I was actually born in Japan, but my family moved abroad shortly after. So I had no real experience of Japan until later in life, and it's only since 2013 I have had the chance to really get to know Japan by working and living here. My family and I thoroughly enjoy the experience of being here.
I feel more guided by principles and values. I value and respect diversity, tolerance, loyalty, honor, thirst for life-long learning, encouragement and integrity. I dislike elitism, egoism, discrimination betrayal and self-promotion to give some obvious examples. When in need of direction, I reflect on my belief and value systems to steer me to what I feel is right. This works better for me personally than any motto.
Being given the chance and pleasure to meet and learn from so many different nationalities, cultures and people by living and working in Europe, North America and different parts of Asia. It has been immensely stimulating, educational and rewarding, which I think has helped me become a balanced, respected and open-minded leader. I take pride in that in every job I have had no matter in which country.
At work, to clearly help my team improve individually and collectively perform toward our objectives, which is equally important for any of their personal goals. In parallel, to help build a diverse and motivational culture where people feel supported and respected. In life, to enjoy experiences with my family as much as possible in Japan, and help my kids develop into people who believe in themselves as they grow up.
Like anything in life, what you give is what you will get; Japan is a challenging place to initially come to as a foreigner for all the known reasons. Keep a really open mind and just take things as they are and not get hung up on differences versus “back home” or how things “should be.” When most frustrating, remember and ponder, “Why go abroad if you want everything to be like back home?” Find the things that are great about Japan and Japanese people and focus on those instead. Plus, avoid only socializing with your original nationalities and cultures as expats. Then soon enough you'll feel at ease here and truly enjoy it.