The New Global Leaders: Richard Branson, Percy Barnevik, David Simon and the Remaking of International Business / Edition 1

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If there were an award for outstanding leadership in modern business and you had to pick the candidates, you would do well to include the three men profiled in this book. Each has captured the world's attention and respect by seeing their company through deep and discontinuous change while transforming it into a first-class, global organization. Along the way, they reinvented global business itself and became models for the successful leader of tomorrow.Author Kets de Vries was granted unprecedented access to each of these business titans. And he clearly made the most of the opportunities. Here, Branson, Barnevik, and Simon share intimate accounts of how they've created and sustained innovation in their organizations while commanding the respect and loyalty of their employees across continents and cultures. For the first time, these pioneers relate their dreams and visions, their approaches to leadership, and their strategies for building and maintaining competitive global organizations staffed with dedicated, enthusiastic people.Despite their distinctly different personal styles and philosophies, these three men exemplify the combined power of the charismatic and architectural roles of leaders. What they share, and what makes their stories so essential to the study of global leadership today, is their ability to spread their message with passion and conviction and to instill in their employees a greater sense of meaning and purpose in an era rife with cynicism.But Kets de Vries and Florent-Treacy don't stop with interviews alone, fascinating as they are. The authors also focus their keen academic abilities on their subjects to offer an informed analysis of exactly what it is that's made these particular men so successful. With great insight and authority, The New Global Leaders carefully examines the question of what excellent leadership really is. The answer is one that every leader and all those concerned with international business will want to know.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Brilliant portraits of three exemplary global leaders withimportant lessons for all leaders." -Warren Bennis, professor,University of Southern California, and author, OrganizingGenius

"A masterful work that gives us insights into the key issues,fears, and decisions of three global leaders. The analyses, casestudies, and interviews by Kets de Vries and Florent-Treacy revealmore about these men than they might have realized." -Ron Bolger,chairman, Telecom Eireann

Library Journal
The authors, affiliated with INSEAD, an international business school in France, call Branson the "Builder," Barnevik the "Integrator," and Simon the "Transformer." These three corporate executives (of Virgin, Asea Brown Boveri, and British Petroleum, respectively) are presented as role models of leadership styles for the new global executive. Such leaders must be "charismatic" and "architectural." The executive profiles, including personal interviews, are uneven, often rambling. The authors attempt to throw in a dash of nearly every management concept in vogue in the past ten years. Each of the three units in the book ends with a "key points" page outlining the company's competitive edge based on the executive's style. At least that feature pulls together elements of the unit, giving some structure to the content. Not a necessary purchase, except for collections striving to be all-inclusive.--Susan DiMattia, "Library Journal"
Profiles and interviews Branson, the founder and head of the Virgin Group; Barnevik, the mastermind behind the merger of ASEA and Brown Boveri to form ABB; and Simon, for CEO of British Petroleum. Characterizes them as business pioneers who have created and sustained innovation in their organizations while commanding respect and loyalty from their employees across continents and cultures. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780787946579
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 3/19/1999
  • Series: J-B US non-Franchise Leadership Series, #173
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 188
  • Product dimensions: 6.32 (w) x 9.41 (h) x 0.85 (d)

Meet the Author

MANFRED F.R. DE VRIES is a professor at INSEAD, the world's leading global business school, as well as a practicing psychoanalyst and consultant. Author of fifteen books, including the award-winning Life and Death in the Executive Fast Lane (Jossey-Bass, 1995), he has been featured in the New York Times, Fortune, The Economist, Harper's, and the Financial Times. He lives in Paris, France. ELIZABETH FLORENT-TREACY is a research affiliate in management and leadership at INSEAD. She lives in Fontainebleau.

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Table of Contents

Preface: Role Models for Tomorrow.

Introduction: Global Leadership.


Richard Branson: The Builder.

Branson's Virgin.

An Interview with Richard Branson.


Percy Barnevik: The Integrator.

Percy Barnevik and ABB.

An Interview with Percy Barnevik.


David Simon: The Transformer.

Transformational Leadership at British Petroleum.

An Interview with David Simon and John Browne.

Conclusion: Practices of Vanguard Companies.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 2, 2004

    A Good Read!

    Authors Manfred F.R. Kets de Vries and Elizabeth Florent-Treacy idealistically foresee a new era where visionary, innovative CEO's will lead a new type of employee. Through insightful interviews, they position Richard Branson of Virgin, Percy Barnevik of ABB and David Simon of British Petroleum as icons of the modern, improved CEO. Certainly, Branson and Simon seem to be valid role models and their leadership of European global companies presents interesting alternatives. Although it is not reflected in this 1999 book, today Barnevik's reputation is tarnished in the wake of a 2002 severance pay scandal and problems that BusinessWeek refers to as 'the mess at ABB.' For good or ill, this book will provoke you to ask if emphasizing a leader's charismatic ability to motivate distracts attention from critical core business issues. Despite their varied outcomes, these charismatic visionaries created family-like corporate cultures and inspired their employees. Thus, they demonstrated that the new economic era requires a new type of leader. Whether they together constitute a composite of that leader is another question. We recommend this solid book to management students and to upcoming executives.

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