YKK Stories

The Teachings of Tadao Yoshida: Make Just a Bit More Effort, If Only Paper Thin

January 19, 2021
Author: YKK
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Ever since establishing the company, YKK founder Tadao Yoshida left us many quotable sayings. These sayings have been discussed in various business situations and locations
based on the YKK Philosophy of the “Cycle of Goodness.” Many of the sayings relate to things Tadao Yoshida learned from nature and the climate of his hometown when he was a boy and were developed through his experiences with people in his youth. He developed these experiences into sayings that could be used in business to inspire employees. Therefore, the sayings, while simple, are packed with tips for work and life. We’d like to share some of them with you:

“Everyone probably has dreams for tomorrow and goals for the future. Dreams and goals can be held by anyone irrespective of their age. Their size and scope differ from person to person, but
there is one thing that does not change – making an effort is indispensable for making a dream come true. However, satisfactory results cannot be achieved just by making an ordinary effort. Take sumo, for example. All sumo wrestlers aspire to rise to a higher rank, and they spend their days training. However, training just like everybody else does not lead to a higher sumo ranking. People who do well are those who train and use their heads more than anyone else. This can be said of companies as well. What becomes necessary is the making of just a bit more effort, even if only paper thin. After doing your best at work, if you add just a little bit more effort on top of it, even just a single sheet’s worth, then after ten or twenty years, it will add up and make a huge difference. It does not matter if on its own, a single piece of paper is less than a tenth of a millimeter. If you take a newspaper and fold it in half, and fold it again into four… how many times do you have to fold it to make it higher than Mt. Fuji? Of course, it is impossible to keep folding a newspaper like that, but I once heard how many times it would take in theoretical terms. It should not be hard to imagine how big things could get if you keep repeating that little bit of effort.”

(March 1963)