Many central leaders were being removed, some expelled, often hastily, unfairly, without discussion and a total disregard for due process. These have caused dissatisfaction and frustration among SGM members, sapping their morale for kosen-rufu throughout the organisation.
Unfortunately, the top executives of SGM insist on continuing with their way of management – removing dissenters and ignoring questions on transparency, accountability and governance. At the same time, focusing on bad mouthing those they chopped and conjuring all sorts of conspiracy theory.
Have our top executives forgotten the strict guidance of Mr Ikeda to top leaders? Let us refresh our memory here. This is a guidance given a decade ago, in February 2008, Sendagaya, on the 15th HQ meeting. (The words below are picked directly from the guidance of Mr Ikeda, drawing from the leadership principles of Zhuge Kung Ming.)
Though you may be treated with deference, never become conceited.
This is a lesson that top leaders, in particular, must reflect on every day.
Though you may be entrusted with authority, never become dictatorial.
In other words, you must seek counsel and opinions of others, and not become autocratic and overbearing.
Never try to hide the help you receive from others.
And likewise, never forget to have appreciation for those who lend you their support and assistance. There have been many times when a single young woman or women’s division has protected the Soka Gakkai. I will never forget the profound debt we owe to these precious individuals.
Do not fear being relieved from your position.
In other words, do not be unsettled by or afraid of personnel changes. In terms of holding positions in the Gakkai organisation, always be aware that the time will come when your juniors will succeed to the post you are in at the present.
Keep fostering capable individuals and giving them opportunities to make the fullest possible use of their talents. It is important to have the spirit to rejoice at the growth and advancement of our juniors.
The way of leadership is to listen to the opinions of many others.
Listen carefully to the views and information offered to you. Make the eyes of others your eyes, and their ears your ears… Respecting the opinions of others is the way to become a person of wisdom… If you fail to do so, people will stop giving you sound advice. As a result, wicked people will proliferate and the realm will suffer. This is very important advice.
The arrogant dig their own graves, and the high-handed plant the seeds of their own destruction.
There have been individuals in the past who have brought suffering to Gakkai members through their arrogance. These are words that top leaders need to take deeply to heart.
A strong fighter is never angry, and a victor is never afraid.
Expert fighters do not let their emotions run away with them. They value their allies, and face their opponents with resolve and courage. This is the key to victory.
In conclusion, Zhuge Liang described the behaviour of a good leader displaying all these qualities as being ‘Like a jewel that can never be defiled,’ a jewel shining brightly at all times.