James Yamada Jr. has turned his family-run business from a 25-personnel firm in the 1970s to a 150-man workforce today; the company earning $40 million per annum.

After his father’s death in 1979, Yamada began to apply the principles he learned from Peter Drucker on employee and customer relations, and involvement in social giving. Today, A-1 A-lectrician is an active donor to a number of foundations and charities including Youth for Christ, Salvation Army, and University of Hawaii Foundation.

Yamada believes that businesses have an obligation to the community wherein they operate.

“Anyone that is going to be involved in business, I think has a social obligation to go and touch and change lives,” he said. “I think business and social responsibility are interwoven and joined at the hip.”
But their success didn’t come overnight. Financial difficulties hounded the company in the 70s and 80s
“We had our ups and downs in the late 70s, a couple of years before my father died,” Yamada said. “I almost threw the company to bankruptcy. It was doing well until I thought I knew everything.”
Greater Good Radio chats with James Yamada Jr. about his business principles and his belief in helping the community.

In the aftershow, Yamada talks about financial failures as an essential character builder and prerequisite to success.



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