A retired executive offers insights from his decades in the corporate world.
In this debut business book, Oshiro shares leadership lessons he learned over more than three decades working for the technology company EDS, founded by Ross Perot and later acquired by HP. The author recounts his evolution from entry-level programmer to manager, overseeing the work of nearly 200 colleagues. Illustrating general principles of management with stories from throughout his career, Oshiro shows how demonstrating responsibility, integrity, and drive is crucial to succeeding as a manager, both of people and projects. The book recounts the author’s best and worst moments at work along with providing a thoughtful discussion of what readers can learn from his experiences. Oshiro is an excellent storyteller, and he presents a vivid picture of corporate life with an enthusiasm that even the most cynical reader will appreciate. Much of the book’s advice for aspiring managers (“Always take on your assignments with a sense of urgency,” for instance) is broadly applicable to both traditional corporations and less formal office settings, making it useful to a wide audience. (The more buttoned-down aspects of working at EDS are less applicable to 21st-century aspiring managers, but the author has an eye for detail and does a great job of depicting a world where employees were not allowed to leave their cubicles in shirtsleeves.) Not all readers will embrace Oshiro’s arguments in favor of a hierarchical organization where workers are ranked and appearance matters, but many will appreciate the holistic approach of EDS, where “employees could have failures that do not define their overall and long-term value to the company.” The prose includes some stylistic quirks, particularly an overreliance on quotation marks for emphasis, but on the whole is highly readable. Oshiro is an engaging narrator who comes across as an authoritative and ethical mentor who is willing to work hard to ensure the next generation of corporate leadership meets his high standards in all aspects of the job.
An effective guide to succeeding in corporate leadership and bringing integrity and determination to work.