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The Shibumi Strategy: A Powerful Way to Create Meaningful Change Hardcover – November 16, 2010
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—Gretchen Rubin, author, The Happiness Project
"Matt May has written a little book full of big ideas. Drawing from ancient Zen practice and applying those principles to modern life, he shows how you can turn the obstacles in your path into opportunities to transform your career, perhaps even your life."
—Daniel H. Pink, author, Drive and A Whole New Mind
“Matt's done it again: shown us how to break out of constraints and get the job done. He's also proven how Japanese practices and Zen principles that are difficult to translate can explain everything.”
—Guy Kawasaki, co-founder, Alltop.com and author, Reality Check
"The holy grail for any leader is to reach a state of clarity and peak performance. Through the power of story, The Shibumi Strategy shows us how, and sheds an invaluable light on the role (and potential) of the everyday struggles we face."
—Scott Belsky, founder & CEO, Behance and author, Making Ideas Happen
"What an exquisite story! Matt May deftly weaves ancient wisdom with modern realities, revealing how each of us can embrace the struggle inherent in any meaningful breakthrough—and use it to transform our own potential in work and life."
—Sally Hogshead, author, Fascinate: Your 7 Triggers to Persuasion and Captivation
“This is a treasure of a book, and just the kind of uplifting medicine that’s needed right now. It’s about something that in the west we don’t even have a name for, and yet it holds the key to finding our way in challenging times. When you know how to look at the events of your life, everything is there to show you what you can’t see on your own, and offer you opportunities that you normally walk right by. No matter your life circumstances, this is the kind of book that can (and almost certainly will) change your life.”
— Sarah Susanka, author, The Not So Big Life and The Not So Big House series
“The Shibumi Strategy is a simple but affecting tale—a must-read for anyone looking to make sense of breakthrough change at work and in life.”
— Ori Brafman, coauthor, Click: The Magic of Instant Connections
“The Shibumi Strategy tells a touching story with a universally resonant message you’ll want to keep close to your heart and share with others.”
— Maddy Dychtwald, author, Influence: HowWomen’s Soaring Economic Power Will Transform Our World for the Better
“This exceptional book is a game-changer. Read it. Apply it (fast). And step into your next level.”
— Robin Sharma, author, The Leader Who Had No Title and The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari
From the Inside Flap
"What if we are constantly being sent signals and offered opportunities, but because we are so involved in our mad rush to survive the day that we simply don't receive them? What if we're stuck, asleep at the wheel, and we just don't know it, because our conventional ways of thinking, rigidly structured routines, and solidly set minds block us from discovering what the universe is calling us to do?"
From the introduction
The Shibumi Strategy is a little book about a big breakthrough. It tells the story of Andy Harmon, a hardworking family man who finds himself in crisis when his company closes. Through his struggle, and guidance from unlikely sources, he learns subtle lessons in Zen principles, coming to understand that it is often the unexpected setbacks that harbor the power to transform. When approached as an opportunity, these unforeseen trials can often result in a life-changing breakthrough. For Andy, it comes in the form of shibumia Zen concept without direct translation in English but connoting effortless effectiveness, elegant simplicity, and the height of personal excellence.
Engaging and enlightening, The Shibumi Strategy provides a pathway for a five-phase cycle, encompassing lessons on commitment, preparation, struggle, breakthrough, and transformation. Also included are short insights, practical takeaways, and exercises for incorporating this philosophy in everyday life.
Designed to strike a universal chord, Andy's journey toward shibumi enables individuals to adopt their own interpretations of the concept and create meaningful changes in their lives. For those navigating difficult transitions, struggling to overcome internal setbacks, seeking to regain balance, or simply taking new directions, The Shibumi Strategy offers a fresh perspective on the challenges we all face at some point in work and life.
More About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
Stanford Professor and author of Good Boss, Bad Boss
In his latest book, Matthew May offers a business parable and this is quite a bold departure from his approach in two previous books, In Pursuit of Elegance and The Elegant Solution. Briefly, the protagonist (Andy Harmon) is in his 40s, married with a family, and suddenly finds himself unemployed in Twin Falls, a "one company town" that has lost its largest employer, Mega Box Electronics. Should he relocate to another area in which jobs are more plentiful or remain and take his chances, such as they are? Either way, the risks are daunting. After giving the situation a great deal of thought, he decides to work for a local automobile dealership.
In this context, I am reminded of one of the most thoughtful books I have ever read on the subject of coping with setbacks, delays, frustrations, "crucibles" and even tragedies: Seth Godin's The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (and When to Stick), published by Portfolio/Penguin in 2007.Read more ›
He has a few hours to find a solution in a small town with virtually no job openings except, perhaps, at the town's only car dealership. After enjoying a corporate position in a customer service call center, Andy decides to try his luck as a salesman at Mainstreet Motors, something for which he doesn't initially have the right profile. The result is that he must basically reinvent himself - and he does. Through a Zen self-discovery process, and a fair amount of trial and error, he finds out how to be something else than the stereotypical car salesman, and meets with success by building a long-term referral business.
All's well that ends well. Albeit a little bit schmaltzy at times, this book is an interesting perspective on leadership. If you are tired of exhortative talks "(yes, think-hard-you-can do-it") and of in-your-face leaders who gab about business and their grand exploits just as passionately as car salesmen go on and on about their Toyotathon sales events, read this book. It is focused on internalizing leadership, rebuilding your own balance to look at your environment with fresh eyes, and transforming what's around you for the better. Leadership is about pulling, not about pushing, and "shibumi" is about effortless effectiveness.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
As a fan of Leadership/Business fables this is one of my favorites. A great book on how to improve yourself.Published 1 month ago by trippi
Short, easily read and powerful advice for those pursuing shibumi or in the midst of a career change.Published 9 months ago by asianfoodfreak
Teeny Book. Powerful message. If you get just one thing from this book - it'll be worth it. The idea of committing to an idea/yourself is really stressed and has helped me grow... Read morePublished 9 months ago by J. SMOOT
Small book brimming with potentially life-changing ideas. The story format is a wonderful vehicle for the personal Zen principles that the character is shown as he needs them. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Robert McManus
I love this book! Well written and engaging. I usehansei from time to time (haven't established a good routine yet) and find it useful.Published 17 months ago by Liz
The Shibumi Strategy is a little business novel with a strong Japanese and Lean influence (coming from the authors years of work with Toyota). Read morePublished 18 months ago by Bas Vodde
The main character in Matt May's book goes through personal practice and mastery of a more scientific style of thinking and acting. Read morePublished on January 1, 2014 by M Rother
Well paced with a stack of deep lean.
Nice bite size length book.
Excellent if you are on the way too this way of thinking.