5 Key Lessons From the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022

GeneralDecember 14, 2022 16:00

Our Group CEO Kenji Naito recently made a special trip to Doha to show his support for the Japan National Football team. We speak with him regarding the key lessons he has picked up as a participant of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.

May be an image of stadium

What was it like to attend the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 in person?

It was truly an exhilarating experience! My seat was in the third row from the front at the Japan vs Spain match, so I had a close-up view of the football players running on the field. The atmosphere was lively, and many supporters cheered and waved their country flags enthusiastically.


Despite a deep loyalty to their own countries, everyone was friendly and peaceful. Supporters from opposing teams would interact freely, united by their shared love for football.

Can you share with us some key takeaways from your time in Doha?

The first key takeaway is that you have to cultivate resilience. When you cultivate and build resilience, you gain the ability to bounce back and try again with more experience and wisdom.

During the Japan vs Spain match, the feeling of not giving up prevailed in the Samurai Blue team. Despite Spain dominating the first half of the tournament, Japan’s determination resulted in them landing a 2-1 victory. When Japan played against Croatia, Japan persisted through the entire 90 minutes, as well as extra time. Though they were tired, they didn’t give up and kept going all the way until the finish. I strongly felt that spirit of resilience even from the football players on the Japan team, who were on the sidelines cheering with loud voices.

That is truly the essence of the Reeracoen Way, to never give up and always do our best. We have to bounce back and overcome the challenges that are an inevitable part of life. In the face of setbacks, don’t be discouraged. Instead, find a way to celebrate small wins along the way. Each goal, each victory, is a stepping stone to greater heights!

Besides resilience, are there any valuable insights from your World Cup experience?

Respect is a core value of mine—and one that I saw so clearly exemplified during the World Cup. In Japanese culture, we practise the 5S. 5S is a workplace organisation method that uses a list of five Japanese words that have been translated as "sort", "set in order", "shine", "standardise", and "sustain". We believe that it is important to show respect for other people, as well as the environment.

During the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, we would clean up after each match and the coach of the Japan National Football team, Hajime Moriyasu said it best: “When you leave a place, you have to leave it cleaner than it was before.”

Even after our heart-breaking loss to Croatia, we (the Japanese) stayed back in the stadium to clean up before leaving. Even though we were grieving, we could not stop being civic-minded. We continued to clean, passing around blue plastic bags to clear the empty food boxes and plastic bottles which were left behind by others.

Back in Singapore, I have also been cleaning up the Tampines town centre with my family and friends as part of a grassroots movement. It gives us great joy to contribute in beautifying our surroundings! We look forward to more clean-up sessions with our Reeracoen Singapore team one day.

(Mr. Naito pictured here, with his family and Japanese professional football player Kyoga Nakamura during one of their street cleaning sessions in Tampines)

In the same vein, respect in the workplace goes a long way. We should not only honour our managers, but also show respect to our fellow colleagues. Be polite, courteous and full of humility always. No matter if you are having a bad day or if you are upset, remain calm and professional always and don’t let the emotions consume you.

5 Key Lessons from the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022

1) Focus On Commonalities, Not Differences
In Reeracoen, we respect diversity and embrace the differences while creating a wonderful future with those pursuing happiness.

2) Choose to Cultivate Resilience
That is truly the essence of the Reeracoen Way, to never give up and always do our best. When there is a will, there is a way.

3) Celebrate the Small Wins
In the face of setbacks, don’t be discouraged. Each goal, each victory, is a stepping stone to greater heights!

4) Show Respect Always
Show respect for others, as well as the environment. In Reeracoen, we believe that we can make a change, a better tomorrow.

5) Stay Calm & Be Professional
Be polite, courteous and full of humility always. If you are having a bad day or are feeling upset, choose to stay calm and professional.

About Kenji Naito
Kenji Naito is the Group CEO of Reeracoen Group, an award-winning staffing and recruitment agency that connects companies who are seeking talents with high-calibre candidates. Having worked in the recruitment industry for over 16 years across Asia, Mr. Naito brings with him a wealth of experience along with his expertise.

Mr. Naito exemplifies The Reeracoen Way by always being there to support his clients whenever they are in doubt or have any queries. He always puts his best foot forward and provides them with excellent service, hence they would return and engage our services to help them find the right talent. He believes in giving his best to the clients to create a wonderful future with those pursuing happiness. Mr. Naito believes “the greatest risk is standing still” because he believes that by staying put, one runs the risk of falling behind others. His objective is to help clients who are evolving to source the right talents for their company.

When Mr. Naito is not working, he believes in making time for other things that matter to him. In 2003, he established a non-governmental organisation (NGO) called “Plus One” where they helped to support the children living in villages in the Philippines. Since then, the organisation has expanded to help children from villages in Cambodia too. As a strong advocate for saving the environment, Mr. Naito also champions behind causes that protect the environment. Besides volunteering his free time to pick litter off the streets, Mr. Naito also started For the Earth Project in Reeracoen to give out specially curated metal straws to clients, thus reducing the use of plastic straws.