Business Success with Less Stress by Carl Nomura is a leadership guide for executives and senior managers. The book strives to share Nomura’s business and leadership wisdom accrued over decades as a manager in the semiconductor industry. Written in first person with appealing humility, Nomura’s text is delightful, even if his advice is often clichéd.
Nomura climbed the managerial ladder at Honeywell, Inc., starting in research as a mathematician. He quickly moved into supervisory, then management roles due to what foreword writer Gary Smith calls, “a way of bringing people and ideas together to get things done.”
While much of his advice is unoriginal (“Customers are your lifeblood, without them you would have no business”), sprinkled throughout are the real gems of his wisdom, anecdotes that illustrate his personal method of leadership.
In the chapter on his own management style, for example, he notes that he made it a priority to learn all the names of the employees when he was a senior manager at Honeywell, a strategy to increase employee motivation and connection with the company. He writes, “To be current on names and people’s jobs, I used to hand out the checks on payday to new employees. I expanded this task to include the names of spouses of people in management and in administration. Thus, when I took them to dinner at the country club to thank them at year-end for their contributions to our success, I greeted both employees and spouses by name…the effort was worthwhile.”
Nomura’s book sometimes oversimplifies complicated issues; he boils down finance, accounting, ethics, and other topics into one-two page chapters, making readers wonder why he mentioned them at all. Perhaps the biggest takeaway is not his advice, but the picture he paints of himself as a leadership mentor. Nomura’s even cadence, patience, and calm reflection teach more than clichéd management slogans can ever convey about the true nature and experience of being a leader.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.