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Acknowledgments

Acknowledgments

The genesis of this book began when Jeff presented a summary of The Toyota Way in 2004 at Toyota headquarters in Erlanger, Kentucky, with Gary in attendance. Gary came up to Jeff after the session, praised Jeff for the book, and said: “I will be retiring in three years and would like to write a book about what I have learned in my career at NUMMI and Toyota. Would you consider writing it with me?” Jeff was honored, but skeptical, given how many great ideas lead to no action, but almost to the day three years later, Gary contacted Jeff to say: “I am starting my three-year retirement as senior advisor on a partial appointment. Do you still want to do the book?” And here we are.

Of course, the big question was: What should the book be about? Should it be like an autobiography and chronicle how Gary learned to become a Toyota leader over time, telling his story like that of some retired CEOs, filled with wise observations? Should it be a sociohistorical analysis of Toyota over a 25-year period starting with the launch of NUMMI? Should it be a combination? To be honest, it was Jeff’s son Jesse who tipped the scales. He had read the first draft of the introductory chapter, making detailed (mostly negative) comments, and about 20 pages into the book wrote: “Hallelujah! I can’t believe it. Finally something about leadership! I am so excited! I am actually learning something besides the history of Toyota. I want more of....


  

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