Ambition matters more than brains in Shigenobu Nagamori's world. As chief executive officer of Japanese motor maker Nidec, Nagamori is known for his eccentric management style.

Prospective employees have faced off against each other in eating and shouting competitions; new hires at headquarters in Kyoto have had to clean toilets.

"Motivated people can do anything if they work hard," Nagamori says in his autobiographical comic book, "The Man Hotter Than the Sun." "It's not people's talents that matter," the CEO tells his acolytes in one strip. Passion matters, and enthusiasm, and tenacity. And, if Nagamori is a role model, something else matters as well: a sizable ego.