red helicopter—a parable for our times

lead change with kindness (plus a little math)

by James Rhee

On Sale: 04/09/2024

red helicopter—a parable for our times

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red helicopter—a parable for our times

lead change with kindness (plus a little math)

by James Rhee

On Sale: 04/09/2024


About the Book


Embrace your agency, lead change, and fly free—in the business of life and the life of business—with kindness (plus a little math)

In kindergarten, James Rhee received a toy red helicopter in gratitude for a simple act of generosity—sharing his lunch. Decades later, the lesson from that small gift led him to develop a human-centered framework for business and personal achievement that helped him overcome seemingly insurmountable hurdles and find unprecedented success.

red helicopter is a transformative experience. James Rhee's story is a must read for anyone, of any age, who wishes to think, act, and lead with balance, agility, and wisdom." —Jay Shetty

Rhee was a high school teacher turned private equity investor when he unexpectedly took the helm of Ashley Stewart, an iconic company predominantly employing and serving Black women. Inspired by the values his dying Korean immigrant parents instilled in him, he knew that a radically different—yet familiar—approach was required to lead this twice-bankrupt company from certain liquidation to true transcendence.

Is it possible to be successful and kind? To lead with precision and compassion? To honor who we are in all areas of our lives?

The entire world bet against him and Ashley, but Rhee trusted his instincts to identify, measure, and leverage the intangible goodwill at the company’s core, a decision which ultimately multiplied its fortunes several times over.

Anyone can combine the clarity and imagination we had as children with fundamental business metrics. Anyone can apply this refreshingly intuitive approach to lead change at work and at home.

While eloquently sharing a story of personal and professional success, red helicopter presents a comforting yet bold solution to the dissatisfaction and worry we all feel in a chaotic and sometimes terrifying world.

The insights and knowledge that Rhee imparts have been accumulated over decades of investing and leading at the highest levels of business. Drawing on this experience, he encourages us to trust the wisdom deep inside each of us so we can learn how to:

  • Create and measure “goodwill,” the ultimate collective good
  • Discover agency and the truth about kindness it entails
  • Identify the invisible obstacles standing in your way
  • Lead transformational change through small, scalable acts
  • Construct an accurate “balance sheet” of our assets and liabilities
  • Reorient our lives, organizations, and the world to reflect the best in us

Are you looking for a sustainable balance between life, money, and joy? For yourself and others?

Imagine, a clear path forward told as a deeply felt human story. A poignant and uplifting celebration of humanity, red helicopter—a parable for our times is a tale of struggle and triumph, compelling for its honesty and relatability as much as for the instructions we can all use to balance the books of our lives.

red helicopter—a parable for our times features approximately 20 original illustrations by Korean artist Heyon Cho.

Critical Praise

"[Rhee] calls for readers to embrace agency, assess their true assets and liabilities, measure goodwill, and lead transformative change through small, scalable acts, …bringing to mind Simon Sinek’s Leaders Eat Last and Brené Brown’s Daring Greatly…a well-crafted narrative with a genuine and heartfelt approach….it will have a broad general appeal for readers looking to rediscover simple yet powerful principles that can lead to a more fulfilling and meaningful life." — Library Journal

"red helicopter is a transformative experience. James Rhee's story is a must read for anyone, of any age, who wishes to think, act, and lead with balance, agility, and wisdom." — Jay Shetty, #1 New York Times bestselling author

"red helicopter is a breath of fresh air in a cluttered world of self-improvement and business literature. For anyone looking to find purpose in the chaos and to embrace life’s deeper connections, red helicopter is a guiding light. I enthusiastically endorse this book for anyone eager to elevate their life and career with heartfelt authenticity and clear-eyed vision." — Dr. Marshall Goldsmith, New York Times bestselling author of The Earned Life, Triggers, and What Got You Here Won’t Get You There

"red helicopter is both a GPS for your soul and a superpower to fuel your journey to purpose. In a hustle-bent world, it stops time and takes you from where you are to where you aim to go. If you’re ready to evolve, own your life, and excel in possibility, this is the book you’ve been waiting for." — Mikki Taylor, award-winning journalist, editor-at-large for Essence magazine, and author of Editor in Chic

"Imagine if your habits were infused with meaning. This parable for our times will inspire you to transform yourself and your teams as they lead with integrity, agility, and courage." — Charles Duhigg, author of bestsellers The Power of Habit, Smarter Faster Better, and Supercommunicators

"red helicopter captures the essence of the human condition and the role it must play in success. James Rhee has captured the core of a curriculum that all schools teaching the principles of business - and life - should implement as we prepare for the future." — Dr. Wayne A. I. Frederick, President Emeritus and Charles R. Drew Professor of Surgery, Howard University

"With experience and deep insight, James Rhee redefines the path towards success. Through masterful storytelling and experience, red helicopter elevates kindness, joy, and goodwill to their rightful place. Rhee shows us a better way to strive, one with our deep values at the center. A wonderful book that all of us who are driven and strivers desperately need to read." — Steve Magness, bestselling author of Do Hard Things

"The breezy pace of red helicopter reads like a fictional movie, but it’s a true story and a must-read. ... If you’re at a company in the midst of a crisis, restructuring or turnaround, Rhee’s focus on listening and collaborating with staff at all levels gives a useful model to emulate." — Forbes


Product Details

  • ISBN: 9780063317147
  • ISBN 10: 0063317141
  • Imprint: HarperOne
  • On Sale: 04/09/2024
  • Pages: 368
  • List Price:36.99 CAD
  • BISAC1 : BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Leadership
  • BISAC2 : SELF-HELP / Personal Growth / Success
  • BISAC4 : SELF-HELP / Motivational & Inspirational
  • BISAC5 : BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Business Ethics
  • BISAC6 : BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Cultural, Ethnic & Regional / Asian & Asian American
  • BISAC7 : BODY, MIND & SPIRIT / Inspiration & Personal Growth
  • BISAC8 : BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Personal Success
  • BISAC9 : BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Workplace Culture
  • BISAC10 : PHILOSOPHY / Ethics & Moral Philosophy
  • BISAC11 : SELF-HELP / Personal Growth / Happiness
  • BISAC12 : PHILOSOPHY / Buddhist

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