Leaders Voice; Words to Inspire | Nikkei special edition

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A strong organization needs strong leadership

Yukiko Teshima,
President and CEO,
Teshima Corporation

World-standard injection needles

My company makes stainless steel tubing, mainly for medical injection needles. Thirty years ago, during Japan’s economic bubble, we mainly focused on increasing mass production. However, since then, as I’m sure you know, Japan’s population has been decreasing. That is why I changed our company strategy to focus on worldwide marketing. Our products are a basic requirement for health care, and we now produce them for use by people all over the world.

We have the latest technology in machinery and production lines for hypodermic stainless steel tubing. Human efficiency and technology complement each other in the search for excellence. Our strict quality assurance process helps us meet the highest environmental standards.

First of all, in medical injection needle production we have to follow International Organization for Standardization (ISO) rules, the world standard for medical tubing products. The ISO is very stringent and precise, so our main focus is to adhere to these standards as we meet our customers’ demands.

We continue to attract customers all over the world. One of them told us by way of feedback that deliveries were always on time, communication was good, and the management system with documentation was well organized. These are some of our key strengths, and they are the focus of our efforts to improve our management system.

Yukiko Teshima(Teshima Corporation)

ISO improved our organization

When I joined the company 16 years ago, we didn't have much in the way of documentation. All the information was gathered by the manager only -- it was our company culture. I quickly realized this had to change. Information has to be shared with all the people related to a particular job, and a solid information flow had to be set up.

I also realized that our employees had to be better informed about problems and challenges within the company, so after careful study, we developed an ISO management system. We're taking this system’s implementation seriously, and it's going to make our organization stronger.

I'm always looking for ways to create a strong business culture and work environment. People respond to their surroundings. In general, if you are living in a bad culture, you're going to be a worse person, unless you develop a strong determination to maintain your personal ethics and the quality of your work.

That is why I want to make my company's culture the best it can be. Many of our workers are supporting families and they have to make a living. But they earn money according to their skill, which is why we're trying to create an environment to motivate our people to develop their skills and solidify their place in the company.

Yukiko Teshima(Teshima Corporation)

‘Rid yourself of your greedy mind’

In my 16 years at Teshima, I have seen many positive changes to the culture of our company. It will be hard to maintain those gains unless the organization’s leader can boost employees’ motivation.

So I say with the utmost determination: "Get rid of your greedy mind." That's my keyword. An open mind is crucial to an employee’s success. Just be honest. Don't lie. Seek clarity.

My goal now is to make our organization stronger by helping our people achieve goals that they set for themselves. To do this will take time as we alter the company and its culture. But we are already meeting that challenge.

A leader has to be strong-minded and goal-oriented. To achieve the goals the leader has to do everything they can, but sometimes they have to compromise. They must deploy the "power of the pause" -- simply be silent and listen.

I am goal-oriented; I like a challenge. When I start something, I just keep going until it is finished. I identify what I have to do to achieve the goal. I don't know what kind of leader I am, but I do what I have to do all the time.

Where does my motivation come from? I don't know -- it’s just me; it’s my natural characteristic. I'm always thinking about what I have to do and finding a way to do it. Always seeking -- that's me.