Tim is a former Toyota PR guy who now heads the global operations of Dentsu, a massive Japanese advertising agency which, under Tim's watch, has finally made some strides toward success outside Japan.
He's also a really nice guy. And while there's always some guaranteed tension between reporters and PR folks, my dealings with Tim while covering Toyota were almost always congenial. I have a lot of respect for him.
If you work for a Japanese company and want to get ahead, read Tim's story in Ad Age. It can be enlightening.
The 6-foot-11-inch Tim was hired by Toyota to play on the company-sponsored pro basketball team. Toyota didn't expect him to do anything except show up at his desk (which was set on cinder blocks so his legs would fit) now and then before team practice.
He earned his supervisors' respect by going out of his way to find ways to be helpful, and doing it repeatedly. He didn't trumpet his work. Humility is important in Japanese companies -- the bosses are taught to notice who works hard. He learned the language. He was a team player.
He fit in as much as a nearly seven-footer can in Japan.
To read the original story from Advertising Age, click here.