Lex Gillette and Panasonic’s seven principles
Lex Gillette and Panasonic’s seven principles
At the onset of 2020, we introduced Team Panasonic at our annual conference during CES in Las Vegas. For us, it was an opportunity to celebrate the seven principles Panasonic Founder Kōnosuke Matsushita established over 100 years ago to guide the company as it grew and expanded. These are Contribution to Society, Fairness and Honesty, Cooperation and Team Spirit, Untiring Effort for Improvement, Courtesy and Humility, Adaptability and, lastly, Gratitude.
Team Panasonic features Olympic and Paralympic athletes Michael Phelps, Katie Ledecky, Sakura Kokumai and Lex Gillette. These world-class athletes don’t just push themselves in their chosen fields of athleticism. They also are committed to using their skills to improve the world around them.
“For this campaign, it wasn’t enough to simply work with celebrities,” said Lauren Sallata, Chief Marketing Officer at Panasonic. “We were looking for brand ambassadors who, along with their athletic prowess, shared our values and passion for making the world a better place.”
When it became clear 2020 would be majorly disrupted by Covid-19, Team Panasonic - along with their approach to life, challenges and adversity - and our seven principles became a north star in these uncharted waters. Lex Gillette reflected on these principles to provide extra motivation during this period.
When it comes to adaptability, Gillette knows the steps to make a positive change. Every situation offers its own unique challenges, but the power to overcome always rests in determination, tenacity and insight.
Gillette is a four-time Paralympic Silver Medalist and World Champion in the long jump for Team USA who had to overcome specific obstacles presented by his blindness to perform at the highest of athletic levels. To overcome these challenges, Gillette worked with his trainer to develop a series of auditory cues that allow him to visualize his relation to the track.
His success is proof we can always redefine what’s possible.
“It’s challenging in the beginning,” Gillette says. “The quicker we’re able to adapt is when we’ll realize just how much we can see - and how much we can achieve."
Courtesy and Humility
Wanting to make a positive impact on the world starts with understanding yourself as a person in local and global communities. When personal challenges present themselves, it’s natural to get frustrated and focus inward - but every challenge is an opportunity to grow. And, when that happens, we can use our growth and create a vision of the positive impacts we have the ability to make on the world.
“In order to succeed, we all must lose sight at some point,” Gillette says. “Lose sight of pride, narcissism, conceit [and] ego.
“Sacrifice your sight and see the art of humility.”
Untiring Effort for Improvement
Growth is a continuous process. This might mean the work is never done, but it also means the potential is limitless. Gillette knows success is a mileage marker. It is at once an indication of how far you’ve come on your journey and a moment to set your sights on the next goal.
“The enemy of our next achievement is the view of our past success,” Gillette says. “I’m always looking for ways to be better.”
Speaking with Lex, it’s evident how grateful he is for the opportunities he’s had in his life. For him, every challenge presents an opportunity for growth and better understanding, no matter how difficult. Gillette’s adaptability and perseverance - and his celebration of the fact that one person can’t do it alone - reminds us that every challenge is a possibility with the right outlook.
“I’m thankful for being blind because it’s taught me, when we have a vision, we create the world we want to see,” Gillette says.
Gillette’s significant achievements are the result of personal growth, adaptability, hard work and determination among many other things. These triumphs would also not have been possible without the support of many people, from family and friends off the track to his trainer who is there with Lex at every step.
“The connection we build within the team helps us to soar higher than we would alone,” Gillette says.
Fairness and Honesty
In the long jump, the jumper approaches their target with speed, direction and determination - a straight line with a focus on the goal. Off the track, that’s the way Gillette approaches his training and commitments. Approaching life with a foundation of fairness and honesty means never having to take the long way around because you’re always moving in a straight line.
“We all want to win gold in the area of life that means the most to us, but that doesn’t mean we have to cut corners to get it,” Gillette says. “We can win without having to compromise our integrity.”
Contribution to Society
Aside from being world-class athletes, one thing that unites the members of Team Panasonic is the drive to make the world a better place. Gillette knows this process starts with one person making the decision to be a positive influence on the world. He credits the mentors, teachers and community programs in his life as major factors in his success.
“Although I lost my sight, that support is what helped me see my potential,” Gillette says.
To honor and pay forward the support he’s received throughout his life, Gillette helps to guide the next generation by serving as a mentor for students across the country. He works with Classroom Champions, a non-profit that pairs athlete mentors with students from underserved communities in the US.
Reaching children in underserved communities is a mission we share. At Panasonic, our Office of Social Impact addresses the widespread gap between future tech jobs and education in science, tech, engineering, arts and math (STEAM), especially in underserved communities. Beyond developing technologies that make the world a greener, safer and better place, we are focused on working with underserved communities to alleviate inequities in educational access by providing Title I schools with access to STEAM education.
We’re proud to team with inspiring athletes who so deeply reflect the qualities of our founding principles. Gillette and the members of Team Panasonic illustrate and remind us: Once you’ve put in all the work, the only thing left is to have faith in yourself - and take the leap.