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Flex
Cover of Flex
Flex
The New Playbook for Managing Across Differences
by Jane Hyun
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Renowned executive coaches and global leadership strategists Jane Hyun and Audrey S. Lee offer lessons on the vital skill of "Flexing"—the art of switching leadership styles to more effectively lead people who are different from you, allowing managers to successfully manage the multicultural workers of today and tomorrow.

Flex offers a proactive strategy for managers to navigate and leverage diversity effectively in this new global economy, showing managers how to: understand the power gap, the social distance between you and those in the workplace of different cultures, ages, and gender; flex your management style, by stretching how you work and communicate with others, and bridging the gap with more effective communication, feedback tools and building healthy teams; and multiply the effect, by teaching these skills to others and closing the power gap with clients, customers, and partners to create innovative solutions.

Creating flex in a company's management style will impact all aspects of developing the talent you have, attracting future talent and building relationships with customers in this competitive marketplace. Now, Flex: The New Playbook for Managing Across Differences shows you how.

Renowned executive coaches and global leadership strategists Jane Hyun and Audrey S. Lee offer lessons on the vital skill of "Flexing"—the art of switching leadership styles to more effectively lead people who are different from you, allowing managers to successfully manage the multicultural workers of today and tomorrow.

Flex offers a proactive strategy for managers to navigate and leverage diversity effectively in this new global economy, showing managers how to: understand the power gap, the social distance between you and those in the workplace of different cultures, ages, and gender; flex your management style, by stretching how you work and communicate with others, and bridging the gap with more effective communication, feedback tools and building healthy teams; and multiply the effect, by teaching these skills to others and closing the power gap with clients, customers, and partners to create innovative solutions.

Creating flex in a company's management style will impact all aspects of developing the talent you have, attracting future talent and building relationships with customers in this competitive marketplace. Now, Flex: The New Playbook for Managing Across Differences shows you how.

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About the Author-
  • Jane Hyun is an internationally renowned executive coach and global leadership adviser to Fortune 500 companies, business schools, and nonprofit organizations. She speaks frequently on the topics of authenticity, culture, and leadership. A graduate of Cornell University with a degree in economics, she is the author of Breaking the Bamboo Ceiling. She lives in New York City.

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    January 13, 2014
    Executive coaches Hyun (Breaking the Bamboo Ceiling) and Lee offer a solid, common-sense guide to creating a successful and diverse workplace in terms of culture, age, and gender. Both authors were raised with strong Confucian values—hard work, humility, and an aversion to boasting about accomplishments. That kind of reticence won’t take one very far in a Western workplace, the authors argue. How to make sure differences in communications styles are acknowledged so that employees’ careers don’t get unfairly damaged? The answer lies in “flexing”: adapting work behavior and communication in a way that respects status and cultural differences. The authors cover differing management styles, “flexing” across different communication styles, finding common ground in workplaces that employee workers from different generations, becoming a difference-fluent leader, building trust, and serving as a mentor, sponsor, or coach, among other topics. Their guide is clear and illustrative, though the topic could have been addressed more succinctly. Agent: Stephanie Rostan, Levine Greenberg Literary Agency.

  • Kirkus

    February 15, 2014
    With the assistance of Miller, executive coaches Hyun (Breaking the Bamboo Ceiling: Career Strategies for Asians, 2005) and Lee examine how "infusing cultural proficiency initiatives into company-wide values, policies and programs achieves a demonstrable effect." The authors report that the workforce is changing, growing more multicultural, younger and more female. These changes call for a much more nuanced response from corporate leaders to avoid pitfalls and achieve success. Hyun and Lee emphasize the importance of two requirements. The first, which they term "fluency," is the ability to work across cultures; it is comparable to speaking multiple foreign languages. The second, "flex," includes the skills required to work across "the power gap"--the distance that separates leaders from others in an organizational structure. However, the authors stress that sentiments like "let us respect each other" are insufficient. People in leadership positions need to face the problem of understanding how subtle cultural differences between people of different gender, ethnic and generational backgrounds can be critical for effective leadership--e.g., between more outgoing cultures, like Americans, and more reserved ones, like Asians. Problems also may arise from a failure to recognize more subtle differences between different age groups--baby boomers, Generation Xers and Yers and millenials--regarding how they communicate, as well as their goals and approaches to the dynamics of the workplace. The authors seek to show readers how to reduce losses of time and resources incurred when the potential contributions of well-qualified recruits or hires are lost because management doesn't fully understand how to bring them on board. They discuss many ways of overcoming the business consequences of such failures to flex across the gap. "[O]ur experience has taught us that interpersonal dynamics can change when people with a drive for making a difference take the initiative and then influence others to multiply the effect," they write. Hyun and Lee offer convincing evidence to illustrate how to enhance communication skills across various workplace divides.

    COPYRIGHT(2014) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Library Journal

    February 15, 2014

    Coauthors Hyun (Breaking the Bamboo Ceiling) and Lee (principal, Hyun & Associates) provide the modern manager with a playbook on how to switch among leadership styles to get the most out of employees. Based on the premise that today's workplace suffers from a "power gap" between the frontline manager and employees who are increasingly multicultural, intergenerational, and female, the authors' notion of "flexing" introduces the idea of a fluent leader who can bridge differences. Using examples from across disciplines, Hyun and Lee offer ways to encourage participation and innovation from employees who do not always work within the Western model of corporate culture. The book's three parts provide the rationale for their leadership model, practical methods for bridging personal and cultural divides, and ways to build fluency and flexibility within an organization. The premise behind the work is timely and important, but readers may find some of the examples filled with stereotypes rather than realistic people. VERDICT Hyun and Lee offer important methods for switching among proven leadership styles; their work will find an audience with Americans who need to manage a diverse workforce. For readers of business/management titles.--John Rodzvilla, Emerson Coll., Boston

    Copyright 2014 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • —Dr. Frances Hesselbein, President, Leader to Leader Institute (formerly The Peter Drucker Institute) "If you are in leadership or want to remain competitive and you don't have a culturally diverse board or staff, you are part of the past. We need to focus now on understanding the need for developing this untapped pipeline. This remarkable resource will set you on the right path."
  • Publishers Weekly "A solid, common-sense guide to creating a successful and diverse workplace in terms of culture, age, and gender....clear and illustrative."
  • Sylvia Ann Hewlett, CEO, Center for Talent Innovation, author of Forget a Mentor, Find a Sponsor: The New Way to Fast-Track Your Career Sylvia Ann Hewlett, CEO, Center for Talent Innovation, author of Forget a Mentor, Find a Sponsor: The New Way to F "Hyun and Lee's book accomplishes what few guidebooks for employers do: It empowers leaders not only to manage differently, but to think differently by cultivating cultural fluency that will enable them to work more effectively with diverse teams."
  • Karyn Detje, Chief Talent Officer, Tory Burch "FLEX provides a way for leaders to re-define how to lead by understanding, embracing and seeking out differences."
  • David A. Thomas, PhD Dean and William R. Berkley Chair Georgetown University, McDonough School of Business David A. Thomas, PhD, Dean and William R. Berkley Chair, Georgetown University, McDonough School of Business "Flexis the first real field manual for managing across differences. Its lessons are relevant to people at every level and stage of their career. "Flex" is required reading for every manager who wants to empower his/her employees to reach their full potential."
  • Steve Reinemund, Dean of Business, Wake Forest University, Retired Chairman and CEO, PepsiCo "Read this book. If taken seriously, you will certainly challenge yourself to change the way you lead in today's global marketplace."
  • J.T. (Ted) Childs, Jr., Principal, Ted Childs LLC "Flex is about thinking — managing one's thinking to meet the demands of business relationships inside and outside of your organization. From the conceptual rationale to the practical how-to, take this journey with the authors!"
  • Publishers Weekly "...a solid, common-sense guide to creating a successful and diverse workplace...Their guide is clear and illustrative..."
  • Library Journal "Coauthors Hyun and Lee provide the modern manager with a playbook on how to switch among leadership styles to get the most out of employees."
  • Kirkus Reviews "Hyun and Lee offer convincing evidence to illustrate how to enhance communication skills across various workplace divides."
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Jane Hyun
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