Kazuo Inamori, one of the most revered entrepreneurs in Japan, has long stressed the importance of “the indomitable will” of a company to turn a crisis into an opportunity to rebound. According to him, a company needs to have a strong will and courage to overcome hardships and obstacles. What helps a firm to survive a crisis is the executives’ fighting spirit based on a belief that they will build a great business.
It was also such strong-minded entrepreneurs that helped the South Korean economy to achieve remarkable growth in a short span of time. During that time, however, the importance of entrepreneurs’ ethics was often overridden by an absolute need to spur growth. Though having made huge contributions to the country’s industries and job creation, several entrepreneurs have stood trials and come under fire for engaging in illegal acts including tax evasion. Today, it’s not easy to name a widely-respected, influential figure who, with his or her strong determination, builds and grows a new business. Those who have inherited corporate control from their parents seem to be risk-averse, and some even tarnish the reputation of companies.
The fundamental purpose of corporate management is making profits, but its ultimate goal should be doing good for society. Even if systems are changed for better and regulations get tighter, it’ll be no good if entrepreneurs can’t rid themselves of greed because social problems including wide income gaps will not be resolved. Therefore, companies’ top executives, though belatedly, should set a goal of having the ethics and moral sense. Hopefully, we’ll be able to see more upright entrepreneurs in the country, who can give hopes to the youth and serve as the driving force behind economic recovery.