May 7, 2003

Jack Covert Selects: Jack Covert Selects - Awakening the Leader Within

By: Dylan Schleicher @ 3:57 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

Awakening the Leader Within: A Story of Transformation by Kevin Cashman, John Wiley, 340 Pages, $24.95 Hardcover, May 2003, ISBN 0471273198
The business novel/parable is making a huge comeback! So far this year, at least eight books of this genre have been released. I personally find business novels a great tool to teach concepts; they are also very easy to learn from. The words business novel and emotions are very seldom used in the same sentence, but Awakening the Leader Within requires using these words in its description.
I honestly cant remember reading a business book where I actually cared about the main characteruntil now. Bensen Quinn is the CEO of a multinational company. Besides being able to squeeze revenue from many expense lines, he was a successful managerconstantly on top of his people and the competition. He wasnt mean; he was just focused on the short term. Unfortunately, Quinn also didnt have much of a life outside of his corporate world. One very telling example of this disconnect is when his wife calls and tells him he needs to pick up his daughter from her play rehearsal. After he whines about it, he has to ask his wife where the high school is! Not what you would call a dedicated father. Then his daughter has a terrible accident, and Ben stops and realizes he has some serious personal issues. Then, the guru/mentor appears in the form of a gardener; and we follow Bens transformation.
All through the book the author has Wake Up Calls which are worksheets that ask discussion questions around the plot of the book. Also the books final fifty plus pages are action guidelines and growth guides. Like I said, the book really moved me and I really feel that the lessons talked about are important and presented well. The book reads extremely well, is an interesting story, and I learned something. I loved it.

About Dylan Schleicher

Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.