Use connections as an endorsement
Connections are very important in Japan, and often mentioned
as a prelude to negotiations. Being in the good graces of
powerful people gets you taken seriously in other circles.
It's common for businessmen to arrange meetings with high-ranking
executives solely to request their endorsement. It's particularly
impressive if the endorsement comes from a person of the
same rank as the one you are dealing with.
What it teaches us:
Having the approval of another accomplished man speaks volumes
about your trustworthiness and ability to bring prosperity.
The Japanese feel an obligation to be loyal to the endorsement
of a well-respected peer.
How we can adapt it:
We call it name-dropping, which isn't seen as a very respectable
habit. You don't want to come off as a braggart, but this
practice is still valuable to us as it underscores the importance
of networking. Build bridges everywhere you go and others
will think highly of you. One day you might just score a
reference that will get you your dream job.