Category Archives: Book Review

Book Review – Saving Face

One of the most interesting things about leading in a certain culture is you tend to understand people and organizational dynamics based on the local culture of where you’re located.

Maya Hu-Chan’s new book “Saving Face – How To Preserve Dignity and Build Trust” helps to understand what “face” and break the misunderstanding of certain terms such as the ubiquitous “saving face”.

Maya draws from the origins of face in the history and culture of China and talks through what the universal meaning, and more importantly the human meaning of face really means to individuals and organizations at large.

She transforms our thinking towards a system of honor and dignity, both in others and ourselves. Her outlining of how to break down cultural barriers and create a broader universal culture of dignity, self-worth and identity in others. By bridging these gaps in human needs and cultural divides, Maya helps us create better language – conversations – that honor all sides.

And in one of the most key chapters, she offers the concept of psychological safety that a proper perspective of face should establish. This thought creates a solid baseline to drive trust and conversations that propel others to break ceilings, tear down silos and create an agility among teams and people that are otherwise stifled because we default to “saving face”.

“Saving Face” is a great book and if you’re a leader in search of greater ability to honor others and cross cultural barriers, it’s a recommended read.


Book Review – Coach The Person, Not The Problem

Marcia Reynolds is quickly becoming one of my favorite coach and leadership heroes. And her latest book, “Coach The Person, Not The Problem” is a testament to her coaching prowess.

Marcia has taken her real world experience that has paved the way for the coaching movement to bring a tremendous guide to mastering one of a coach’s toughest challenges by reflecting clients’ words and expressions back to enable them to see new possibilities and solutions.

Her book is written in a simple and conversational style that eschews the typical formulaic lists and decision tree paradigms that typical coaching experts extol. Instead of asking the usual open-ended questions, she works towards reflective questions that cause a leader to think more deeply and introspectively.

Chapter by chapter, Marcia unfolds an easy and systematic approach for what really works in the realm of coaching. She opens by exploring why coaching is so effective, then exposes the myths and false beliefs that plague so many coaches.

The core of the book is “The 5 Essential Practices” that delve into Focus, Active Replay, Brain Hacking, Goaltending and New and Next. These are designed to change the linear transactional style of coaching to a more inside out and reflective transformational style. The section on Brain Hacking is quite intriguing and you may find yourself emerging from that chapter having self reflected on your boxed in thought patterns.

Using real life coaching experience, results and the latest brain science to show why reflective inquiry works Marcia creates a paradigm shift in the world of coaching that can help you and your clients not fall into stale patterns and shallow results.

Having been a pioneer in creating the coaching profession, Marcia’s book helps coaches “become change agents who actively recharge the human spirit. And clients naturally dive deeper and develop personalized solutions that may surprise even the coach.”

Dr. Marcia Reynolds, Master Certified Coach helps coaches and leaders make every conversation a difference-making experience. She has provided coaching and training in 41 countries and is recognized by Global Gurus as one of the top 5 coaches in the world. You can finds more about her at

Marcia’s book is available on Amazon –

(quote: amazon)


Book Review – Win Every Day

Mark Miller has long been one of my favorite leadership thinkers and authors.

Mark serves as Vice President of High Performance Leadership at Chick-fil-A. His career in developing the people that have made the chain a recognized and trusted brand has given Mark incredible insight that he lends through his teachings, mentorship and books.

As he states on his website, “My approach to writing has always been to find what is true in principle and figure out how to make it applicable to the real world.”

Mark’s latest book, Win Every Day, follows this same blueprint.

Win Every Day, the fifth book of Mark’s High Performance Series, continues the narrative style of the series with a story about how Blake helps transform the culture and leadership of his organization.

The story centers around one of the most key daily concepts in order to succeed each day – execution.

As the story progresses from a viral video review that wasn’t very positive, Mark centers on Blake’s discovery of creating three essential behavior mindsets for leaders to win, with the help from his son’s football team.

The book details those behaviors as: Pursue Mastery, Own the Numbers, and Help Others Win. As simplistic as it sounds, Mark Miller provides basic principles for successful leadership in a way that’s accessible and easy to understand, grasp … and execute.

I also like the book’s other theme of personal accountability, Mark realizes that the modelling of any behaviors begins with the leaders. Quotes such as these help us realize that mastery, ownership and helping others are a daily decision.

“Arrogance and complacency are my nemeses”

“We can encourage you and even challenge you, but if you want to be great, you will have to decide.”

Win Every Day applies to all leaders in all industries at all levels. The planning, preparation and positioning of processes and procedures means nothing without the ability to execute at a high performing level each day.

Win Every Day is a great book, and a fantastic capstone to Mark Miller’s other books in the High Performance Series.


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