The Brainsmart Leader

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management

ISSN: 0959-6119

Article publication date: 1 April 2000



Ingram, H. (2000), "The Brainsmart Leader", International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. 12 No. 2, pp. 143-144.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Tony Buzan is a well‐established author on the power of the mind, memory enhancement and speed reading. He has become associated with the technique of “mind mapping”, as a way of recording ideas and exploring their interrelationships. Since his Use Your Head was published in 1974, the market has been flooded with “how to” manuals which confront the reader with the distilled (and often unsubstantiated) wisdom of the authors. It is as if business people are seeking a “magic formula” that will transform them and their businesses into greater effectiveness, rather as the alchemists of yore sought the quintessential element for making gold. These “how to” books are invariably aimed at a wide market, and therefore they often incorporate stories or case studies and include mnemonics or acronyms for ease of remembering.

In some ways, The Brainsmart Leader conforms to the characteristics of this volume‐led genre because it contains “success stories” from which is distilled an approach to personal creativity and problem‐solving that is captured in the acronym TEFCAS (trials, events, feedback, check, adjust, success). The process itself is simply a personal planning model, but there is valuable advice offered about, for example, the need to keep an open mind and accept all feedback. Wise words that are difficult to put into practice.

The TEFCAS model in practice is exemplified by the experiences of Tony Dottino in a hotel in Arena, USA. He had suffered during a breakdown in the air conditioning system and Candace Jones, the perfectionist general manager, invited him back for a complimentary stay. Using mind‐mapping and TEFCAS techniques, Candace and Tony were able to address her control management style and use creative ways of marketing the hotel towards greater success. Such stories are aimed at making a clear point, even if they are unverifiable.

Despite these criticisms this book will probably sell well, not least because it is accessible and contains activities and quizzes to keep the reader’s attention. Tony Buzan’s name is a selling point too. Although not rocket science, there is much good advice in this book. The message is that, no matter how creative and effective you think you are, it does no‐one harm to periodically reflect on your own thinking processes. Used judiciously, this book can help you do this.

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