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How Toyota Became #1: Leadership Lessons from the World's Greatest Car Company

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Overview

Everyone knows that Toyota has had an amazing twenty-five- year run, rising from a humble Japanese start-up to a thriving global giant. But how did it pass Ford and GM to become the world's largest auto manufacturer? And how does it continue to thrive while so many competitors are struggling and failing?

Journalist David Magee dug deeply into Toyota's past and present, interviewing senior executives who rarely talk to the press, along with many other sources. The powerful ...

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How Toyota Became #1: Leadership Lessons from the World's Greatest Car Company

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Overview

Everyone knows that Toyota has had an amazing twenty-five- year run, rising from a humble Japanese start-up to a thriving global giant. But how did it pass Ford and GM to become the world's largest auto manufacturer? And how does it continue to thrive while so many competitors are struggling and failing?

Journalist David Magee dug deeply into Toyota's past and present, interviewing senior executives who rarely talk to the press, along with many other sources. The powerful lessons that he distills, especially about corporate culture, are valuable for managers in all industries.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Magee, a columnistat the Chattanooga Times Free Press, ably chronicles the rise of leading auto manufacturer Toyota and the underlying principles that led to its ascendancy. From lean production to a long-term focus to specialized philosophies like "kaizen" (a system of continuous improvement in which instances of waste are eliminated one by one) and "genchi genbutsu" (a belief in practical experience over theoretical knowledge), Magee documents each contributing factor in Toyota's success. Going back as far as Toyota founder Kiichiro Toyoda's father Sakichi Toyoda, a successful inventor who inspired and financed the car company's first operations, Magee takes the reader through the company's current challenges and achievements. While he delivers some fresh ideas on how to foster innovation within a particular industry, his overwhelming praise for Toyota's methods reads suspiciously like hagiography, despite his frequent assurances that he wrote the book "in complete objectivity with no involvement or influence from the company." Still, this work will interest those involved in the automotive world or similar industries. (Nov. 1)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Newsweek
The factors that fueled Toyota's drive to the summit of the auto industry sare all well recounted here.
Fast Company
Magee runs through lessons in leadership and strategy, weaving in colorful snippets from Toyota's 70-year history.
BusinessWeek.com
Magee convincingly argues that the spirit of Toyota people, as much as anything, has determined Toyota's success.
The Wall Street Journal
He celebrates Toyota's willingness to acknowledge production problems quickly, to adapt its methods to varying markets, and to ask for feedback from its workers—thereby empowering them.
Booklist
An excellent view of a shining business model.
Library Journal

Drawing from firsthand interviews worldwide, Magee (The John Deere Way) presents an insightful history of how Toyota's dynamic organizational culture propelled a small family-run loom company to superstardom as a top-ranked Fortune Global 500 company and automotive-industry leader. Sakichi Toyoda, the founder of Toyota, was profoundly influenced by the books of the Victorian age Scottish reformist Samuel Smiles, once greatly known for his books such as Self-Help, Thrift, and Duty. By telling the Toyoda and Toyota story, Magee has in fact created another self-help book that individuals as well as corporations can follow in learning the methods that Toyota used to improve itself. Magee's research shows how Toyota has identified specific organizational goals and values that drive performance, such as continuous improvement and respect for people. These values and goals have recently been summarized by Toyota in written guidelines called the "Toyota Way." Magee shows how the Toyota Way translates directly into profits and competitive advantage. Quirky chapter titles, such as "The Power of Paranoia" and "Let Failure Be Your Teacher," also reflect the company's unusual values. This inspirational book is essential reading for both human resource professionals and business executives and is definitely suitable for public library audiences as well.
—Caroline Geck

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781591842293
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/28/2008
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 239
  • Sales rank: 480,815
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

David Magee is the author of eight nonfiction books, including Turnaround: How Carlos Ghosn Rescued Nissan and The John Deere Way. He is also the founder and president of Jefferson Press and the co-owner of Rock Point Books, a Chattanooga, Tennessee, independent bookstore.

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Table of Contents

Preface xi

Introduction 1

1 Diligently Apply to the Right Pursuits 7

2 Strive for Continuous Improvement 25

3 The Power of Humility 47

4 Rid All That Adds No Value 59

5 Improve Quality by Exposing the Truth 73

6 Raise the Bar to Unreachable Heights 85

7 Favor Long-Term Strategies Over Short-Term Fixes 103

8 Learn the Customer, Live the Customer 117

9 Take Time to Study, Then Implement with Speed 131

10 Let Failure Be Your Teacher 143

11 Cultivate Evolution 153

12 Plan Big, Execute Small 161

13 Manage Like You Have No Power 173

14 Carefully Cultivate and Support Partners 185

15 The Power of Paranoia 195

Conclusion: Work for the Right Reasons 205

Appendix A Toyota's Guiding Principles 211

Appendix B The Toyota Way 213

Appendix C Japanese Terms Used at Toyota 215

Appendix D Charting the Success 219

Acknowledgments 221

Notes 225

Index 233

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 6 of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 9, 2014

    This book was one of the best I have ever read in 14 years.  The

    This book was one of the best I have ever read in 14 years.  The book helps incorporate business lessons well telling a great story how Toyota did it themselves. I find that the author did a exceptionally great job integrated the Japanese culture since being where Toyota originated. The book gave good ideas from how to improve and manage a business. The book teaches since, the american and Japanese buyers need to have different details while going to international buyers. While reading people at the age could realize that the book could be read at any level but i strongly suggest 15+. This book should be read by any great business man at hand or some that want to get into a international business or any car company ordeal. This book later inspired my self to want to start a business and later grow up to start my own company. I hope readers of books can read this and believe that what I say can help them choosing the right book.      

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  • Posted May 3, 2009

    Inspirational book for leaders.

    Great text in two different contexts, american and jappannese cultures, but at the same time how leaders can grow and learn from both. Great experienes and ideas for actual business, is a must for executives that want to learn about success and failure but most, about values in coporations.

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    Posted January 23, 2010

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    Posted December 10, 2009

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    Posted February 19, 2009

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