Akio disliked negative people saying that “only negative people actively list up all the reasons why they failed”. Once you’ve failed, there isn’t much point in giving reasons.
Despite the need for swift action, a negative person will fixate on excuses. One sales rep recalls how, ‘when I was in charge of sales in Asia and the Middle East, we unfortunately made a legal blunder, but when I went to Mr. Morita to report this, he didn’t say a word in anger, he just asked “who do I have to make my apologies to?” Having visited one place to apologize, he simply asked, “where next?” You could say it was very business like, but the ease with which he did it was almost puzzling to me.’
Negative people appear stuck in the past, dark and lacking confidence. Alternatively, positive people are progressive, bright and full of confidence. Which is better goes without saying but it’s not easy to be always forward looking and proactive.
In technological development you need some measure of positivism. Negative people don’t do well and Akio really disliked negative talk.
At Sony, staff were allowed to express a differing opinion from the President, but rather than simply stating “you’re wrong”, one had to say “it would be better if we try this…” If you expressed a positive opinion, it would always be listened to.
That’s the type of person Akio liked, although being proactive and positive wasn’t the only factor-one had to be meticulous to detail and have delicate sensibilities. If you look at Sony’s top management, they were all like that. Men like President Norio Ohga, Vice-President Tsunao Hashimoto and Nobuyuki Idei were all bright and full of confidence. Akio Morita himself, was positive, proactive, meticulous in detail and had delicate sensibilities.
From:The Sayings of Akio Morita, published by Sony Magazines.