How to get promoted in Japanese corporation


Do you want to “advance in your career”?

Of course, there are people who may say, “I don’t want to get promoted in my career.”

However, understanding the characteristics of individuals who are likely to “advance in their careers” can provide insights into the essence of an organization or society.

In this article, we would like to explore the traits of individuals who are likely to “advance in their careers” in Japanese society.

What kind of person succeeds in their career?

I work for a large manufacturing company.

There’s a person named Mr. A, who recently became the company president.

I’ve known Mr. A personally since I was a newcomer, and as a result, I’ve had the opportunity to observe his behavioral traits over the years.

Below, I will describe Mr. A’s characteristics.

Thorough Top-Down Management

He obediently follows the instructions of his superiors and refrains from challenging or expressing their own opinions.

They demand absolute obedience from their subordinates and do not tolerate dissent.

Whether dealing with subordinates or colleagues, when attempting to make others comply, he leverages the authority.

“Because that’s what the top management is saying…”

One could say that this approach strongly reflects a pre-war mentality from the Showa era.

He does not delegate decision-making authority to subordinates at all, insisting on frequent reporting and a desire for constant monitoring.

This is what is commonly known as micromanagement.

Emphasis on Efficiency

He makes quick decisions and takes swift actions to respond promptly to the wishes of his superiors.

The act of trial and error in creating something new is foreign to him.

His approach involves selecting the optimal solution from existing options and applying it to reality.

There is no pause for contemplation; the mantra is “move, move,” urging those around him to act swiftly.

This reflects a consciousness of not wasting time and a commitment to delivering results to superiors as quickly as possible.

Tendency to turn a blind eye to inconvenient matters:

While not fully grasping the entirety of the reality, imposing the superior’s intentions unilaterally naturally leads to drawbacks and distortions.

Due to the forcible progression of commercialization without allocating sufficient time for examination and verification, products with defects may be mass-produced.

Even when the situation worsens, He merely shifts blame onto subordinates, saying nothing more than, “What are you doing?! Hurry up!”

It is inevitable for overtime hours to increase when ordering schedule compression, but to stay within the company’s set upper limit, he manipulates recorded hours.

Even when receiving guidance from the Labor Standards Inspection Office, there is no reflection; instead, he engages in a witch hunt, asking, “Who reported this internally!?”

Prioritizing self-preservation above all else, they avidly divert their attention from inconvenient facts occurring on the field, focusing solely on pleasing their superiors.

Caught in a dilemma, mental health suffers, leading to a surge in managerial staff taking sick leave or resigning.

Who Gets Mistreated?

A person who possesses the behavioral traits described above, like Mr. A, has succeeded in his long-term “efforts” and has happily become the president.

However, many individuals, despite their efforts, have not only faced setbacks and lost in the “race for career advancement” but have also been forced into retirement.

Those who are disliked and mistreated by the dictator at the top include:

  1. Individuals who fearlessly clash with superiors, expressing their own opinions and making proposals.
  2. People who listen to the opinions of subordinates and the field, confronting inconvenient realities.
  3. Those who embrace challenges and strive for something new.
  4. Compassionate individuals who grapple with guilt and a sense of wrongdoing.
  5. People with a strong sense of self, refusing to become subservient.
  6. Individuals who possess confidence backed by a solid foundation of accumulated effort and experience.

Anticipated Tragedy:

Typically, each company has the freedom to evaluate its employees based on its own criteria.

Who receives favoritism, and who faces mistreatment?

Accumulated judgments over the years determine the nature of each company.

Due to an emphasis on behavioral traits similar to those of Mr. A, who became the president, various negative consequences have arisen within the organization.

  • Employees promptly execute tasks as instructed but have stopped making suggestions.
  • They avoid anything that carries even a slight risk of failure.
  • Since they only follow manuals and precedents, they are unable to create tasks independently.
  • The ability to interact with differing opinions and generate new value has diminished.
  • With no decision-making authority, they become mere pawns, making the work uninteresting.
  • Having to seek approval from superiors at every step hampers quick decision-making on the field, resulting in overall inefficiency.
  • Employees give up and stop thinking, adopting a lethargic and irresponsible attitude.

In essence, the organization has become shallow and uninteresting.

While it’s free for companies to present mid-to-long-term plans such as “Achieve XX billion yen in sales by the year XXXX” to investors, the crucial aspect is that the organization is deteriorating, making these plans nothing more than empty promises.


“Only thinking about the immediate future.”

“Self-preservation is the only thing that matters.”

“Focusing solely on the gains and losses of money, devoid of any philosophy.”

The corruption of politicians merely reflects the corruption of the citizens.

The most evident manifestation of this citizen corruption is in corporate organizations.

If you want to revitalize corporate organizations, it’s necessary to introduce alternative evaluation criteria rather than favoring only the workaholics or slavery mentality.

Otherwise, the result will be a decline in work efficiency, and Japan’s per capita GDP ranking will continue to drop.

I hope this article serves as a catalyst for reevaluating the current state of the organization you belong to.