Walking around Ibirapuera park on Saturday reminded me of how much I love watching people who are excellent at what they do. There was this skate boarder who was amazing. I don’t love skate boarding in general, but because he cared enough about skate boarding to excel at it, he made me love skateboarding for a few minutes as I watched him.
The world is a workshop for men and women like this who care about excellence. The world is polluted by those who don’t care. What is excellence? Excellence is educated care that strives for great love. To work excellently is to learn how to care about your work and to strive to make your work best. To love excellently is to learn how to care for the one you love and to strive for what is best for them. Those who strive for excellence elicit love from others. This is what happened at the park. One man was excellent, and he made me care.
Today, we toured the Toyota museum at the Toyota motors plant in Sao Paulo. We were told about the history of the company and the direction of its future. We got to get in old cars and new cars. We got to use their interactive interfaces to learn about their conservation efforts, and we were educated on TPS, Toyota’s Production System. The whole tour was so well organized, and the technology was state of the art. Not only that, but the efforts that Toyota is making to clean up the environment are exciting. Toyota is already the greenest auto manufacturer in the world, but they are not stopping there. They legitimately care about the environment, and it shows in their work. Every part of the tour told me that Toyota is a company run on excellence.
This model of company excellence was summed up in one of Toyota’s principles: Kaizen. Kaizen is the excellence that Toyota holds themselves to. It is a Japenese word that captures the concept of continual striving for perfection. Kaizen is never satisfied, but always works to improve and grow. From all that we could see, Toyota lived out Kaizen.
Toyota inspired me by their excellence. Their excellence elicited love in me for the work that they do. They interested me in their company and their efforts. As a result, I invested time in learning about their conservation efforts and in seeing the beauty of some of their cars. By living excellently, Toyota made me care.
Toyota taught me that if I care about something, I should live excellently. In doing so, I can make the world care too. Toyota cares about fighting pollution. Yet the pollution that Toyota fights is not just the pollution in the air, but the pollution of apathy. The cure to apathy is the excellence that comes by Kaizen.
~ Jared Sittig