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Achieving Global Greatness

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The New Global Leaders, by Manfred F.R. Kets de Vries with Elizabeth Florent-Treacy
Jossey-Bass, 188 pages, $28.50

Effective global managers, write authors Kets de Vries and Florent-Treacy, are charismatic leaders who can motivate and bring together diverse and wide-flung communities. They are also skilled architects who create viable structures strong enough to span oceans and cultures but flexible enough to adapt to constantly changing environments.

In The New Global Leaders, the authors present the stories of three high-profile global managers: Richard Branson, the maverick founder of Virgin Records and Virgin Atlantic; ABB's Percy Barnevik, the driven mastermind behind the world's largest cross-border merger; and David Simon, the low-key executive who turned around British Petroleum.

Despite different personalities, backgrounds, and professional challenges, these three European CEOs exemplify the charismatic and creative qualities required for global management, write the authors.

For example, they share a contagious self-confidence that sells a vision. They have the relationship skills to help people accept the push for hard results. And they are not afraid to share power.

The structure and culture of their organizations -- flatter hierarchies, open communications, small "family" attitudes -- are also similar.

Bolstered by the analyses of the authors -- both professors from the leading European business school, INSEAD -- this short, fascinating look at three extraordinary leaders reveals the keys to success on a global scale -- a topic rarely covered in more general leadership books.

Copyright 1999 Executive Book Summaries




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