Praise – Flawed but Willing

PRAISE FOR FLAWED BUT WILLING

“Khurshed is my friend and he is a true friend of the human endeavour in the workplace. And perhaps most importantly he is no friend of corporate pretence, arrogance or nonsense. It is just as well as our daily battle is to rid ourselves of it.”

CLAIRE GENKAI BREEZE, CO-FOUNDER RELUME LTD, CO-AUTHOR, THE CHALLENGER SPIRIT

“Reading Flawed but Willing is like looking into a portal of unexpressed possibility. The stories generate powerful insights, whispering of a greater connection or a long-forgotten simplicity. The act of reading and reflecting triggered intuitive memories and ideas for alternative conversations in corporate life. It was both provocative and affirming in equal measure.”

KRIS WEBB, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT HR, GLAXOSMITHKLINE

“Khurshed writes fantastically provocative enquiries into corporate behaviour. Observations on our behaviour, which return the gaze of the viewer. If you have an inclination that what you are doing is not connecting in the way you want it to, or feel there is a superficiality to your corporate life, this is a great book for looking at the reflection of your leadership; a book that asks great questions of the reader, which I have found difficult to answer in a meaningful way. It also helps with the learning about what to change. The answers you need to provide for yourself, but at least you have a chance of getting closer to your own version of the truth. My recommendation is to read this book slowly, with time to ruminate. It’s accessible, curious, playful, at times artistic, a great source of debate and above all helpful.”

PAUL HUNTER, CHIEF OF STAFF TO GROUP CEO, HEWLETT PACKARD

“For me, a hugely powerful and impactful work. And at times it did feel a little hard sticking with it and not getting hooked by the very different approach to the composition and structure, but I yanked myself back into it knowing there was “gold” there for me. The power of personal experiences shared, very real, unglossy and at times disorientating in terms of where is this taking me, was immensely powerful. I loved the fact it was not simplified, boiled down to some sound-bite essence of high-level principle narrative, overall I revelled in the richness and the deliberate messiness of it, because the truth is it matches my experience of what it’s like to take on myself, my team and organization in creating a new way of leading and being led, based on purposeful connectedness. It was stimulating, challenging, moving, satisfying, troubling, motivating, energising and mindsetchanging all in good measure. For someone who is committed to a whole new way of purposeful and extraordinary leadership in and by business this work is a generous, but not cost-free, gift! The second half of the book , and the practice sections and questions. seem to me absolutely priceless in their value of assisting in navigating a personal and collective way through the creation of a new way. I know this book has already made a very real difference to me, and I truly sense the impact has only just begun. A heartfelt ‘thank you Khurshed’ for giving of yourself and providing access to others’ experiences in this way!”

STUART FLETCHER, GROUP CEO, BUPA

“In Flawed but Willing, Khurshed challenges me through his insights, reflections and stories to champion a new way of leading, working and being. He paints wonderfully vivid pictures of the damage we are unintentionally doing to our organizations, our teams, and ourselves by applying traditional, controlling leadership approaches in our new increasingly complex, competitive, connected world. To transition from the old to the new we have to look into ourselves, and change. We are challenged, and gently guided through the transition into the Age of Connection, where love with power, gentleness with challenge, sensitivity with strength, enable us to thrive in our new connected world.”

CATH LYNN, GLOBAL COMMERCIAL DIRECTOR, EASYJET

“Khurshed reminds us of the nature of discomfort required to truly lead and, I hope for many, the habit of celebrating the imperfection and messiness of such moments. Flawed but Willing - an encouragement to all who might have chosen to play safe for too long.”

GORDON BALLANTYNE, GROUP EXECUTIVE, TELSTRA RETAIL

“Flawed But Willing is a great sequel to The Challenger Spirit, illuminating the pathway to becoming a challenger. Khurshed’s agenda is personal: an emotional rollercoaster that depresses, provokes, confuses and shocks, but ultimately uplifts the reader. The searing honesty is rare, infectious ... and potentially life-changing.”

JONATHAN CORMACK, GLOBAL DIRECTOR, ORGANIZATION CAPABILITY, IMPERIAL TOBACCO

“Is this a standard business / leadership book? No. Is it a useful book? I’m not sure yet, but I think it can be. Is it an interesting book? Absolutely. It could be described as an indulgence. But often when allowing another’s indulgence we can take enjoyment in it ourselves: seeing the delight on your child’s face when they eat the ice cream they didn’t really need. In an age when you bring yourself to work and find there is no longer a ‘cookie-cutter’ leader or leadership style I found insightful and valuable (if they can be achieved) approaches here that I would want to see in an organization I work in; discovery through nonsense, intentionally putting ourselves at risk, having a strong back, and a soft front... With no apology for the oft lacking well-rounded conclusions you would expect to find in more typical writing, the reader is asked questions to provoke thought and to aid them in forming of their own views. The stories recounted are Dilbert-esque at times. When a particular tale resonated I found myself with a wry, knowing smile and the occasional heartfelt guffaw. The author could be critiqued for not always allowing the less cranially-capable to keep pace with the change of themes or the speed with which new ideas are introduced, although time spent on the questions posed throughout may alleviate this somewhat. I also found myself wanting to know more of the author’s own thoughts and conclusions so that I might benefit from his thinking and intellect applied to these topics. I would consider this a fair exchange given my acceptance of being ‘flawed but willing’. My primary fear for this text is that those who might benefit from it most are those most unwilling and unlikely to permit themselves the indulgence of reading this, or accept their own potential flaws and the changing environment around us (or perhaps even acknowledge that taking such a step should be something they should consider). I would urge them to take the risk.”

IAN DUNNETT, CHIEF OF STAFF TO GROUP CEO, CO-OPERATIVE GROUP

“The corporate bullshit word is ‘resonated’... but really, some of the stories in this book gave me ‘that’ feeling in the pit of my stomach...this is a gift that does something I’ve never seen in a business book...it describes not what we are thinking, but what we are feeling about corporate life.”

SAM DUNN, ORGANIZATION DEVELOPMENT, INVESTEC

“Flawed But Willing does not preach or promise to be a “how to” management guide. Instead, Khurshed creates a series of mental prompts for the reader to consider by sharing stories based on his extensive experience of working with senior executives. Khurshed’s unique style is effective in enabling the reader to personalize the subject matter in a way that will help them better connect with others, deal with the messiness of true engagement in complex organizations and lead in a world that demands a new set of skills.”

ERICH GERTH, PARTNER, GLOBAL HEAD OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT, BLUEBAY ASSET MANAGEMENT

“Flawed but Willing is more than a cracking read, it’s an invitation to allow and seek out new ways of operating in today’s dominant, but decaying system.”

REBEKAH FLAHERTY, GENERAL MANAGER, ORIGIN ENERGY

“The book is a generous act of challenge, attracting us to create a new, riskier but more rewarding relationship with our corporate worlds – and overcome the predictable dynamics that currently hold both us and the organization back from being our best selves.”

SAMANTHA KING, GLOBAL LEAD EXECUTIVE DEVELOPMENT, STANDARD CHARTERED BANK

“Organizations speak about innovation as their life blood, but seek to replicate or sustain success through analysis and processes that systematise their work, depersonalise teams and actually reduce individualism and innovation. Flawed but Willing glimpses the potential within as we grapple with lack of confidence and conflict in our unique thinking and the desire for conformation and reluctance to take risks. An introspective read whose ideas will grow over time if given the confidence and air time they deserve. The benefit of personal fulfilment and possibly even corporate success are worth the risks.”

STUART DOLLOW, PRESIDENT, TAKEDA DEVELOPMENT CENTRE US & MANAGING DIRECTOR TAKEDA DEVELOPMENT CENTRE EUROPE, TAKEDA PHARMACEUTICALS

“Our children will not be prepared to be managed and led in the same way that we have been. How long until the next generation creates a revolution? Khurshed eloquently describes how we need to be as leaders in this new world.”

GIFFORD TANSER, HEAD OF CORPORATE ORGANIZATIONAL DEVELOPMENT,
BOEHRINGER INGELHEIM