South Korean businessman Lee Kun-hee was born on January 9, 1942. He was the chairman of the Samsung Group for over thirty years. His decades of leadership transformed Samsung into the technology giant that it is today.
Lee was the third son of Samsung founder Lee Byung-chul. He attended university in Japan where he graduated with a degree in economics. He assumed control of the company two weeks after his father’s death in 1987, starting his long-established chairmanship.
Prior to its expansive innovation that has made it into South Korea’s largest conglomerate, Samsung focused on quantity more than quality. Lee was the driving force behind this call for innovation, with the goal to make Samsung products more competitive.
This entailed a massive overhaul in the company’s approach to quality. Today, Samsung is the world’s largest TV manufacturer (surpassing Sony in 2006) and the largest manufacturer of mobile phones. Samsung is also one of the companies credited to reviving South Korea’s economy after the Korean War.
Here are 15 Lee Kun-hee quotes inspiring you to propel change.
Stop keeping track of attendance. Get rid of it. It doesn’t matter where you are, as long as you have the right mind. You don’t need to be at the office. Do what you like, spend six months working day and night, and another six months going on a vacation. – Lee Kun-hee
In the end, I’m the one who has to change. You have to change from the inside out. Change everything but your wife and children. – Lee Kun-hee
A jet cannot fly twice the speed of sound just by doubling engine power. It involves a total overhaul of engineering, fundamental physics, materials and their quality. – Lee Kun-hee
All section chiefs and department heads, leave the office by 5 p.m. That’s an order. – Lee Kun-hee
Two or three hundred years ago, 100,000 to 200,000 people fed the lords and royal families. In the 21st century, one outstanding genius can feed 100,000 to 200,000 employees. – Lee Kun-hee
I’d give South Korea’s politics a D, government officials and administration a C, and businesses a B. – Lee Kun-hee
With the sincere devotion of our employees, Samsung has achieved stellar performances since its foundation. – Lee Kun-hee
Raising bright minds isn’t enough. We need to plant apple trees. – Lee Kun-hee
Samsung’s future hinges on new businesses, new products and new technologies. We should make our corporate culture more open, flexible and innovative. – Lee Kun-hee
Korea can’t become a ‘first-class’ nation unless regulation and ‘a sense of power’ disappear. The nation’s politics is the fourth-class, bureaucratic are the third-class, and business is the second-class. – Lee Kun-hee
An enterprise’s most vital assets lie in its design and other creative capabilities. – Lee Kun-hee
Top-rank global corporations are collapsing. That could happen sometime, and somehow even to Samsung. – Lee Kun-hee
There’s an ongoing competition by global companies across all areas from products, technology development and hiring talented people to patent disputes. The market is big and opportunities are wide open, so we should find out new businesses that Samsung’s future will hinge on. – Lee Kun-hee
Don’t judge people for taking time off. When you’re on a vacation, make it worth it. – Lee Kun-hee
If the children of a group’s founder are to take over that group, they need the endorsement of society. – Lee Kun-hee
Share these 15 Lee Kun-hee quotes to spread the value of living up to your vision.