"Let's do it!" This is one of the key phrases Akio Toyoda uses to motivate his colleagues and partners. But what exactly does it mean? The answer comes all the way from Toyota's founding years.
The 2014 Japanese TV series “Leaders” was a dramatization of Toyota’s founding years. In one scene, a manager modeled on company founder Kiichiro Toyoda proposes entering the automobile business. His team members were at a loss after learning how far behind Japan was compared to the U.S., which had a half-century technological lead. Amid the tense atmosphere, one member stands up, responding to Kiichiro and calling on others with the words “Let’s do it!” One after another, his colleagues enthusiastically follow suit.
Later, when asked for his thoughts on the series, Akio Toyoda picked this scene as the most memorable. On various occasions since, Akio himself has recited these words to motivate colleagues–“Let’s do it!”
Interestingly, in the drama, it was not Kiichiro who stood up and said the phrase. These were the determined words of those inspired by his ambition to “build cars for Japanese people.” From this perspective, Akio, a grandson of Kiichiro, is sharing the words as a successor of the founding members who stood up in solidarity with Kiichiro.
In recent months, Akio has used the phrase to finish public messages on two occasions. One was Japan’s National Dealer Meeting in November 2021. The other was his New Year’s address to employees in 2022. Linking the two was a common thread–in both cases, he was addressing the successors of the leaders depicted in the series.
With their unwavering vision of the future, Toyota’s founding leaders and the succeeding generations overcame countless hardships and challenges to help create the Japanese automotive industry. After 85 years since its foundation, Toyota now has operations and stakeholders around the world.
Despite facing challenging times of rapid change and uncertainty, through the phrase “Let’s do it!”, Akio continues to share a strong commitment to steering the company and leading the industry into the future.