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Make It So

Wess Roberts Ph.D. and Bill Ross

Reviewed by Lorenzo Princi
Make It So by Wess Roberts Ph.D. and Bill Ross
Cover Concept by Lorenzo Princi, 5 January 2012

In their book subtitled Leadership Lessons from Star Trek: The Next Generation, Wess Roberts Ph.D. and Bill Ross use the experiences of Captain Jean-Luc Picard to demonstrate effective leadership techniques. Written as a log account by the character himself the book which could have easily been a text or reference becomes one of narrative. This proves to be a very effective method in allowing the reader to decipher Picard's leadership qualities and that of other character's in the various situations he references.

For Star Trek fans, the stories will be familiar, however, having classic Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes retold by Captain Picard gives them a very fresh perspective. That is not to mention that getting an insight into what Picard may have been thinking during famous encounters with the likes of the Borg, Cardassians and Darmok all adds to the Star Trek universe as much as any other authorised Star Trek fiction available.

Make no mistake, though thoroughly enjoyable and easy to read, Make It So is a serious book on leadership which can be applied to any business/managerial enterprise (pardon the pun). Referencing Picard's famous "Make it so" in which he directs his crew members to action their ideas, the book ultimately encourages initiative and team work, with a core focus on leadership rather than direction. In my own limited experience in the corporate world I can tell you their are many senior business people who could use a dose of Picard's leadership lessons.

The book analyses topics ranging from the importance of focus, urgency and interdependence. I'd recommend this book to anyone in a managerial or leadership role, whether it be in the corporate sector or not. This book is the equal to any of the more mainstream books on the subject such as those by Ken Blanchard/Sheldon Bowles but might appeal mainly to fans of Star Trek predominately, not least because of the presentation or because of which shelf it is placed on in the bookshop.