Valuable reflections for the middle manager,
Above all, the book stresses relationships and the nurturing of relationships up, down, sideways, all over. For this alone it is meritorious. The book also concludes with a comparison of the industrial era leaders versus the new leaders who take risks, serve others, nurture outsiders, etcetera.
My appreciation of this book is influenced by my interview of Alvin Toffler last night at the Lowes hotel in Beverly Hills. The new book that he and Heidi Toffler have coming out, on “Revolutionary Wealth,” has many important insights but among those he summarized for me last night were three that help show the value of this book:
1) Sub-state and non-governmental organizations have been as important if not more important than national governments. How we study them, interact with them, nurture our relations with them, will have a lot to do with how promising a future we build.
2) The industrial era corporations and government bureaucracies are broken beyond repair. Entirely new network and localized alternative organizations are emerging or needed, that take a task force approach that fully integrates what have up to now been confrontational forces (e.g. Defense versus State).
3) Decision making is broken also. The scientific method is repressed and under-funded, while decisions are made based on shared assumptions, comfort levels, and consensus, regardless of what the facts are.
This excellent book is on a level with the Tofflers, and in my own view, is a fine primer for middle managers that would like to avoid becoming yes men drones under the dinosaurs, and instead break out to find new paths to moral capitalist success.