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Alumni Stories · Leadership

IMD EMBA: Cracking the leadership code

Interview of Hideto Yamauchi, who has stepped up to new challenges thanks to the program
December 2018

Hideto Yamauchi is President & Representative Director at Heraeus Japan. He previously held roles as Sales Director at Endress+Hauser, Manager at Agilent Technologies, and Sales Engineer at Hewlett-Packard. With a background in engineering, Hideto recently completed the Executive MBA at IMD.

IMD recently spoke to Hideto about his experience in the program.

IMD: Why did you choose to do an EMBA at IMD?

Hideto: “The focus on leadership is one of the most important elements when it comes to IMD. I appreciated that IMD is relatively small and participants work closely with faculty and staff. This really helps get the most out of the learning experience.”

IMD: What was the overall experience like for you?

Hideto: “It was very challenging especially in terms of time management, balancing between my EMBA studies, family and job. The crisis management module in a mountain bunker organized by the Swiss Armed Forces was outstanding. Discovery expeditions to China and India were eye opening. Leadership is the key element throughout the program and helped me discover myself in a way that I have never experienced before. Getting constant and candid feedback from my peers in the program was invaluable. I think IMD has really cracked the code when it comes to leadership and self-discovery. And by the way, IMD’s restaurant is excellent.”

IMD: What were your key learnings?

Hideto: “I am convinced that I am truer to myself than I have ever been, after experiencing the program. I am more authentic. I learned to put things in perspective and unleash myself. During the program I had the opportunity to show my emotions and start fresh.”

IMD: Have you been able to put what you learned during the EMBA into practice?

Hideto: “Nearly right away, I put my learnings from the crisis management module to use. My company was faced with a very serious problem and I used frameworks that we learned to build a team and structure disciplines in the team to face the crisis. As a leader, I can now show emotion and vulnerability when necessary to build trust.

Following my inner voice, I decided to change my path. You only live once. With more confidence in my skills and better understanding in myself, I was not able to wait. I decided to step up to a more challenging leadership role and seized an opportunity with the company I am currently with. The EMBA had a big impact on my decision. And, I am now more confident in leading people from different backgrounds and different countries thanks to the program.

Working for a German technology company based in Japan, I have two missions: Increase the presence of Japan internally, and increase the influence of my company externally. Japan is facing many challenges – the rise of neighboring countries, an aging and shrinking population, a dwindling domestic market. However, in Japan, there are still a lot of great companies with leading technologies. My company, Heraeus, is a global leader of precious metal services and has a broad technology portfolio including chemical, pharmaceutical, and optical products. I would like to facilitate partnership with Japanese companies and initiate collaboration with Japanese startups to overcome the country’s challenges together.

Many of the skills and the mindset that I took away from the IMD EMBA have equipped me to succeed.”

Find out more about IMD’s EMBA program