and we wind up copying what our bosses did.  This is especially the case in Japan, where following orders and reproducing what your seniors did is accepted behaviour.  If the bosses were master of the planning process, then this wouldn’t be a problem. Unfortunately that is far from the reality, so we need to make sure the team are cognisant on how to plan projects and work.   Project Planning can be broken down to

  • 443: The Innovation Process For Leaders

    22/12/2021 Duration: 13min

    Doing more, faster, better with less is inescapable in modern commerce.  The demands just keep going up and the resources available always seem to be tightening.  We find ourselves in a vicious vice of contradictions without end.  And then we have this global pandemic, to just make it all that much more character building.  Have I depressed you enough?  How do we get out of this mess?  What can we do to improve on the situation?    Getting innovative ideas is critical for our businesses to survive, but how do we generate creative ideas?  No matter how genius the boss, there are limits to how many worthwhile ideas can be generated by one individual.  Also, the further you climb up the greasy pole within organisations, the further you get away from the coal face of what is really going on.  The most recent, most junior hire may have the best ideas. The organisation’s employee generation which best reflects the profile of the buyer or the buyer’s customers, may have the best insights.  The problem is we rarely a

  • 442: Interview with Dr. Greg Story by Will Farmer of Dale Carnegie Training Australia

    15/12/2021 Duration: 41min

    Listen to Dr. Greg Story’s interview with William Farmer, Managing Director of Dale Carnegie Australia on “Business: The Art of Winning Podcast!” In the interview, Dr. Story shares valuable insight on leading in Japan, surviving COVID-19 as a training company, building lifelong partnerships with clients, and developing one’s personal and professional brand.   Dr. Story shares his three guiding values as a leader. First is to have “kokorogamae” – meaning true intention. Having the “kokorogamae” to build lifetime partnerships, build a good reputation, and achieving success is an important starting point. Secondly, being reliable and accountable is key in a conservative, risk-averse business environment like Japan. Thirdly, building helpful relationships and seeking support through mentors and resources like podcasts is crucial in continuous growth and success.   In addition to being President of Dale Carnegie Training Tokyo and a Dale Carnegie Master Trainer, Dr. Story has written several Amazon #1 Bestsellers

  • 441: Time Management For Leaders

    08/12/2021 Duration: 13min

    The reality of business today is that we are navigating the constant tension between Time, Quality and Cost.  We don’t have the luxury of concentrating on only one element.  They are interrelated and as we move toward one, we move away from the other two.  There is no perfect synchronicity either, because business is in a constant flux.   For a leader though、 their use of time is a big factor in their success.  Getting things done is a complete function of where they choose to invest their time.  You would like to believe that technology is saving us time today.  Somehow, I don’t feel that at all.  In fact, I feel I am getting busier every year, because the technology allows me to do more and do it faster.  The constant hunger for improvements and success keeps driving the pressure of the clock.   In time management, we talk about the Tyranny Of The Urgent.  This is when we are being run off our feet, kept permanently busy with one urgent item after another.  There is a hierarchy of tasks and we need to under

  • 440: How To Get Better Results

    01/12/2021 Duration: 11min

    We have so many things pulling us in different directions at the same time, we can get a bit overwhelmed by all the work we have to do.  How can we get the right focus and make our effort better coordinated?  There is a simple method we can use which is very quick and simple.   Firstly, we need to take a brief moment and draw a focus map of what we need to be working on.  How do we draw a focus map?    In the center of a piece of paper put a small circle around the one or two words which make up the key area of focus.  Now add separate related words which come to mind that fit this category and then circle those words to make sub categories.  On the page, these circled words will be arranged around that original central circle like planets around the sun.    For example, we might think of key topics like Better Time Management, or Better Followup, or Better Planning, or Better Communicator, etc.  Taking one of these topics as the center circle, in a few minutes the list of related words will soon come forth.

  • 439: How Leaders Can Strengthen Relationships With Their Team (Part Three)

    24/11/2021 Duration: 11min

    Over the last three episodes we have covered not criticizing people, giving appreciation, understanding wants, being interested in others, smiling and remembering people’s names.  Let’s explore the last three human relations skills we need to succeed.   Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves. “Some people are boring when they talk about themselves and I tune out, because I only want to hear stuff that is of interest to me, like where are the results”. That doesn’t sound like a good approach to build an engaged team, does it?  Remember we need to develop a genuine interest in our people and then ask questions. Sometimes we may not know how to engage others to get to know them better. We can find out what are some key areas of importance to them using a memory linking technique - Nameplate, House, Family, Briefcase, Airplane, Tennis Racket, Ideas.   Nameplate obviously refers to their name.  Are we pronouncing it correctly.  I was leading a training session recently and an Indian gentle

  • 438: How Leaders Can Strengthen Relationships With Their Team (Part Two)

    17/11/2021 Duration: 12min

    In the last episode we covered the first three principles for strengthening relationships, focusing on avoiding criticism, expressing sincere appreciation and arousing in others an eager want.  We will explore how to advance the relationship building process with the next three human relations principles.   Become genuinely interested in other people. Society has entered a very narcissistic stage, where many people are highly focused on themselves. Additionally, we are all time poor and focused on what we need to do and have little mental bandwidth for what other people are thinking or need.  Efficiency is a difficult approach to apply to building good human relations.  It is very hard to build up trusting relationships with such a time poor, highly transactional approach. If we don’t build trust, then what sort of relationships do we have with the team members?    The way to build trust is to get to know people and get them to know us.  The more things we share in common, the easier it is to get on with ea

  • 437: How Leaders Can Strengthen Relationships With Their Team (Part One)

    10/11/2021 Duration: 12min

    As leaders, naturally we all want to build a strong relationship with our team.  However, not all relationships with our team members work well.  The Pareto Principle says that 20% of our team produce 80% of the results.  That means we are paying for 80% of the people, who only produce 20% of the results.  That is bound to be an irritation for leaders, when they cast their eye across those members of their team who are not producing as much as others.  We might think they should change, so that they are doing a lot better and so make it easier for us to lead them.  Unfortunately, we can’t change others. We can only change how we think and behave.   If we see them as a problem, then the chances are high that we won’t have a positive relationship with them. We won’t spend much time with them and will obviously prefer to be around the high performing producers. This in turn de-motivates the 80% group and we set up a cycle of grief.  On the other hand, if we accept that there will always be a statistical 20% and

  • 436: The Five Drivers Of Leadership Success

    03/11/2021 Duration: 12min

    There are many things which lead to successful leadership.  You might have hit a purple patch in the market and things are going swimmingly.  Five Star Hotels in Japan, prior to the pandemic were doing brilliantly with very high occupancy rates and the General Managers looked like rock stars. Covid hit and closed the border, locked everyone up at home and desperation was the order of the day for the hospitality and tourism industries.  Or you might have inherited a bunch of well trained stars, thanks to your immediate predecessor.  We all hope for good business conditions and a good crew.  Hope however isn’t much of a strategy.   When it is down to us, what do we need to do? For leaders there are some key areas where we need to concentrate our time, energy and strength.  There are Five Drivers of Leadership Success which help us to be effective leaders.  Let’s go through them. Self Direction Leaders are self directed, have a vision and set clear goals.  They are self sufficient.  They know what they are acc

  • 435: Balancing People and Process and Leading and Doing

    27/10/2021 Duration: 12min

    We are super busy people, hitting our targets, ploughing through the workload, coming in early, staying late, working weekends, constantly studying and investing in ourselves and then it happens.  We get promoted to be the leader, to be in charge of other people, usually our erstwhile colleagues.  Our brain though is still in production mode.  We not only have the results we were personally accountable for before, but now we are accountable for the entire team’s production as well.  We have to make that mental leap from being in total control of what were doing, to being in zero control over what others do.     We immediately gravitate toward the mechanical pieces of the job, because they are the easy bits.  Checking the numbers, the milestones, the sequencing, the reporting, the details, etc., are all doable for us.  We are not yet a leader though, because we have decided to become a manager.  What the organisation is in dire need of though, are leaders not managers.  Managers are a dime a dozen, but leaders

  • 433: The Right Japan Workplace Culture

    13/10/2021 Duration: 12min

    Starting something new means we start with a clean slate and can create the culture we want to predominate throughout our organisation.  However how many people get that opportunity?  We are talking about a miniscule collection of opportunities here and it is much more likely we will be inheriting an existing culture, created over time by our predecessors.  That statement in itself may be problematic, because did they actually have a view on the type of culture they wanted or did it just evolve over time or in spite of them.    If we are inheriting an existing workplace culture, that doesn’t mean we cannot change it for the better. However, we should keep in mind that “to a hammer, everything looks like a nail” and we may be tempted to import the dominant headquarter culture to Japan.  Good luck with that and let me know how it is working out for you.  Actually don’t bother – I know the answer already.   What Are The Right Questions, Rather Than Right Answers   Our starting point is the most difficult.  Japan

  • 432: How To Remember People

    07/10/2021 Duration: 11min

    How To Remember People’s Names at Networking and Business Events   Are you good at remembering the names of people you meet?  Are you having that embarrassing situation where you know the face, but the name isn’t coming to you?  How about that even worse situation where you have to introduce the person you cannot remember, to someone else?  We usually need the help of others in some form to achieve our visions. This can be people we already know or new acquaintances, for example, at a networking or business event.   But do you sometimes have this problem?   I meet so many people, I can’t remember them when I meet them again, or I meet people and two minutes later I’ve forgotten their name already.   How do you feel when you meet someone again, who remembers your name, but you can’t remember their name?  It’s awkward, embarrassing, and destroys my personal brand.    What can we do about this problem?  We want to be memorable to the people we meet in business, so we need to make sure they clearly hear our name

  • 431: Interview with Dr. Greg Story (Part Two)

    29/09/2021 Duration: 01h04min

    Dr. Greg Story, President of Dale Carnegie Training Tokyo Japan and master trainer in sales, presentations and leadership provides further insight into his extensive career in sales in Part Two of his interview with Andrew Hankinson.   “I love the fact that sales makes the wheels of commerce turn. Without sales, there’s no business…it’s such an important role” explains Dr. Story. Yet he points out many companies do not invest in their sales team. Realizing a need for training, in 1939 Dale Carnegie pioneered a series of public sales training courses with Percy Whiting. Dr. Story himself struggled starting as a salesperson at 16 years old selling Britannica encyclopedia door to door and reciting a 25-minute pitch. He claims: “it was only later when I got the training that I realized I could do this because before that I had no confidence.”   Dr. Story has released over 250 episodes of sales-focused podcasts titled The Japan Sales Series and has published two books, Japan Sales Mastery and Japan Business Mas

  • 429: Let's Learn From Prime Minister's Leadership Failures

    15/09/2021 Duration: 12min

    There is nothing like a good meltdown to throw up valuable lessons for the rest of us.  So, a big thank you Suga san, for helping us on our leadership journey.  His shock resignation finished off a year of disasters.  To be fair, he joins a long line of failed Japanese leaders.  Counterintuitively, the Liberal Democratic Party prefers to choose underperformers as their leaders. The backroom boys can more easily control what is really going on and the face to the nation is totally disposable, while the power brokers stay on, hidden in plain sight.  Nevertheless, he has made a sterling effort to bring about his own political demise.   Covid didn’t come wrapped in a roadmap out of the pandemic.  Every country has had to work it out as they go along and to be flexible to adapt to changing circumstances.  Japan is in trouble then immediately. Effective adaption techniques during disasters are yet to be evidenced in Japan.  The 1995 Kobe earthquake exposed a lot of leadership deficiencies in Japan.  In 2011, with t

  • 428: The Boss Must Become The Virtual Chatbot Alternative

    08/09/2021 Duration: 11min

    In one of my other podcasts, “The Presentations Japan Series”, l talked about “Virtual Chatbots Are The End Of Civilisation”.  What is the problem and what do we bosses have to do to stop this happening inside our companies?  XiaoIce’s virtual chatbot accounts for sixty percent of all global human-AI interactions.  There are already 660 million users and it is designed to hook us by providing the levels of human interaction we cannot get in real life.  Danit Gal, an expert in AI ethics at Cambridge University says, “Users ‘trick’ themselves into thinking their emotions are being reciprocated by systems that are incapable of feelings”.  This is sad.    Nippon is not immune. Pre-Covid, Japan already had legions of fans, mainly young men, waving light sticks at concerts given by the very generously proportioned, long legged, big eyed, super cute, singing idol, Hatsune Miku.  Unfortunately, she isn’t real, because she is a hologram, an illusion.  If some people are that desperate for human interaction, that they

  • 427: No Change Agent Leaders Needed In Japan

    01/09/2021 Duration: 12min

    The following scenario will feel familiar to Japan old hands.  The foreign enterprise hires the retired President of a local company to run their operation.  After five years it begins to become obvious the enterprise is getting nowhere.  The aging President is retired out of the company and HQ dispatches one of their local leaders to Japan to turn things around.  The brief is to get the Japan business moving and produce results.  To a hammer everything looks like a nail and the foreign change agent Hammer has just landed at Haneda Airport.    Things don’t look right to the Hammer.  The way of working isn’t the same as back home.  There seems to be plenty of institutionalised inefficiencies.  After some perfunctory meetings with direct reports, the orders start to flow from the Hammer.  Weeks go by and then the Hammer notices things which should be happening are not happening.  Thinking back, there was no resistance to the Hammer’s directives at the Department Heads’ meeting.  Everyone got their marching orde

  • 426: Should The Leader Concede?

    25/08/2021 Duration: 13min

    Never surrender, no capitulation, “quitters don’t win and winners don’t quit”, “when you are going through hell, keep going”.  The leader is the organisation’s rock, it’s talisman, the one who overcomes all.  The mindset is hard headed, stubborn, able to persevere no matter what.  Confusingly, the leader also has to be flexible, supple, adaptable and adjustable.  These opposites remind me of the yin yang symbol, the essence of dualism.  How should we leaders operate in this dualistic ecosystem, where we are called upon to be hard headed and yet pliable at the same time?   When you think about it, leaders become leaders because most other people just can’t be bothered.  As Yogi Berra, the American philosopher once noted, “Leading is easy.  It’s getting people to follow you which is hard”.  That is the reason most people are followers – leading others is hard work, problematic and stressful.    As the boss, we sometimes have to fire people who underperform and unless you are a corporate psychopath, this is unpl

  • 425: Leaders Sensing Versus Managers Knowing

    18/08/2021 Duration: 12min

    Marcel Danne, an Executive Coach whom I have never met or talked to, recently put up an idea on social media about how managers have a different perspective to leaders.  He contrasted how a manager’s priority is “know, feel and sense” while the leaders priority is “sense, feel and know”.  This is esoteric stuff at first blush, but it is a useful insight.  I was thinking about myself when I was a manager.    For some inexplicable reason I thought I knew what to do.  I was fully confident in my own ability and my feeling was that I had the answers and the clarity to know what we should be doing.  I had the get up and go to execute on my plan, keeping my head down and relentlessly bulldozering forward. The effort was centralised in me as the person accountable for the results. If I want your opinion, “then I will give it to you”, type of thing.  I wonder if other leaders can recognise themselves anywhere here?   Why are we so confident about our ideas and opinions and so uninterested in what anyone else thinks? 

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