The day had finally arrived and Hiroshi stepped into the factory with open eyes and mind.
He had traveled 10,000 miles to get to Cincinnati just for this one meeting and there was a lot riding on it, because back home in Kyoto, Japan, there were plenty of people doubting him.
When he succeeded his grandfather as president of the company in 1949, he had no management or engineering experience, and that didn’t sit well with those who had been with the company for decades. In the seven years since taking over the role, however, he succeeded in what many thought would be impossible, leading their small company to domination in the playing card market in Japan.
But Hiroshi’s vision was bigger than that. He wanted to lead their company to worldwide success, which is why he arranged a meeting with the leaders from the largest manufacturer of playing cards in the world, The United States Playing Card Company, with the hopes of gleaning inspiration to bring back home.
As Hiroshi stepped into the headquarters of the world’s largest and most respected manufacturer of playing cards, however, something didn’t feel right. He was shocked to discover that they operated out of a small-scale office and factory! This was not the vision he had in mind, and as he left the meeting he realized that playing card manufacturing is a rather limited venture with little room for growth.
Rather than being deflated by this, Hiroshi used this information to empower his vision with a new plan, which included diversifying the company’s ventures in family home entertainment products. Instead of simply producing playing cards, they went on to also produce board games and toys, and as electronics began to enter the market he directed his engineers to begin experimenting with the new medium.
As a result of Hiroshi Yamauchi’s vision, during his 53 years as president, he successfully transformed the Nintendo Playing Card Company into an international multibillion-dollar leader in the video game industry.
Despite his lack of experience when he first got started, Hiroshi Yamauchi was able to achieve his vision through honesty, anticipation, and imagination—and you can use these to likewise empower your own vision:
What’s your vision?
I'm a mirror (and so are you).