Menacing adversity is, of course, on the horizon for many business leaders in Hong Kong, so this work is certainly timely. But is it any good?
Yes. Menkes gets the CEOs featured and interviewed here to really open up. Perhaps all the more so, because, as a consultant with an executive search company (Menkes' day job), he's got the goods on these masters of the universe already.
Therefore, we're spared all the usual truisms and tired old adages about how to succeed in business during hard times. Instead we get the nitty gritty: candid, never-before-shared yarns that might give shareholders cardiac palpitations, but certainly make for engaging reading.
Tough choices, like omelette, require breaking a few eggs, as well as shattering a few egos. That's how these ballsy leaders reached the apex.
Even more gratifyingly, we learn about failure - as in how to avoid it. Failure is, of course, a guilty pleasure in the business community, but only when it's other peoples'.
Menkes takes the reader frame by frame through a series of slow-motion leadership train wrecks, explaining why these leaders freaked out at moments in which other, more adept, CEOs would have kept their nerve.
The business leaders who crumpled under pressure are not named - Menkes is merciful - but their downfalls are well-described.
Drawing on in-depth interviews with dozens of executives from an America-centric array of companies (including Avon, Yum Brands, Southwest Airlines, and Procter & Gamble) and a wealth of other data, Menkes reveals that great executives strive ferociously to maximise their own potential. We all know that. But then he gives us what we came to this book for: what factors make for the difference between the victorious corporate generalissimos and the defeated ones.
Three things, Menkes asserts. Firstly,