Perspectives by topics and dimensions

"For the prosperity of my family and my country" - a Korean student, in an essay

The economic dimension

In general

1) Half of the world's economy is illegal or hidden; this includes the trades in drugs, prostitution, human trafficking, arms, and substantial parts of the finance sector (tax havens) ... Remember this next time you look at those beautiful deserted villas on the shores of the Mediterranean. Many of them are simply insurance policies, a hiding place for a rainy day.

2) Make no mistake: the world is becoming ever more unfair. The rich are getting richer, the poor poorer, with one exception - China.

3) Jobs are being exported as we have never seen before. The only way we can maintain the same growth in our economies is for much of the population to start new businesses. Thus the entrepreneur has again become all-important.

4) It is the man who feels frustrated who creates, the person who has an account to settle with society. It is not the well-educated. The man who is satisfied with himself is a sort of peacock. He is proud of himself, he likes to shine, but he never creates. Instead he tries to control and manage, with greater or lesser success, what he has already acquired through others' work. He is attracted to easy money, and to financial speculation.

5) The youth of today are looking for a good life but are relatively unwilling to pay the price. Few accept that there is an age for living well and an age for working hard. Up to 45 years of age one needs to go head to head with life, to fight.

6) A young person who cannot fight is like an old person with one foot already in the grave. A young person who says or thinks that he does not want to fight is beaten in advance. A young person who talks about quality of life is beaten already, and will never be a leader. Tomorrow he will be overtaken by some Korean his own age or by the son of an immigrant. A young man is made to fight, to take risks. Quality of life must wait.

7) After age 45 we first attain wisdom. We are then halfway through our lives.

8) Each generation has a duty to do better than its parents; that is how we show that we are worthy of respect. This is the dynamic of all competitive cultures.

9) All individuals should be welcomed to a country if they care about its prosperity. All immigrants should be welcome who respect those who already live there and their traditions. It is important to be very strict about that. We have taken our social policies and political experiments too far. The party is over; it has well-nigh bankrupted our States.

10) It is more important to have the heart of a company than its business. Consider Basle in Switzerland, which has become a world centre for music largely thanks to one individual. The State makes a poor Maecenas.

11) In the future the State will not be capable of paying for many current public services in the area of culture, education, and certain social functions. In Europe organizations like Lions and Rotary are showing the way. We must invite private-sector companies to play roles in our social activities, without ever allowing them to dominate.

12) You need vision to lead a large project like a company. Without dreams there is no project.

13) A people which respects its past is a people which takes charge of the future. Therefore, honour your forefathers.

The work of a manager

1) A great winner creates non-enemies.

2) The director's work is to understand competitors and to ask how things are going. The manager's work is to attack.

3) A manager has four objectives. He must:

a) know how to work effectively,

b) know how to get others to work effectively,

c) know how to work effectively in groups, and Download free eBooks at

d) know how to pace himself.

4) How not to succeed as a manager:

a) Never reflect, instead improvise.

b) Make provisional analyses and remain in indecisive mode.

c) Jump from point to point, never go the whole way.

d) Preserve and respect your bad habits.

e) Never miss a good opportunity to waste time: talk on the phone whenever you can, take part in impromptu meetings, and move from one place to another without any particular reason.

f) Respect your false friends, those who steal your time.

g) Be an interrupter, who disturbs his colleagues.

h) Accordingly, arrive late and leave before the end of a meeting.

i) Fall asleep or interrupt at any point in a meeting.

j) Allow yourself to be interrupted at work, during mealtimes, and in your family life.

5) We are experiencing a new kind of apartheid, distinguishing the slow from the lively, the indolent from the vigilant, the culturally responsive from the passive, the responsible from the irresponsible.

The former group is sought after as employees; the latter are excluded from active employment and left to be taken care of by the social-security system, which is becoming less and less adequate to its task.

6) To learn to work rapidly is an important part of modern education. Failing to teach students to work fast is a serious pedagogical error. You should learn to work fast, find information fast, analyse fast, decide fast, but think calmly. Compare the sub-Saharan African countries with China, South Korea, and Japan. In the former, it is as though time had stopped.

7) Between Helsinki and Vancouver: if you cannot feel at home in that region of the world, you are probably on some side-track.

8) Levels of stress are increasing in modern society. You need a good dose of anti-stress therapy to survive. You must learn to deal with your own problems at an early stage if you hope to deal with others' problems.

9) In the spirit of Sun Zi: when confronting the strong, divide and penetrate. When confronting the weak, buy and integrate.

10) "Management from behind the screen" is typical for China : someone else tells the leader what to say. (Originally that person stood behind a screen, making it look as though the ideas were coming from the leader who was on display. The best-known example was the court of the Chinese emperor.)

11) In European companies it is common to find people in different departments who do not communicate well (or at all) with one another. These might be engineers and marketing executives, or production workers and finance workers. In Japan people are encouraged to spend time in all parts of the company to try to understand one another's work.

12) In China the State is the shareholder for most companies. Sometimes there are no accounting systems, or there may be three different ones. There are few guidelines, and managers are a scarce resource. If you had moved to China ten years ago, you could have done well. Now they are only cherry-picking among specialized skills. Soon they will not need our help at all.

< Prev   CONTENTS   Next >