Book Review: Making Extraordinary Things Happen in Asia: Applying the Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership, James M. Kouzes, Barry Z. Posner with Steven J. Dekrey
“Making Extraordinary Things Happen in Asia” explores management using examples from business leaders working within and between cultures in Asia.
Any manager will have experiences which can be approached using the “five practices of exemplary leadership” developed by the authors:
- Model the Way
- Inspire a Shared Vision
- Challenge the Process
- Enable Others to Act
- Encourage the Heart
These general themes can be applied to any business, though don’t expect any lightening-bolt insights from captains of industry. The purpose of the book is to provide a refresher for any business person on basic points of good practice – such as regular meetings to encourage communication & team work.
Examples are anonymised and taken from wide-ranging interviews with top business people working with Asia – the idea being that anyone can be a good leader by applying best practice.
There are some memorable anecdotes too, like the recently promoted gung-ho Australian, who instantly insulted sales managers across the Asian continent within his first week. His very direct manner was politely endured by the existing teams, but the feedback to his director suggested he seek a different role. By changing tack, listening and taking the time to establish relationships with local operators, the newly promoted manager eventually found success.
Making Extraordinary Things Happen in Asia is a useful book full of commonsense for the modern business person, wherever they are working.