Leaders of Change and Creativity Set Out on Their Journeys—Scenes from GLOBIS' Commencement Ceremony

GLOBIS marked its fourth graduation ceremony this year. Every time I see graduates in black academic gowns gallantly entering the hall, I am almost moved to tears.

On this day, leaders of change and creativity, whom we at GLOBIS have nurtured with all our might for over two years, set out to start their future.

Although this was our fourth graduation ceremony, it was the first cohort of MBA graduates from the Globis Graduate School of Management, Globis University. This is because GLOBIS initially started with a Graduate Diploma in Business in Administration (GDBA), our own non-degree MBA program. With the subsequent approval of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, GLOBIS became a formally recognized graduate school of management in April 2006. So two years have passed since that time.

In the past we sent out GDBA graduates, and this year we conferred MBA degrees for the first time in addition to GDBA diplomas. However, since both MBA and GDBA students take the same program at GLOBIS, we do not really distinguish these two groups, so I use the expression, "GMBA," for both.

GLOBIS' graduation is simple but enthusiastic. The ceremony is divided into two parts. The first includes speeches and congratulatory messages from the dean and guest speakers. This takes 20-30 minutes. In the second section, degrees are conferred followed by a speech from the valedictorian. This takes more than an hour and a half.

The most time-consuming portion is when each student states his or her intent for the future, under the title, "Declaration of Resolve," after receiving their diploma.

Eiji Kamada, head of the corporate education business at GLOBIS, wrote the following in his notes:

"I attended Tokyo's GMBA graduation today, and the 34 GMBAs at this momentous occasion were wonderful.

[Declarations of Graduates]

‘Not for myself but for the sake of society and a just cause.'  
‘Carve out my path in the 21st century'
‘Will be someone who provides a positive influence on other people'
‘Taking no action is to be guilty of the sin of omission. To exaggerate a little, it's just like Akiyama in the novel, Clouds Above the Hilltops; I face things aware that if I lay down on the job even one day, Japan will be one step behind.'

[Mr. Kamada's comments continue]
What I consistently heard was their firm determination as well as their heartfelt appreciation for the support of their families. When some graduates were at a loss for words, I was unexpectedly moved to tears.

My overall impression was that the graduates are definitely focused on society. I sensed that their altruism clearly takes precedence over personal benefit. That is, the spirit of contributing to society is at the forefront.

I felt that the desire to nurture leaders of change and creativity, the founding spirit of GLOBIS, is definitely shared by this community of graduates.

The graduates had invested a lot of time, more than two years. They had established ties and friendly rivalries in social networks, participated in heated face-to-face discussions with lecturers, and had been immersed in the knowledge and wisdom that poured down on them at every opportunity. They had also discovered future aspirations.

These efforts bore fruit in the form of the students' declarations. On such a special occasion as this graduation ceremony, I had the impression that their thoughts had crystallized and burst out as words."

Mr. Kazuo Noda, one of the guest speakers, praised the declarations as "simple, clear, and unique." I felt the same way.

I would like to describe the typical student perspective that I heard many times over.

· First, self-awareness 
"I was able to seriously look into myself and face other people."
"I was able to get to know myself deeply."
"I became strongly aware of how much farther I needed to go in developing my capabilities."
"I was able to think positively about myself."

· Then, transformation (change in awareness)
"I gained wisdom and an ambition and felt my own revolution take place inside."
"Before, I had no confidence, but I changed dramatically."
"I realized I could grow (change) if I made the effort."
"I stopped trying to maintain the status quo."
"I will train my mind and body for the rest of my life. I recognize the lifelong challenges I face."

· In addition, a strong mindset for believing in possibility
"Mental obstacles for trying to reach a goal disappear."
"I believe I can do it."
"I learned different ways of thinking."
"How I view things and developing an attitude to do my best is important. I gained more in terms of mental outlook than in skills."
    
· Resolution to set out into the future
"I have done enough sparring. From now on, I will put it into practice."
"A journey of one thousand miles starts with a single step."
"Please look me up in five or ten years."

· Final comment from a student
"GLOBIS changed my vague notions about what I wanted to do into a firm decision."

As symbolized by these remarks, I believe most graduates have gained:

· confidence from a belief in themselves  
· the determination to set goals in life

As noted by Mr. Kamada, guided by our goal of fostering leaders of change and creativity, we have emphasized mindset as well as skills—in other words, nurturing human power. Because no matter how much knowledge and wisdom a person has, he or she must have personal magnetism. In addition, in the face of difficulties in the real world of management, without a strong determination and sense of mission, there is no opportunity to apply one's talents and overcome adversity.

GLOBIS is not merely a university for teaching business administration but a private school for fostering managers. The task of cultivating managers naturally requires instilling the temperament of a leader into students.

So how do we nurture human power?

This question places an enormous challenge in front of us. Simply providing knowledge and wisdom is insufficient for genuinely developing human power.

To begin with, can we foster human power and potential?

Through trial and error, I came upon the answers in a private school at the end the Edo Period (1603-1868). I wondered if there was wisdom for cultivating human power in the teaching methods of this private school that produced the aspiring young leaders of the Meiji Restoration (1868). Maybe I could discover the way for encouraging leaders by using the private school's methods as a benchmark. For this reason, I decided to thoroughly study the techniques used by Shokason-juku, Shoin Yoshida's private school.

The technique is referred to as "kogaku (discussion) style," in which teachers and students read a book together and then discuss it thoroughly. GLOBIS calls this the "reading-club style" and adopts it for Keieidojyo. The subjects we select at the Keieidojyo use suitable books for expanding human capabilities, including Introduction to the True Theory of Wang Yangming Doctrine, by Akio Hayashida and Dale Carnegie's How to Win Friends and Influence People, among others.

In addition, in the required class that I teach on entrepreneurial leadership, students exchange ideas about many leaders, including Takamori Saigo, Sontoku Ninomiya, Yozan Uesugi, and Toju Nakae based on the book, Representative Men of Japan by Kanzo Uchimura. In the final class, I have students make a presentation on the direction of their lives under the title, "My Mission in Life." Just as I wrote my own book, Personal Mission Statement, and established a graduate school, I would like students to find their own mission and live accordingly. Even if they did not discover anything about their mission in just over two years of rigorous study, I would be pleased if I had helped them seriously think about it.

At commencement, the achievement of education appears in the graduates who grew not only in skills but as individuals as well.

This moves me deeply during every graduation.

I wrap up each ceremony and send off the graduates with the following speech:

"We had you declare what you should do in the future as your own mission. I would like you to continue thinking about what your mission is, let go of your desires for such things as money, fame, and power; find your mission and strive to fulfill it.

With high ethical standards as well as global and historical worldview, follow the right path based on a philosophical and spiritual outlook on life.

If these five perspectives (a global viewpoint, historical perspective, enthusiastic view of life, sense of mission and ethical standards) are combined with the methods for effecting change and creativity that you learned at GLOBIS, I am confident you will create new value and dynamism in society as leaders of change and creativity.

I send you into future with these words as well as my own deep sense of gratitude for having had the chance to know you at GLOBIS." 

An auspicious June day
Yoshito Hori, 
President, Graduate School of Management, Globis Universit

Mr. Yoshito Hori established GLOBIS Management School in 1992 and GLOBIS Capital Partners in 1996. In 2003, GLOBIS started its original MBA program which, in 2006, received accreditation from the Japanese Ministry of Education and gained “university” status. GLOBIS started a part-time MBA program in English in 2009 and a full-time MBA program in English in 2012.

A Harvard MBA graduate and former Sumitomo Corporation employee, Mr. Hori founded the Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) Japan Chapter in 1995 and became the first board member from Asia in charge of Asia Pacific region in 1996. He also served on the World Economic Forum (WEF)’s New Asian Leaders Executive Committee and Global Agenda Council on New Models of Leadership, as well as the Harvard Business School Alumni Board from 2005 to 2008. Currently, Mr. Hori is a board member of the Keizai Doyukai (Japan Association of Corporate Executives), and serves as co-chair of WEF’s Global Growth Companies.

In 2008, he launched the G1 Summit – a Japanese version of the WEF’s annual Davos forum. This led to the foundation of G1 Summit Institute in 2013, which Mr. Hori serves as Representative Director.

Just days after a huge earthquake struck northeast Japan in March 2011, Mr. Hori launched Project KIBOW to support the rebuilding of the disaster-affected areas. The following year Project KIBOW was incorporated as the KIBOW Foundation, which Mr. Hori serves as Representative Director.

An avid enthusiast of the Japanese game Go since age 40, Mr. Hori has been Director of the Nihon Ki-in (Japan Go Association) since June 2013.

Since October 2013, Mr. Hori has hosted a weekly TV program in Japan called Nippon Mirai Kaigi (Japan Future Conference). He has authored several books including Visionary Leaders who Create and Innovate Societies, Six Dimensions of Life, and My Personal Mission Statement.

Mr. Hori received his BS in Engineering from Kyoto University and his MBA from Harvard Business School.

He is an avid swimmer and enjoys spending time with his family, especially his five sons.

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