The GLOBIS University Graduate School of Management held its graduation ceremonies on May 15 and 22, 2011. GLOBIS typically holds the ceremonies in May since the school has classes until the end of March and determines graduating students based on their number of units, including those for the term that ends in March.
The ceremony was held in Osaka from 10 a.m. on May 15, followed by a commemorative photo session and a get-together. Moving to Nagoya, we repeated the same cycle from 2:30 p.m. President Yoshitaka Taguchi of Seino Holdings Co., Ltd. offered his congratulations to graduating students there.
The following Sunday, May 22, we staged the first graduation ceremony for students in the International MBA (IMBA) Program on our Tokyo campus from 10 a.m. This ceremony was, of course, held entirely in English. House of Councilors member Kota Matsuda gave an invigorating speech to the IMBA graduates. The sight of a Japanese MBA student confidently making a speech in English at the graduation ceremony filled my heart with deep emotion.
Our inaugural graduation ceremony in English was a moving one. Graduating IMBA students were diverse in their nationalities, though their number was small. About half were from outside Japan, including graduates from Switzerland, Nigeria and Malaysia. Continuing students in attendance included those from Canada, India, the Philippines, France and Thailand. I felt uplifted each time I handed a diploma to a graduating student.
We held a graduation ceremony for students in the Japanese-language MBA Program on our Tokyo Campus on the same day from 2 p.m., with about 90 new graduates attending.
All our graduation ceremonies, including those in Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka, and the one for IMBA students, were simple in a way characteristic of GLOBIS. Ceremonies consisted only of an address by the dean, a congratulatory speech by a guest, presentation of a diploma and a valedictory speech by a graduating student representative.
The diploma presentation left a lasting impression on me. MBA students came in front of me one by one after their names were called. As our eyes met I recalled the days I spent with each student at GLOBIS. With a “congratulations” I handed a diploma to each graduate with respect. The diploma felt heavy in my hands, perhaps because of its cover. I asked myself this question each time I handed a diploma to a graduating MBA: “How much were we able to contribute to this person’s learning?”
Regardless of campuses attended and languages used, all GLOBIS MBA students take the “Entrepreneurial Leadership” course I teach since it is a requirement. I teach them everything I know to the best of my ability through this course.
Our MBA students become GLOBIS alumni and begin talking about the “GLOBIS MBA” as their educational background the moment they receive their diploma. The brand value of GLOBIS declines when their ambitions are low and their attitudes are wrong. GLOBIS rises in value when they achieve success in society. GLOBIS University and its alumni share the same destiny, so to speak. That’s why I put a great deal of effort into my speeches at the graduation ceremonies, as if there is no second chance in this game.
GLOBIS MBA students dedicate themselves to studies without leaving their work by securing the understanding of their families. They train their brains thoroughly in the case method for a little over two years. They engage in friendly competition through discussion, and acquire knowledge, wisdom and the ability to communicate their ideas. They obtain their diploma through this course of hard study. Graduating Globs MBA students showed a sense of fulfillment and overflowing confidence on their faces.
Before leaving, former Nemic-Lambda K.K. President and Chairman Rikihiro Madarame who was a guest speaker at our graduation ceremony told me as follows, bowing his head. “Thank you for training such a large number of excellent individuals. I want to thank you on behalf of the rest of Japan.” But their number is still too small in view of conditions that exist in our country today. Japan will not change unless we turn out many more “visionary leaders who create and innovate society.” His words urged me to commit myself even more to their education through GLOBIS.
Vitality, a strong sense of camaraderie, high goals and the absence of fixed ideas characterize GLOBIS alumni. All people who gave speeches at get-togethers that followed the graduation ceremonies, including lecturers, continuing students, senior alumni and graduating students spoke with passion. A sense of anticipation filled their words.
Many graduating students attended the ceremonies with their families. Dressed in a black academic gown, they held their children in their arms. The kids smiled and had a hint of pride on their faces when I said to them, “Your dad studied hard.” The students showed a sense of fulfillment on their faces. Wives’ and husbands’ faces also showed their sense of support along with signs of relief.
Scenes that remind the graduating students of school events, from the orientation and entrance ceremony to the graduation ceremony, filled the final slide show of memories. Slides covered the ASKA Meeting, top seminars, review sessions, club activities and dean sessions on the way to photos taken at the graduation ceremony. These slides touch my heart and my eyes well up every time I see them. Watching the students leave their campus stronger, I feel happy and lonely at the same time.
Two years of MBA studies are just a chance to learn in the long journey of life. Naturally, there is a limit to what students can learn in two years. What they learn in the long course of life is more important. That’s why GLOBIS takes a serious view of the need to awaken visions, aspirations, learning attitudes, the joy of learning and a sense of mission, remind students of these essentials and promote their awareness.
I wrote a book to give our students some guiding principles after their graduation from GLOBIS University. My book, Dear Visionary Leaders Who Create and Innovate the Society, covers virtually all points I want to communicate to GLOBIS alumni. I’d like them to read this book over and over again if they can. I’d like them to make great contributions as true visionary leaders who create and innovate society.
I feel that all efforts I have made up to that point are rewarded every time I attend a graduation ceremony. And the ceremony gives me the energy to work harder. I must train many more visionary leaders who create and innovate society. I have to do so because their training will change Japan, Asia and the whole world for the better.
This is my message to visionary leaders who create and innovate society. Graduation is not the end, but the beginning. Believe in your potential and run at full speed to realize your visions. I will keep praying for the successes that await you in the future.
Graduation Speech on 2011/05/22
The Great East Asia Earthquake shook Japan on March 11.
You must have seen the news on the tsunami, and the blast of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, you must have experienced subsequent radiation fear and planned blackouts.
You have witnessed one of the toughest natural disasters in modern history.
I refer to this tragedy as the 8 disasters.
1) Earthquake of magnitude 9.0
2) Tsunami of 15 m—37 m at Miyako
3) Fukushima radiation—Four reactors in a Level 7 accident
4) Supply chains issues
5) Power shortage
6) Damage to the reputation of Japanese products
7) Economy: Bankruptcy and unemployment
8) Fiscal crisis
I must say that Japan has been so far coping fairly well with all of the 8 disasters even though each one of them is severe in magnitude.
The biggest concerns I have are regarding disaster No. 7 Economy and No.8 Fiscal crisis.
The Great Kanto Earthquake in 1923 led to the Banking Crisis of 1929.
The Kobe Earthquake in 1995 triggered the Financial Crisis in 1997 which made Yamaichi, LTCB, NCB go bankrupt. Both incidents were somewhat affected by the Great Depression and the Asian Financial Crisis, but I’m not sure about the correlation.
What will March 11th 2011 mean for the future of Japan?
I was in Ishinomaki, Sendai, Minami Sanriku-cho, and Kesennuma last week. I was also in Iwaki and went within a 10km radius of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant last month,
When I stood in front of the ocean between the Daiichi & Daini Power Plant, and when I saw the devastated towns of Minami-sanriku, strong emotions welled up inside of me. I felt that I was witnessing a moment of history.
For Japan, this would mark the 3rd major change of our country. The 1st one was the Meiji Restoration, the 2nd one was World War II, and the 3rd major change, I believe, would be March 11th, which marks the tipping point of this long process of change.
I pondered upon what soldiers returning home after World War II would have thought when they saw scenes of the devastated area, where thousands of people died and went missing, and where people lost their homes and villages.
They must have felt that they were spared and allowed to continue living their lives, and with that gift they should do something to rebuild towns, communities and the country.
That strong sense of having a mission upon returning to their homeland must have lead to the miracles of the post war recovery of Japan.
I felt that this sense of having a mission is of vital importance during this historical turning point.
As “Visionary Leaders who create & innovate societies” graduating just two months after the Great Earthquake, we feel that you can take part in this historical moment.
At the entrance ceremony, I talked about the Educational Principle of GLOBIS. At the Graduation Ceremony, I would like bring up this educational principle again, as this is the core of GLOBIS.
-You have gained new knowledge, obtained conceptual skills, and were armed with the ability to communicate
– You have made friends with your fellow IMBA classmates as well as students from the GMBA.
– You have presented your Personal Mission Statement at the last class of Entrepreneurial Leadership. It is important to keep on pursuing your mission, as this will give you energy and a sense of direction in your life.
As visionary leaders, on top of the above, 5 perspectives will be important for you.
1) Global perspectives
We are living in turbulent times.
-The emergence of China/India and other BRIC countries, the struggles of the EU nations and the US, the middle-east uprising, the awakening of the African continent and Latin America.
-Global issues, food, energy, regional crises, climate change, demographic changes etc.
We need to have balanced global perspectives.
2) Historic Perspectives
Where are we in this long history of mankind?
-Past, present and future, time continues
-Global Perspectives are like latitude and longitude i.e. X & Y axis. Historic perspectives are like a Z axis.
-Why were you born at this time of the history? Where do you stand in this dimension? It is important to combine global perspectives and historical perspectives to know where find ourselves in this part of history.
Philosophy means according to Socrates “to think how to live well” as a soul that is born to this world.
When we hear the word philosophy we think of it as something difficult, but it is really not that big of a deal. Philosophy is simply “to think how to live well.”
We have learned about integrity through reading “Representative Men of Japan” and “Bushido” in classes such as Entrepreneurial Leadership and Keiei Dojo.
Toju Nakae said virtue is to build up small deeds. Great deeds connect with the desire for fame. We must continue to do small deeds every day.
Even before deeds, we also have to deal with our emotions and inner self. We need to deny negative emotions such as envy, anger, maliciousness when they arise and, then, fulfill ourselves with good emotions.
One good dead will keep one evil away. Similarly, good thoughts will keep evil thoughts away.
This everyday practice will lead you to a level 5 leader with high integrity.
5. Sense of mission
A sense of mission comes from the pursuit of finding out why we are born and what we will use our life on earth for.
You have presented your personal mission statement during our Entrepreneurial Leadership course. Takamori Saigo has mentioned that you shouldn’t be greedy for money, fame, or power. If you get rid of that greed, your true meaning of life emerges.
If you have such a kind of mission, together with the methods for creation and innovation you have learned at GLOBIS, I am fully convinced that you will be starting your journey as
“Visionary leaders who create and innovate societies.”
I would like to close my address by thanking the fate that brought us together at GLOBIS.
Congratulations to you all and may your lives after GLOBIS be wonderful ones.