Like Ikigai, the Japanese concept of 志 (Kokorozashi) has no direct translation and is difficult to define succinctly.

It can be interpreted in many ways: will, motivation, ambition, a sense of purpose, or personal mission. It provides direction for both your career and personal life.

Kokorozashi can also bring clarity to your heart and mind, guide your values and enrich your life.

The top character 士 by itself is pronounced "shi"meaning warrior or samurai. The bottom character 心 pronounced  "kokoro" means heart/mind/spirit. Together, they combine to mean "heart of the warrior".

Kokorozashi and Leadership

Kokorozashi is a Japanese leadership philosophy used in business by business leaders and company managers.

Kokorozashi can be loosely translated as the “leader’s mind” – spirited commitments, the intensions, willpower, or primary motivations of a leader. Kokorozashi also possesses the energy to create enthusiasm. Unless a leader possesses kokorozashi, he or she will not be able to achieve individual or organizational goals, visions, or dreams. To have kokorozashi as a leader means to do something for others to better them and help them motivate themselves through self-encouragement. It is seeing from a higher or broader perspective.

Leadership By Encouragement – By Don Dinkmeyer, Daniel Eckstein

Kokorozashi in the Modern Business World

Tomoya Nakamura, the Dean of Graduate School of Management at GLOBIS University, describes Kokorozashi as your personal mission.  He explains Kokrozashi through a Venn diagram, where what you love, what society needs and what you good at overlap to reveal your kokorozashi. This very similar to the Purpose Venn diagram except the focus of money is removed. 

After doing further research and speaking to several Japanese entrepreneurs I have come up with a modified framework that embodies the kokorozashi  business concept ideal for entrepreneurs. 


Finding Your Kokorozashi

You find you kokorozashi when stand up and lead - where you pursue your personal mission, use your talents and skills to create meaningful and impactful content to connect to your audience with the ultimate goal of building a tribe you will serve. 

Your Personal Mission - What is the positive change do you wish to make?

Content - What unique content can your create to benefit and build trust with your audience?

Your Tribe - Who are the 1000 true fans you wish to lead and serve?

In times of difficulty, a strong kokorozashi will power action to make your vision a reality, making work cease to feel like work, transforming it into a passion that will give you, and those around you, boundless energy.

Understanding and developing your kokorozashi are key steps to becoming an entrepreneur, coach or business leader.

Are you ready to lead?