Tuesday, November 6, 2012
Book Review: Reflections of A Business Nomad
On Friday, I received in the mail Pascal Dennis’s new book Reflections of a Business Nomad. As a longtime fan of Pascal’s work over the years I sat down Saturday to learn his newest lessons.
Reflections of a Business Nomad is not like Pascal’s other awarding winning books (Lean Production Simplified, Andy & Me, Getting the Right Things Done, and The Remedy). It’s not a narrative; it’s a book of stories, reflecting on the international travels of Pascal.
Each poem relates its own story about an experience and a person that the author encounters. The poems or the stories they tell relate a many things that life throws at different people, the struggles they endure and their views on life and their surroundings. Pascal finds the lesson, the joy, the deeper meaning, and the personal connection from situations. He showcases his talents as a story teller.
Pascal would like to shift the current contemporary business discourse toward virtues of Prudence, Temperance, Courage, and Justice. These virtues are those behaviors that will exemplify a high moral standard. Pascal organized his stories into five sections:
Fortitude: defined as strength of mind that allows one to endure pain or adversity with courage. Each poem in this section focuses on how each of those the narrator meets and their stories defines the pain and courage they each endured to live their lives with courage. Courage is a precondition for all other virtues.
Sunny Side Up: being prudent or cautious is an important virtue. Through prudence we stop and contemplate our options and can reach better decisions. Prudence must govern all other virtues. Without it we wouldn't know to use temperance, courage, or justice.
The Ass End: this section definitely deals with businesses, leaders, how companies and unions are run, the prospective of a Union Manager, Executive and Production Manager plus A Chief Financial Officer who appears to be the most unhappy man in the world and read what he writes to learn why.
The Blues: are stories of sadness and how they affect his life. They show a concern for justice, peace, and genuine respect for people.
Postcards: is about moderation or self-constraint in action, thought, or feeling. Pascal demonstrates that temperance is not about enjoying less, but about enjoying better.
Each section ends with a series of questions meant for reinforcing the learning that can used in study groups or individual reflection. The stories are easy to read and full of insight that can be underestimated without appropriate reflection. It is a great book to use as a basis for discussions in college business classes, book discussion groups and study groups. The book is full of original artwork to support the stories.
The virtues outlined in Reflections of a Business Nomad provide lessons in leadership and ethics that all business leaders can use to transform status quo. These lessons from the gemba provide a view of perception versus reality teaching the reader skills in observation and reflection.
Pascal’s Reflections of a Business Nomad is an enjoyable, thought provoking book challenging the reader reflect and learn from the world around us and our experiences. It illustrates how learning from the human spirit and condition results in greater personal fulfillment and better businesses. I recommend this wonderful book to anyone who wants to better themselves and others.