From one of the century’s most accomplished business leaders comes a unique and profoundly thoughtful approach to financial and personal achievement. “Not for Bread Alone” is the blueprint for the unparalleled success of Konosuke Matsushita, pioneering leader of Japanese and world industry. His philosophy of business is simple, even idealistic; his principles of success are timeless. He adopts a people-oriented approach that gives new meaning to the word ‘success.’ An understanding of human nature that embraces new values of responsibility and generosity. A management ethic that relies on fairness, harmony and gratitude to inspire a sense of accomplishment — and that goes far beyond the quest for profit alone. (From Goodreads)
Personal Take: This is one of those books you think you’ll never pick up, let alone find at a bookstore because of the plethora of management and leadership books out there. It was only luck that I saw it being referenced in an article, and thought, why not?
Right now, it made it to my very slim list of favorite non-fiction books. Matsushita shares his people and business management experiences in such a sincere and lovely way. It truly opens your mind to the idea that there isn’t just one way when it comes to management styles, and you can be idealistic and optimistic in your approach.
That’s not to say that Matsushita is all frou-frou and fluff. Through his voice (and the translation was really good in conveying this) you can sense the steel and rationale behind his decisions. What he expected of himself, of his employees, and of his business– just reading about it made me reevaluate myself and my surroundings.
The man himself is impressive, and his backstory of how he started his company at a young age (Matsushita Electric, now known as Panasonic) was truly inspiring.
I have to admit though that I did glaze over on a few sections when it came to manufacturing specifics (swept under things I couldn’t grasp), but it was still engaging, and even in those examples, there was a lesson.
This is a must read, if not for management purposes, then just to get to know about this phenomenal human being.
Audience: Anyone and everyone. The book is divided into short sections, and it’s quick to get through.
Other recommendations: This is my first book around the topic of management and business, but because it’s so useful and inspiring, something close to it would be Think Like A Freak by Stephen Dubner and Steve Levitt.