So last night I got the pleasure of dining with Mr. Yoshimi Inaba, COO of Toyota Motor North America, and his wife Yoko as they were guests onboard USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN. I will be the first to admit the following: I personally love my Toyota and want to buy another; I think Toyota could have been more forthcoming about the issues they identified; and I think that the company has been beat up severely by US lawmakers to make it look bad so more US cars will sell. But that's beside the point here.
My first impression was this was a guy I was going to like. He's a major figure in a large international corporation and he arrived sporting Dockers. No showing about from either he or his wife (who I must say is lovely!). Throughout the meal, Mr. Inaba and the Admiral talked about the challenges of leading a company and a strike group, and how similar they are in many ways, but they also talked about golf and family. I was most impressed to hear him talk about his 42 years with Toyota. This is a company he's been with since college and despite the challenges it's currently facing, he is not going anywhere. I truly respect his dedication and hope that I can find similar character within myself when the going gets tough.