Friday, April 17, 2009

Dim Sum Leadership

John Ng

Like a dim sum spread, it provides small bites of information for easy digestion, perfect for time-crunched managers in need of advice.

If you are looking for advice on any aspect of leadership, this book wouldbe a handy guide. From the character of a leader to how a leader develops talent, it takes a practical approach in describing aspects of good leadership by taking values often neglected and presenting them in easy-to-read chapters.

A running theme through the book is the ethics and integrity of leaders. For example, in a chapter discussing team leadership, the author advises one to live “a life of integrity” in order to lead effectively. In another section describing competent leadership, the author devotes a chapter to the importance of kindness, which for instance, can take the form of recognising an employee’s contribution.

Written in a personal tone, the book is an easy read that does not overwhelm the reader with too much theorising — it reads like well-meaning advice, rather than a sermon on what works and what doesn’t.

But the book’s aim to deliver bite-sized pockets of advice is also its drawback: While it allows the reader to read each chapter on its own without having to go through the whole book, the various parts can feel disjointed at times and the book doesn’t effectively convey as well-rounded a picture as it could. More detailed case studies of good and bad leadership would also have conveyed the message more effectively and provide more examples for readers to identify with.

Nonetheless, in touching on values rarely discussed in many books about management — such as kindness — the book is still a refreshing read.


Dim Sum Leadership is available at major bookstores at $28.00 (excluding GST).

From TODAY, Business - Monday, 13-April-2009


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