Philosophy of the Japan Leadership Association
President Akisato Mizuno
Discussion on leadership or actions to be taken by leaders have increased recently to solve various problems of society and organizations including problems raising when addressing international competitiveness or organization restructuring.
In Japan, leadership education is provided mainly to executive trainee in companies. Unfortunately, there are few universities offering education program specialized in leadership. Moreover, opportunities for faculties of leadership education to exchange their opinions and broaden and deepen their knowledge and skills are limited. Therefore, it is no exaggeration to say that leadership education and training in Japan has been carried out without scientific and academic basis. Generally, how the ideal leader should be is discussed and pursued within each of various organization in this society based on their particular experience and knowledge, and there was no place for open and vigorous discussion on leadership based on scientific verification. In order to contribute to development of academic field of leadership education, the Japan Leadership Association (JLA) is established in August 2014.
Philosophy of JLA is as follows.
1．Leadership is essential to every level of organization hierarchy
The leadership is essential not only to the top management of governments and companies but also to every level of organization hierarchy when leading projects such as new product development project in private company or social contribution project in nonprofit organization.Every member of any organization will face the situation to act as a “leader”. Therefore, performing strong leadership is universal challenge for all organization members. As the organization is sophisticated and specialization of work is promoted, decisions of each divisional leader make huge impacts on the overall performance of the organization. Considering the circumstances, we believe that scientific research on leadership will contribute to the success of individuals in any organization.
2. Scientific analysis of leadership is necessary
Nowadays, leaders are facing more complex and various mission such as realizing social justice, achieving target profit, winning in professional sports league and achieving objective of research projects. Those missions cannot be accomplished only by utilizing particular knowledge and abilities gained by past experiences or natural gift. It also requires management skills to achieve the objective, organization structure that enables organization members to make efficient actions toward the objective and practical ability to operate the individual project team to achieve their assigned target. In current circumstances, leadership education and training in most organizations are based on experience rather than scientific analysis. We have learned about what qualities and attributes make a great leader from our predecessors. More specifically, during day to day operation, we intentionally or unintentionally evaluate our own leaders and learn what to do and what not to do and then, we decide how to act as a leader based on the experience. However, those qualities and attributes we identified in the great leader has not been verified and supported by the scientific consensus. Of course there are some researches discussing over leadership in Japan. However, those researches are usually focusing on describing common nature of leaders who are historically recognized as great leaders as well as their achievements. Few researches are attempting to explain leadership based on scientific evidences. We believe it is possible to verify and explain quality and attribute of leadership scientifically and JLA provides the place for discussion and verification.
3. Leadership education is essential
If leadership is a natural gift, it would be difficult to cultivate a leader. However, once leadership is explained scientifically, it is possible to raise a great leader through education. JLA will offer the place for open discussion on leadership education and promote development of practical leadership education program based on scientific analysis. Leadership education must be provided not only to the top management but also to every level of organization, as leadership is universal challenge to individuals in any organization.
In summary, our mission is to provide the place for open and vigorous discussion and to promote scientific analysis of leadership as well as development of leadership education program.
JLA is welcoming university faculties, consultants specialized in leadership education and those who are responsible for human resource development in any organizations.
We respect experiences and knowledges on leadership education accumulated within human resource department in organizations and consulting companies. And we believe that JLA offers the place to broaden and deepen their knowledge and skills through open discussions with those who pursue the same objectives.
We hope to contribute to development of academic and scientific field of leadership and leadership education that is essential for rejuvenation of Japanese economy.