Decision-making, problem-solving and creative thinking are significant and current challenges in management practice and so Roberto’s book has some apparent relevance. Sub-titled “How Great Leaders prevent problems before they happen”, this is a book that blends structure with case studies in an easy-read style.
In order to draw the reader in, Roberto explains how organisational breakdowns and crises form from a number of small problems; how often-unrelated issues collide to bring about a unique set of corrosive circumstances. He furthermore points to a common leadership imperative not to be confronted by surprises: leaders prefer the ‘bad news’ upfront. Roberto argues that the most effective leaders are those that seek out the issues before they spiral out of control. This book, then, is about how leaders can develop an acute sense of interrogation. And, it deals with how we should develop a perception of problems as lessons for future improvement. This last message is somewhat counter-cultural: after all, we know that leaders generally dislike the “bad news” story and dirty linen is best aired behind closed doors in the corporate world.