51 Keys to Becoming a Leader People Want to Follow

by Matsuo Iwata


254 pages / October 2012 / 1,400 yen (w/o tax)

A former CEO of The Body Shop and Starbucks talks about how to become the kind of leader that people want to follow.


What do you think of when you hear the word “leader”? You probably imagine a charismatic person with strong leadership skills, excellent presentation and, simply put, the kind of person people are drawn to. There are probably people who doubt that they can ever become like that. The author, Matsuo Iwata, asserts that anybody who works hard enough can become a leader.
Mr. Iwata, who despite his magnificent credentials refers to himself as “just a normal guy,” shares 51 points on how to become the type of person that people want to look up to.
This book is recommended for those in management, new leaders, people who are going to be in charge of others for the first time, and other people as well.

From the table of contents

Chapter 1: Not all leaders have to be cool
Chapter 2: Leaders don’t have to be talkative
Chapter 3: Leaders don’t go out drinking with their subordinates
Chapter 4: Leaders shouldn’t be swayed by others’ actions
Chapter 5: Leaders shouldn’t be idle
Chapter 6: Leaders don’t have to be well read
Chapter 7: Leaders can show weakness

From the editor

I always imagined a leader as someone who is strong and cool. But Mr. Iwata says, “It doesn’t matter if a leader is uncharismatic, sometimes soft-spoken or not cool. In fact, what’s important is becoming a better human being and working on improving yourself.”
I hope that as you read this book, you will discover that there are different types of leaders and leadership methods.


Matsuo Iwata

Matsuo Iwata was born in 1958. After graduating from the Osaka University School of Economics, he started working for Nissan. He gained wide experience in production, quality control, purchasing and sales before enrolling at the UCLA Anderson School of Management. He then went on to work for the international consulting company Gemini Consulting Japan and Japan Coca-Cola as an executive, prior to becoming CEO of the video game company Atlus and turning it around after it had suffered three consecutive periods of fiscal loss. He also worked at Takara as managing director and then became the CEO of The Body Shop.
Under his leadership, the number of Body Shop outlets increased from 107 to 175, and sales rose from 6.7 billion yen to 14 billion yen. Later as CEO of Starbucks Japan, he adopted the slogan “A brand that will shine on in 100 years” and led it to better performance. In 2010, sales reached an all-time high of 101.6 billion yen. His achievements were recognized when he was named one of the 100 Most Inspirational Alumni from the 37,000 graduates of the UCLA Business School–a distinction that only four Japanese have achieved.
Mr. Iwata is currently following up post investments at Innovation Network Corporation of Japan as he trains the next generation of leaders.