The concepts and perspectives presented in the following pages are both illuminating and challenging to the modern manager.
James McCay has drawn heavily upon rich sources in fields of motivation, socio-economics, psychoanalysis and philosophy as well as his own vast experiences. The result is a stimulating and at times highly imaginative approach to management – both in terms of individual awareness and group dynamics.
Successful leadership which is much of what management is all about is graphically visualized from many approaches. It is shown variously as an amalgam of many attributes: skillful use of energy, creativity, attitudes, awareness and environment.
While it is true that many of these thoughts and concepts have been expressed in other places and at different times, it is a credit to the author that he has brought them together in a largely dynamic and attractive way.
It would appear that this is a work that can be gone over at one sitting. The often facile and brief treatment given some of the concepts might delude the reader into believing that this is so. However, the penetrating observations and underlying contexts of many of McCay’s vignettes require much thinking through.
The inherent value of any writing will show through when it arouses both curiosity and awareness. This should happen time and time again when the reader proceeds beyond the printed word to the many linked chains of relevance.
Metabolism, for example – the ability of the organism to structure good from assimilated nutrients – is effectively portrayed as the end-product of an individual’s contribution to his own — as well as the organization’s — well being.
Synergism, too, is presented as another relevant concept. In Part III the Author makes a telling case for the merit of cohesive and coordinated group input. Truly, as he demonstrates, the output of an integrated and well functioning group is much greater than the sum of each member’s output if performing independently. There follow some cogent observations on self-awareness and synergistic compatibility and the ever present reality of change.
McCay hits many nails on the head in his final section when he brings the reader face to face with multivariate characteristics of the individual. Here are presented a gamut of idiosyncrasies, capacities, powers, and Achilles’ heels. Surely in this section more than one reading may be necessary in order to conceptualize the vast potential – for manager and managed – in a regimen of self-discipline and shared consciousness.
Finally, the reader may not find in this intriguing work a blueprint of clearly delineated paths to follow. Nevertheless, it offers a plethora of possibilities, any one of which may be followed to advantage according to the particular need. But as the Author makes abundantly clear, understanding and awareness must be at the controls.
University of Pennsylvania
President, Ernest Dale Associates
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