The Hoam and Lee Kun-hee I rememberHoam was a person who strongly believed in contributing to the development of the country and mankind through business. He said in doing business, one should have the attitude that he or she is benefitting the country. At the same time, he stressed that organizations must be systematically and rationally managed.
He also placed importance on management that emphasized the talents of his employees.
He tried to develop the talents of his employees into the core of the company, as he believed strongly that without talented people, there would be no Samsung.
Both Hoam and his son Lee Kun-hee were rational, but the younger Lee was always more focused on globalization. After Hoam passed away, Lee always worked to protect his father’s legacy. But he also blazed his own trail by turning Samsung Group into a major conglomerate in Korea and the first to reach an annual revenue of more than 50 trillion won. Based on such performances, Lee Kun-hee made the famous announcement in 1993 that created a huge buzz all across the country.
He told his employees to change everything but their wife and children. He then said new management styles had to come from overhauling every past idea and practice. Such ambition came from the belief that only the best could survive in the 21st century. Lee Kun-hee not only inherited his father’s belief that a company contributes to a nation’s development, but he believed it is the role of businesses to continuously contribute to improving the happiness of consumers and the public, creating a healthy society as a result.
Choi Jong-tae, Seoul National University business management honorary professor
BY LEE HO-JEONG [firstname.lastname@example.org]
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