Leaders December 2014

Festive spirit

Managing, reflecting and celebrating

As you receive this issue, I’m sure your plans and event calendar for the Christmas and New Year period are in full swing. I wish you all a very happy holiday.

Seasonal tips
Whether celebrating the festivities in Japan or abroad, the consular team of the British Embassy Tokyo has advice on how to stay safe and be prepared for the unexpected while enjoying your well-earned break (page 9).

There are also tips from financial expert Trevor Webster. The festive season can present many with increased temptation to spend over budget, take out a loan or charge credit cards to pay for luxury items and Christmas or year-end gifts. The resulting challenges can be both short and long term.

Webster’s 12 steps to financial freedom provide a useful guide that addresses some key money-related issues (page 33).

Small efforts, big changes
As we approach the end of one year and the start of the next, it is perhaps inevitable that people become reflective.

For me, a memorable part of the bonenkai (year-end parties) I attended in rural Kagoshima Prefecture was when each guest shared a personal, positive experience from the year, and the reason they were thankful for it.

The seemingly small, everyday things that my friends and former colleagues had done, or from which they had benefited, invariably made an impact on others.

International Volunteer Day, on 5 December, celebrates this sentiment and the difference that ordinary people can make to not only people’s personal lives, but also wider causes.

TELL outlines a range of not-for-profit organisations that survive on the work of volunteers, with links enabling anyone interested to become involved (page 47).

From the publisher
On the subject of volunteers, I’d like to honour those who helped stage the 2014 British Business Awards on 14 November (page 18).

Cynics say volunteers just do it for their own agenda, to make a name for themselves, or to network. Rubbish. There are too many to name here, but thanks indeed to all.

My creative and project management teams at Custom Media also earned much applause for their patience and sacrifice, often after work hours, to produce spectacular videos for, and of, the record-breaking event, as well as to design free adverts for not-for-profit winners.

And I’m pleased indeed that our tireless and uncomplaining Megumi Okazaki (page 53)—who secured prizes, joined meetings and helped on the day—pocketed a nice raffle prize. I call that karma.