Once Upon a Corporation

Tolly Kizilos: Once Upon a Corporation: Leadership Insights from Short Stories

Fiction / Short Stories (single author)
Trade Paperback
Publication Date: March 2003
Price: $15.95
ISBN: 0-595-25827-1276
276 Pages
On Demand Printing – Quality Paperback

Once Upon a Corporation: Leadership Insights from Short Stories is a set of 27 unusual, short fictions, drawn from today’s work life to highlight leadership by managers and non-managers alike. The reader will find parodies of Kafka’s and Mark Twain’s stories that offer insights into management, satires on Machiavellianism that reveal uses and abuses of power, parables on unusual ways of leading, and Socratic dialogues on participation and productivity, among other fictions. Some of the stories deal in a new way with organizational issues that all of us have thought about, such as trust and fear, and others explore topics that even seasoned managers haven’t factored into their daily work, such as randomness, intuition and culture, but will easily recognize as they get into the world of the fictions. All the stories are written to both entertain and educate.
The reason for writing stories rather than another book on management is this: leadership and management are experiences and, as such, it is possible and, at times preferable, even necessary, to talk about them in stories rather than articles, textbooks and statistics. Talking about caring, courage, ingenuity, intuition and any number of other human qualities has always been done best with parables, fables and other narratives. It seems that people grasp the meaning of a work life situation best, integrate learning faster and retain what they learn longest when they read or hear insightful stories or anecdotes.
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The stories in this book highlight three essential values of leadership: heart, backbone and brains. Leaders at any level excel by caring and empowering others; by taking a stand and speaking out for the truth; and by using their common sense and sound reasons to influence others.

Picture: Tolly Kizilos, the author

The book, with a Foreword by Harlan Cleveland, comes with the endorsements of several top corporate and academic leaders. A few of their comments show the appreciation they feel for this unusual book:

—"An outstanding contribution to today’s business literature.” Irving Weiser, Chairman and CEO, Royal Bank of Canada Dain Rauscher

—"This is an excellent job of conveying managerial concepts in a concise manner… It is easy reading and yet very instructive.” Lloyd P. Johnson, Past Chairman and CEO, Norwest Corporation

—"The stories have some outstanding lessons and insights.” William W. George, Past President and CEO, Medtronic, Inc.

—“There is a plethora of material to help students understand . . . the “science” of leadership. There is precious little that provides help in being human . . .. The Kizilos Book reaches within and calls to surface common experience. And, it does it in such a gentle way, by story and parable.” Thomas E. Holloran, Professor of Management, University of Saint Thomas, in Minneapolis.

PagesOn Demand Printing – Quality PaperbackAvailable from Ingram Book Group, Baker & Taylor, and from iUniverse, Inc. To order call 1-877-823-9235 or from www.iuniverse.com, or major internet bookstores.

(Posted December 2003)

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