When I leave my home in Japan to go to work in the morning, I say, “itekimasu”, I’m going. My partner, Hitoshi  sees me off at the door, gives me a kiss and tells me “itte rashai”, please go and come back. He adds something else too, “have fun”.  That’s right, he tells me to have fun. Although I have heard this from him a million times, I love hearing this.  It makes me think about my day and it…

It’s hard to break people of that notion that work has to be serious. It’s as if there is a sign in some office buildings that  announces “no fun allowed.”  Or, another sign, “all laughter will be subject to immediate disciplinary action”. I love it when I hear laughter in a company and see people laughing so loud that they have to grab their gut. I listen to clients talk about their Key Performance Objectives and toothpaste marketing campaigns with…

Imagine you’re talking with a colleague and they just keep  looking at their computer screen. Or you go to an event and  start talking to someone  who doesn’t look at your face and instead is looking around to find someone who might have better business potential? If you are like me, you feel lousy in these situations. I hate it. That’s why I don’t do these things.  When I am with someone, I am with them.  If I don’t want…

You’ve heard of people who have had overnight success.  They usually say it  took them 20 years.  At least. There is such a thing as instant success, but more typical in creative fields is someone– a singer, an artist, a writer, a teacher, who works at their craft or art for years and then becomes well known or popular. Yayoi Kusama is now 84 years old and is one of the most popular Japanese artists. She just had a major…

The job is safe. It’s secure. I know it.  It pays well. That’s what I hear from people when they talk about staying at a job that no longer challenges them.  They offer these as reasons  for staying in a job they don’t like and not doing something else. They say they will make a change some day.  Some day?  Do they know how long they will live?  Do they know when they will die? Do they think they will…