Congratulations on your new appointment as the YMD Chief!
Honestly speaking, this is really a tough job, particularly at this juncture in time, where SGM is going through some rough patches. We don’t envy you. We salute and respect you for having the balls to take up this position. This is sincere praise, not sarcasm and no underlying meaning intended.
We would like to assist you in any way we can. We want you to succeed in bringing fresh hope and creating a stronger YMD organisation, as well as a stronger and more united SGM.
We wanted to share with you some of our thoughts on the challenges as a YMD chief.
Be a uniting force – There are fierce quarrels and disagreement among leaders in SGM. The behaviour and words of a top leader is of utmost importance. If you talk with an air of arrogance and authority, people will simply give up and we will end up losing many good leaders and generals of kosen-rufu that we should not be losing. Never label others or have prejudice on people before you actually meet and listen to them. Forget what you heard from third parties. The greatest weapon you can have is sincerity. Nothing else matters. This may be good reference here. It highlights the various categories and how we can all work together if we have the common goal in mind. The fundamental spirit of respecting each person as a Buddha, regardless of his views.
Be mindful of your conduct and behaviour – Especially towards the YWD. You must respect YWDs and WDs at all times, even when you disagree with them. This is what Mr Ikeda taught repeatedly. Never raise your voice under any circumstances towards a YWD or WD. There have been incidents in the past where top leaders behave inappropriately towards the YWD members, taking advantage of them. It was truly regrettable. It is not enough to check yourself, but you must also protect and strictly warn all your top YMD leaders to not commit any act that disrespect, or in any way take advantage of YWD. Tell them in no uncertain terms that strict actions will be taken against anyone who commit such act.
Be a person of integrity – There can be no compromise, even a little, with evil. We all know why the previous YMD chief reign was so short. He is a no-nonsense man. If you know you are right, never compromise. Remember, the law of cause and effect is very strict, particularly for someone in your position. (Hope you are not having second thoughts now…). Speak your mind and be fearless. It is important to speak up even if the General Director or other senior leaders disagree with you. Keep in mind, your first priority is to protect the members and the organisation, not any specific person. Support the General Director if you believe his actions are for the good of the members and the organisation. Speak up when you feel he is not. Be true to yourself.
Be critical in your thinking – When you hear words like unity, it does not mean simply stop asking question and just follow GD. When you hear protect GD, it does not mean we ask everyone to obey, don’t criticise and blindly follow GD. When people say, the stuff on the net are all work of devils and do not read them, you should read them first hand and decide for yourself whether it is evil or not. We have too many yes-man at the top today, spineless and simply do not speak up in order to protect their own position. Don’t be one. Remember, it is the Gohonzon and Sensei that we are all answerable to in the end.
Be a strategic thinker – At your position, you can make some profound changes at the structural level of the organisation. You inherited a very badly manage organisation and all your problems now are the result of poor or no proper planning. Were you prepared for this position? Do you know exactly what you want to do as YMD Chief from day one itself? To be fair, none of the YMD chiefs before you knew any better. Each were thrown into the middle of a storm, and they struggled to stay afloat and fight fire every day. Strategic means taking a longer term in your planning. Start planning your successor and how you think will best prepare him for the job. Make sure he will not be in a position like you are in today. Another area is leaders training. Our YMDs are weak in general, and without much support of any kind. Is there anything we can do to strengthen the quality of our YMD leaders?
Ask the difficult question – You were committed to the two years plan of 20,000 target of new shakubuku set by SGM. You said so in your inaugural speech last Sunday in IPA. But most leaders were aware that we have done this before. In the training academy seminar throughout last two years for example, the same strategy of one leader shakubuku one new member, was repeated again and again. Each time, without exception, we failed. We did not even manage ten per cent of our said target. Isn’t it insane to repeat the same thing and expect different result? Ask instead – Why didn’t we succeed in the past? What is the difference this round? Many will not like you if you ask these questions and some may even label you as trying to be smart, while others will want to challenge you to show actual proof before you say anything else. Ignore them. It is important to ask. These are the questions that Chiefs ask. The way we see it from here, the next two years will be totally wasted if we just do the same old thing.
We are not pouring cold water here. Let’s look at the reality. We barely hit 400 (394 to be exact) new enshrinement of Gohonzon this year. You believe we can jump to 10,000 next year, without doing anything differently? GD said it is not ‘wishful thinking’ [天方夜谭], but we disagree. We think this is another ‘discussing strategy on paper’ [纸上谈兵]. Achieving target is not simply a matter of how strong one’s determination is. It is more than that. What is it? That’s what you got to find out.
Last but not least, the YMD Chief position comes with many occupational hazards, particularly health. Make sure that you have sufficient rest, not over-exert yourself, make time for your family and exercise regularly. Staying healthy is all about rhythm. Everything in nature follows the rhythm. Your daily life should also have rhythm. Staying healthy is also a part of kosen-rufu.
We wish you a great journey ahead. We also thank you in advance for the effort you will be putting in. We will also be praying for your good health, wisdom and life force. The task ahead may be huge and overwhelming. But take things one at a time, never lose the perspective of longer term, be sincere and treasure each person. Seek help whenever you need. Write to us if you want. :p
p.s. Don’t lose your sense of humor. Remember, you cannot last very long if you take yourself too seriously all the time.