Ikigai for Leaders and Organizations by Frank Brueck

Book Review: Ikigai for Leaders and Organizations by Frank Brueck

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Ikigai for Leaders and Organizations” by Frank Brueck presents the Japanese concept of ikigai as a means to challenge and improve work and life. 

The author, an honorary professor at the University of Stellenbosch Business School, suggests that applying ikigai to a business can motivate and drive change within the organization.

The book provides assessment tools for leaders to determine if their company operates in a balanced manner and has the potential to inspire and change behaviors within the organization. Brueck encourages a shift in organizational purpose from profit generation and resource exploitation to meeting the needs of previously forgotten stakeholder groups.

Brueck focuses on the four dimensions often associated with ikigai and argues they must be combined to achieve balance and happiness in life and work.

The four dimensions of Ikigai

  1. What are you really good at?

    This dimension represents your unique skills, talents, and abilities that set you apart and make you stand out. It is important to understand what you excel in and what comes naturally to you to help you pursue your passions and purpose in life.

  2. What do you love to do?

    This dimension encompasses your passions, interests, and hobbies that bring you joy and fulfillment. When you engage in activities you love, you will feel energized and motivated, and you are more likely to work hard and be productive.

  3. What does the world need?

    This dimension refers to the impact you want to make on the world, and what causes and values you hold close to your heart. It is about understanding how you can contribute to the world and make a difference in people’s lives.

  4. What can you get paid for?

    This dimension is about finding work that is not only fulfilling but also pays the bills. By combining your skills, interests, values, and financial needs, you will find an ideal career that brings you financial stability and success.

By considering these four dimensions and finding ways to align them in your personal and professional life, you will be on the path to reaching ikigai, or a sense of purpose and fulfillment.

Brueck argues that when applied at an organizational level, ikigai can have a positive impact on both the individuals and the organization as a whole, leading to improved work culture, increased employee engagement, and a more sustainable business model.