Chain of Learning: 21 | Leading to Learn Part 1: Build A Chain of Learning [with Isao Yoshino]

Today’s guest, Isao Yoshino, a 40-year Toyota leader, has influenced thousands of leaders worldwide and inspired my book, “Learning to Lead, Leading to Learn.”

Join us as we celebrate two anniversaries: our first meeting in July 2014 and the four-year anniversary of our book. In Part 1 of our conversation, Mr. Yoshino shares his insights on leadership, learning, and the Chain of Learning® concept.

We’ll discuss lessons from successes and failures, the strength of connections, and people-oriented leadership. Whether you’re looking to implement these practices with your team or find inspiration for your leadership journey, this episode is full of actionable insights from one of the wisest and most caring leaders I know.


  • The importance of seriousness in demonstrating your commitment to your people, developing a strong organizational culture, and modeling the way.
  • How establishing patience as a foundational attitude is essential to your leadership effectiveness and organizational success.
  • Strategies for fostering personal and professional growth by learning from both successes and failures.
  • Practical advice on translating Toyota’s practices into your leadership approach, emphasizing commitment, patience, and continuous learning.
  • Insights into Toyota’s people-centered learning culture and how you can foster this culture in your organization.



  • [00:00] Introduction to Chain of Learning with guest Isao Yoshino
  • [05:17] What ‘Chain of Learning’ means to Mr. Yoshino 
  • [11:25] The importance of leaders asking questions 
  • [15:37] What Mr. Yoshino has learned about leadership
  • [17:51] Why ‘seriousness’ is so vital 
  • [21:46] Combining seriousness with patience 
  • [27:24] The power of working at Toyota 
  • [33:25] Mr. Yoshino’s advice to himself and you
  • [35:45] Katie’s key takeaways from the conversation