Jonas Himmelstrand’s review

This is a fantastic book! It is at one and the same time a book about history, psychology, leadership, religion, ecology and communication. The author draws on all of these disciplines in order to create an overall picture of where we, humanity, find ourselves today at the end of the twentieth century and what sort of leadership is needed in our businesses if humanity is not to be overwhelmed as a result of its own shortsightedness.

The book is written in narrative form. We get to meet Viktor Laudén, President of Chemical Products when at a crisis-point in his career he meets the consultant, Johannes Funt. They are together for several days in a Catholic monastery and the story takes the form of a conversation between the two men. They also have an important meeting with Father Teodor, one of the monks at the monastery.

The story is that Viktor gets into trouble with the Chairman of the Board, and risks getting sacked. Johannes broadens the perspectives on Viktor’s situation and describes how we find ourselves at the end of an epoch with Church-Christianity and “the dream of a rational paradise” as the leading idea. The world needs a new way of thinking and a new sort of business enterprise in order to survive.

The Enlightened Executive provides an impressive and on occasions provocative overall picture of what is happening in our confused times. We are given a comprehensive perspective on concepts such as learning organizations, I-development, manly-womanly, neo-liberalism, different forms of leadership, green political parties, unconditional love, and much more.

It is for once a pleasure to review a Swedish book on leadership which is soon to be published in the USA, rather than as so often the opposite.
The Enlightened Executive
is, as already said, a fantastic book. Read it!

Jonas Himmelstrand
(the review was published in Fortbildningsbrevet Strategier, no. 387, 22 March 1999 –