10 phrases from Toyota: Find the motivation to start your idea

10 phrases from Toyota: Find the motivation to start your idea

From a manufacturer of looms to the world’s most popular automaker, Toyota is an auto giant, and its leaders fueled this success with respect and innovation. Without a doubt, it is possible to find inspiring teachings through Toyota’s phrases, which will serve you for your business, and for your professional and/or personal life. 

In this article, we will talk about 10 phrases from the leaders and businessmen of the Toyota company. Each of them has left a profitable trajectory for small new investors. And remember, no matter how big or small your idea is, fortune lies in your desire to go for more. 

Who was the Toyota family?

The history of the renowned automotive brand begins with the bond of a father and son: Sakichi and Kiichiro Toyoda. Toyota is one of the largest vehicle manufacturing companies in Japan, which has set a milestone in the development of the automobile market. However, the success of this brand is not only due to the vehicles but also to the excellence of its processes. 

Toyota Motor Corporation was founded in September 1933 under the Toyoda Automatic Loom company. However, before this, Sakichi Toyoda, at just 24 years old, founded an improvement system for looms, a mechanism that controlled the tension of the yarn. Over the years, Sakichi sold his patent and his son joined to design a mechanism with better finishes and functions. 

As an unexpected event, the textile industry entered a recession, for which they gave up the idea and it was at this moment that what is today Toyota emerged. Kiichiro Toyoda decided to diversify the business and take the reins of automobile manufacturing, which was far from the culture of the Japanese country. Kiichiro Toyoda’s father died in 1930, and he died 22 years later, but that didn’t stop his dream of building Japanese cars. 

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Consequently, to date, the work philosophy has been maintained: encourage continuous improvement and respect people. Kiichiro Toyoda had an extraordinary journey thanks to his vision and entrepreneurial spirit. Today, Akio Toyoda is the leader of Toyota, an iconic company in the automotive world with more than 60 million vehicles sold. 

10 phrases from Toyota: Find the motivation to start your idea

10 famous Toyota phrases

It is possible to be better every day. Therefore, we have selected for you the most successful phrases of the Toyota family. Each leader of the organization has left an indelible lesson, take advantage of the experience of these great businessmen, directors, and executives and get inspired to move your project forward. 

“Before you say you can’t do something, try it.”

The tools we use to deal with changes, tasks, and activities are the same ones that we acquire from the experiences we have gathered over the years. However, on the entrepreneurial path, occasions may arise where we reject opportunities simply for fear of not doing them correctly.  

It is right there, where Toyota’s phrases emphasize that you never say I can’t without first taking the first step. As an entrepreneur, you may find yourself with challenges that are difficult to face, but keep in mind that these will be the key to strengthening yourself and making you improve. Now, this is one of Kiichiro Toyoda’s quotes that is also attributed to Sakichi. 

“Don’t look with your eyes, look with your feet. Don’t think with your head, think with your hands.

This is one of Kikuo Suzumura ‘s phrases that talks about the importance of living the processes without having to take the opinion of third parties. Each action has a result, therefore, it is essential that you live the experience, always with a realistic view, so that you can properly speak about each detail. Get close to the process, know each piece, understand how it works, and stay alert. 

“You cannot improve if you are satisfied with the current situation.”

Without a doubt, this is one of the best phrases of the Toyota brand. In life, we have days when we prefer to stay in our comfort zone so as not to risk the unknown. However, at the time of undertaking this door remains open, since every day it is necessary to make changes to not only keep up with trends but also to offer a better service. 

Continuous improvement is part of the business challenges, since everything changes in the blink of an eye, and if we are not aware of it, we will be surpassed by our competition. Taiichi Ohno’s phrase encourages us, as a company, not to worry about recognizing the risks that will lurk if we do not implement improvement plans.

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“People are Toyota’s most important asset, and the determining factor in its rise or fall.”

The most important resource that an organization has is its human capital, as highlighted by Eiji Toyoda in his famous phrases. Let’s say that you are starting a new venture and you want to have a solid work team that supports you in every situation. The key is to make them part of each step of the project. Each employee should know that he is an important part of the company, therefore his opinion and ideas will be valuable. 

“When I was a student here, I found joy in donuts! The American donuts were a surprising discovery. I want to encourage everyone to find their own donut.”

This is one of Toyota’s famous phrases, precisely by Akio Toyoda, as it conveys a clear message: search the world for something that motivates you. If you want to impact the lives of your employees and your customers, you need to be happy with the activities they perform daily.

In this way, it is essential to find your motivation, the one that lifts you every day with the desire to do it differently and better to leave your mark. Remember that good energy in the work environment generates increases in creativity and productivity.  

“The more inventory an organization accumulates, the more likely it is that they don’t have what they really need.”

The objective of a company will always be to invoice at the same time that it produces, because, if there is any change in the operation, an increase in stock could generate losses. Taiichi Ohno, with one of his phrases, highlights the secret of not accumulating, on the contrary, having only what is necessary. 

In a company, it is crucial to have tools that help mitigate risks and that allow control to optimize resources. Don’t accumulate, maximize! 

“Without standards there can be no improvement.”

How to determine the success of an idea if there are no established parameters? One of Toyota’s phrases, attributed to Taiichi Ohno, makes a decisive clarification in this regard. Defining the standards allows us to know what the current situation of the organization is to set the starting point to achieve the objective.  

The improvement cycle cannot decline in organizations and setting a standard is what will help to study the actions and results obtained through them. 

“The worst of all problems is not having problems.”

Problems are part of life and help us seize the moment even when it is an obstacle along the way. Indeed, this is one of the most successful Toyota phrases and comes from the hand of Taiichi Ohno. Addressing weak points is an advantage that you acquire on the road to success because you obtain superior learning. 

  • Therefore, do not take everything for granted. Perhaps when something does not go well, it is for you to better analyze the project and manage it from another perspective. Remember that large companies like Toyota had difficulties in its implementation and today, they are recognized worldwide.
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“The rules should not be imposed from above, but defined by the operators themselves.”

As we mentioned earlier, the most important thing in an organization is the power of its human resources. Therefore, when you decide to make a decision that determines the direction of the company, be sure to share it with your team of collaborators.  

First of all, workers must know how to master the activities that they decide to implement. Likewise, they must provide feedback on the effectiveness of this new process and the satisfaction that it generates in each one. Because changes can generate resistance, the entire organization must become optimally familiar with them. 

“I can’t predict what kind of car we’ll be driving 20 years from now, but my time at Babson taught me to embrace change rather than run from it.”

Finally, Akio Toyoda in his phrases, like Taiichi Ohno, Eiji Toyoda, Kiichiro Toyoda, and Sakichi Toyoda, talk a lot about the importance of experiencing change. It is likely that during your process of developing a business idea, life, and professional plans, you will focus on the remaining firm in a single state. However, the change is what allows you to realize if you have done well or could improve. 

A great project can preserve what it obtained in the past and bet on what it will obtain in the future thanks to the lessons learned. The future generates uncertainty, but without a doubt, it is promising. As an entrepreneur, we recommend that you be open to new techniques and strategies since these are the ones that will allow you to innovate in the market and maintain the flow of income. 

Final words

Success is a biased concept, some consider that it is measured by sales volume, and others by the popularity in the market. Toyota is a clear example that these actions, while important, are not the center that produces recognition. 

Over the years, the company’s Japanese leaders gave rise to responsibility with employees, understanding that their participation was the key to achieving the proposed objectives. However, during this process, they went through different levels where the bond with the employees merged with the desire to get ahead through innovation. 

It is this same premise that leads us to affirm that Akio Toyoda, Taiichi Ohno, Eiji Toyoda, Kiichiro Toyoda, and Sakichi Toyoda are precursors of change from the recognition of the value of their employees. We hope you find in these phrases a dose of motivation to keep going. Tell us what you think!


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