Part 3: Kosen-rufu and World Peace
Chapter 26: Leaders Who Guide Others to Happiness [26.8]

26.8 Finding and Fostering Capable Individuals

President Ikeda explains that an important mission of Soka Gakkai leaders is finding capable people and then fostering those individuals to surpass them.

Both Mr. Makiguchi and Mr. Toda put their greatest energy into fostering capable individuals.

Everything depends upon people, upon capable individuals. The Law is important, but people are key. It is people who spread the Law, and the Law enables people to flourish.

I hope, therefore, that as leaders, you will devote yourselves wholeheartedly to fostering capable individuals. Never look at your juniors as subordinates or underlings. We successfully foster the growth of others—and ourselves—when we strive with the conviction that they have even greater potential than we do, and resolve to do everything we can to help them surpass us.

Leaders need to think about how they can help everyone become happy, be successful in life, and give full play to their potential.

If we just carry out activities routinely, without that special focus, we won’t be able to raise capable people. We need to consciously chant and take action toward that goal. We cannot build a full-fledged golden tower of capable individuals by simply going through the motions.

Mr. Makiguchi said that fostering capable individuals “is like trying to find gold in sand.” That is very true. He praised his fellow members, saying: “You are truly gold found among sand. Yet, though you are gold, you didn’t shine as gold to begin with; you were like muddy rocks. . . . Being ‘found,’ you now shine as splendid gold.”1

All people possess a golden brilliance within. As leaders, we must constantly bear this in mind and do everything possible to help them reveal their golden light.

It is important for leaders to meet with many people and take wide-ranging action, but what is the ultimate purpose of such efforts? To find gold in the form of capable individuals and foster them until they shine with their true golden brilliance. We must never forget that crucial point.

That’s why Mr. Toda, inheriting Mr. Makiguchi’s spirit, declared: “The Soka Gakkai must build its castle from capable people!”

“A castle of capable people”—this is our eternal guideline. To fight, win, and ceaselessly open the way forward with capable people—this is the Soka Gakkai’s creed.

From this year, I am determined to put even greater energy into fostering capable individuals.

I want to foster capable people who will genuinely take action for kosen-rufu, leaders willing to work hard for the members. I want to raise world-class leaders, not self-serving individuals who sit back and let others do the hard work. Wherever I go and whatever I do, I want to train and foster such leaders.

From a speech at a Soka Gakkai Headquarters leaders meeting, Tokyo, January 20, 1994.

The Wisdom for Creating Happiness and Peace brings together selections from President Ikeda’s works on key themes.

  • *1Translated from Japanese. Tsunesaburo Makiguchi, Makiguchi Tsunesaburo zenshu (Collected Writings of Tsunesaburo Makiguchi), vol. 10 (Tokyo: Daisanbunmei-sha, 1987), p. 22.