Toyota Times News

Akio's Candid Advice for Employees


The New Year gathering featured an impromptu Q&A session between Akio and Toyota employees. From people in a position to train and instruct others to those just embarking on their adult life, staff of all ages asked the questions on their minds, while Akio offered advice drawn from his own experiences.

In the first regular Toyota Times News broadcast, host Yuta Tomikawa delved into President Akio Toyoda’s New Year’s greeting. While the content of his message has already been shared on Toyota Times (“Treading the Rocky Path—President Toyoda’s New Year’s Greetingon January 11 (Japanese only)), there was also more to the day’s proceedings.

The program spotlights the Q&A time that followed Akio’s greeting. Though not originally planned, the session gave employees a chance to pose wide-ranging questions.

Question 1
I was in manufacturing for 40 years, and I'll be training people from this year forward. What are your tips for drawing people in?

Question 2
The day before yesterday I attended my Coming of Age Ceremony.
Could you tell us what you were doing when you were 20?

Question 3
You are often asked to give your opinions.
Now that you are face-to-face with your employees, is there anything you want to ask us?

Question 4
I sometimes wonder how everyone in my department is feeling.How do you get a sense of what the silent majority is thinking?

Akio responded to each question by reflecting on his own past and offering true-to-life advice.
The lively exchange even took some unexpected turns...
Be sure to watch the video to also see how Tomikawa got the ball rolling with the first question.

00:24 Toyota’s New Year’s tradition
01:34 “No such job as a salaryman” — New Year’s greeting highlights
03:00 Q&A begins with a question from “newcomer” Yuta Tomikawa
08:40 Akio talks about fostering talent
12:25 Was 20-year-old Akio a “terrible person”?
17:50 Akio’s turn to ask the questions
19:55 Akio’s tips for interpersonal relation
23:45 New Year’s report from Toyota Thailand