Journal logo

Leadership Lessons From Japanese Terms

Most Leaders Are Not Utilizing These Ideas To Their Benefit

By Cody Dakota Wooten, C.B.C.Published 2 months ago 3 min read

One of the great Failures of the English language, in my opinion, is that we often do not have terms for certain Ideas.

Even when we do have terms, often they do not have a lot of Depth of what is meant.

However, there have been many times where I have found concepts that are extremely Powerful for Leaders from the Japanese Language.

Recently I wrote about Leadership Naikan which opens a gigantic door for Leaders to move toward Designing a Regenerative Legacy.

It is a Simple System of 3 Questions, all captured in one word - Naikan.

When you understand Naikan, it creates an entirely new framework for how to think about Leadership.

But this isn't the only amazing term that comes out of the Japanese Language that is a Powerful Tool for Leaders to use to their Benefit.

Recently I heard of another amazing term - Oubaitori.

What does it mean?

It is the Japanese Idea that People, like flowers, bloom in their own time and in their own, individual ways.

Why is this important for Leaders?

It all has to do with Leadership Cultivation.

So often, Leaders try to make people fit into molds.

However, it rarely works (if ever).

Every person has Unique Skills, Strengths, Weaknesses, Likes, and Despises.

Do you know what they are for everyone on your Team?

Most Leaders do not have "any" clue for the Majority of their Team(s).

When this occurs, Leaders do not utilize their Team Effectively or Efficiently.

Leaders try to push Employees to do things that those Employees often do not enjoy doing, nor are they good at doing.

This becomes a further Problem because it creates Resentment with the Employees.

People know what they are Great at, and when they aren't able to use their Strengths, they feel restrained by their Leaders.

Along with this, Leaders often add further Pressure on Employees by trying to force a specific timeline for the Employee to fit into that mold they don't want to be in.

This added Pressure only makes things worse by increasing Dis-Stress on Employees who are already in Burnout.

But as a Leader, you can do something different.

Understand that people bloom in their own time and in their own ways.

Instead of attempting to force Employees to become something they aren't, figure out what they already are and how that can be Grown to best Aid the Team.

It ties closely to the allegory around education.

If you determine a fish's Success by how well they climb a tree, you will always believe the fish is a Failure.

However, if you allow the fish to do what they do best, and swim, you'll find their Potential.

That is what Oubaitori is about - Understanding the "Human" that is on your Team.

Leadership Cultivation is about helping that "Human" reach that Inherent Potential they already have.

This can then be further combined with another Japanese Term that is more common - Ikigai.

Ikigai is what is found at the intersection of what we love, what we are good at, what we can be paid for, and what the world needs.

Now, when most people think about Ikigai, the Focus is on "their" Ikigai, but within Leadership Cultivation you can redirect this concept with your Team!

First, understand Oubaitori - each individual is different and blooms in their own time and ways.

Then, seek to Cultivate their Ikigai.

What is each Individual Good at?

What does each Individual Love Doing?

How can you Use what they are Good at and Love Doing toward Business Goals so that your Team can be Paid what they are Worth?

How can these be Utilized to Benefit the World and what it Needs?

This gives you a great Blueprint to utilize with your Team toward Designing a Regenerative Legacy!

workflowwall streetVocalvintagequotesproduct reviewpop culturelistindustryhumanityhow tohistoryheroes and villainsfeatureeconomycareerbusiness warsbusinessadvice

About the Creator

Cody Dakota Wooten, C.B.C.

Creator of the Multi-Award-Winning Category "Legendary Leadership" | Faith, Family, Freedom, Future | The Legendary Leadership Coach, Digital Writer (500+ Articles), & Speaker


[email protected]

Reader insights

Be the first to share your insights about this piece.

How does it work?

Add your insights

Comments (2)

Sign in to comment
  • Lana V Lynx2 months ago

    Every language has its own strengths and weaknesses. I love how Japanese is good for business terms that are rooted in the philosophy of life, and German can be very exact and nuanced for complex concepts that are hard to express in one word. But I love English too, for its compactness and precision. Thanks for another thought-provoking piece, Cody!

  • Ameer Bibi2 months ago

    That's very informative and interesting story to learn about japanese concepts really appreciate your effort

Find us on social media

Miscellaneous links

  • Explore
  • Contact
  • Privacy Policy
  • Terms of Use
  • Support

© 2024 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.