Growing up in Hawaii and being half Japanese (Hapa to those local to Hawaii), I was influenced a lot by Japanese culture. I often went to the .25 cent movies with my dad and we would watch Samurai movies such as Musashi Miyomoto or Zatoichi, The Blind Swordsman.
In the picture below (created by Steve Higgs), the Kanji character represents Samurai. Literally, Samurai means to guard or to watch. The Samurai lived by a code called Bushido which is represented by the Kanji under Samurai. Bushido can be summed up by the English words listed below it: Justice, Bravery, Benevolence, Politeness, Veracity, Honor and Loyalty.
A true Samurai is more than someone who knows how to fence with the Katana. Being a Samurai was a way of life. It involved eating, sleeping, living Bushido every day of their life. It meant self-sacrifice, control, discipline. A Samurai fought not only his opponents, but also himself. He constantly tried to better himself and strove for perfection. Thoughtful. Wise. Temperate. Controlled. Passionate. Focused.
When you consider your leadership journey, are you Samurai? Or are you a manager? Do you practice leadership 24/7, or just between 9 and 5, or worse yet, just when you have to. We need more leaders who are Samurai. Focus. Become a better leader.
All the best!
All the time!
A tip for those of you who are not oriental, Asians are not all alike and each “Asian” culture is quite different. If you want to be respectful of an Asian, find our more about his or her specific culture, they’re all different. Think about it, we eat Italian, German, French, English or American food. I don’t remember the last time I went out for White food.