Thursday, May 27, 2010
Book Review: Ubuntu
This is another book that I was reading to better myself as a person, coach, teacher, and leader. This book explains how the African philosophy Ubuntu can apply to business and life in America. It follows the story of a man named John who is a manager for a large corporation in Chicago. His team is not performing well and he finds himself disgruntled and upset by his team for not turning in quality work. He has devoted so much time to his job that he is also separated from his wife and daughter. John must come into the office over a three day weekend to fix the errors of his team or risk losing his job. Simon, an employee who is on his team shows up to help. Simon is the only one who had all his paperwork done correctly, but stays to help. Simon came from Africa and begins to teach John about Ubuntu. The story continues from there with Simon winning a vacation to Africa through the company and John comes along.
What I liked about this book is that it takes a philosophy that is great in ideas and puts it into a realistic situation. Along the way there are little phrases and emphasize key points of Ubuntu. I took some notes and plan on using some of the ideas in my coaching next year especially the overall message that Ubuntu means “we are all in this together”.
It was a fast read. The story moves along quickly and it is interesting to see how all these different people in the story apply Ubuntu to their lives and jobs. It makes complete sense and carries some strong ideas that would make life easier for everyone if we thought this way. If looking for some refreshing ideas and a story that may help you think differently, then I would check this book out.