PABooks published two new books in November. The book entitled The Catalyst Effect was introduced by the psychologist member of the authorial team, Steve Weitzenkorn at his lecture delivered in the House of Wisdom. The launch of the other book was at the same time the opening program of the Korean Days at Ybl Creative House Buda: the book entitled the “The Korean Mind” was recommended to the populous audience gathering at the vernissage of the exhibition “Touch of Korea” by Norbert Csizmadia, President of Board at PAIGEO.

Boyé Lafayette De Mente: The Korean Mind

In his book, Boyé Lafayette De Mente undertook no less than to summarise the characteristics of Korean culture in a single volume. The author had been experienced in solving similar tasks also prior to this book, as he had also written about the Japanese and Chinese “mindsets”. Based on the information acquired in his work, the author considers it important to emphasise that Koreans have a special, unique personality and culture that cannot be compared to those of other Asian countries at all.

The book is not broken down into parts or chapters, but is structured alongside keywords, i.e. the explanation of some major, or tradition/custom-based notions. As Norbert Csizmadia put it, the book is an extremely exciting puzzle: the 233 Korean expressions evolve into 233 stories, leading the reader through almost the entire Korean history in 655 pages.

Here comes a randomly selected notion and its explanation:

The jealousy taboo (shisaem): from the earliest times until 1910, there were laws prohibiting wives from exhibiting jealousy, even if their husbands had well-known extramarital affairs. In earlier days, wives who crossed this line were subject to execution. In more recent centuries, the punishment was divorce and dishonour.

By the end of the book, it turns out that Christianity, Buddhism, Confucianism, and shamanism had the most considerable impact on Korean culture and traditions, and nowadays all of these coexist without any sort of conflict. The book provides carefully collected information not only for people interested in Korean culture, but also for those who want to understand the Korean mindset. For this very purpose, one can often find side notes while reading the book that especially target those readers who want to do business in Korea or with Korean people.

Jerry Toomer, Craig Caldwell, Steve Weitzenkorn, Chelsea Clark: The Catalyst Effect

As Steve Weitzenkorn explained, their work was greatly inspired by athletes: excellent players who are able to motivate their teammates and make them more efficient. This is the approach and the mindset the authors wanted to find in other fields of life. This is how the authors managed to define the four milestones and 12 competencies with the help of which one can achieve specific team and individual goals and be successful in the field of organisational efficiency as well.

How can perspectives be broadened in a high-velocity world? How can performance be heightened? How can team effectiveness be improved? How can team members lead successfully without formal authority and produce group decisions that maximize commitment in a way that they motivate each other? This is what we call the “Catalyst Effect”. Similarly to the way a catalyst accelerates chemical reactions, in the world of social studies, it is the catalyst that is the motivating person, whose activities accelerate the operation of an organisation for a specific objective. The Catalyst Effect is created by fusing leadership and teamwork into a dynamic, optimistic, and cohesive force that raises the performance of everyone involved and elevates overall team success.

The book provides a practical roadmap for developing and applying the key characteristics and competencies that catalytic people exhibit. Through examples, stories, and practical tricks, readers can enter the world of the competencies characterising catalysts and get to know how the – sometimes thorny – path to the goal could be accelerated. Over 80 in-depth interviews with successful professionals and leaders in business, sports, and arts bring the message even closer to life. The information acquired at these interviews served as empirical raw material for defining the four basic pillars and 12 competencies listed in the book.

According to a catalytic personality, leadership is a collective responsibility. The authors have a unique approach to leadership: having an effect independently of the level of power could be inspiring and instructive not only for subordinates and leaders, but for anyone participating in activities involving team work (e.g. sport, arts). By putting competencies into practice, one can make not only himself but also his environment more valuable – says the final conclusion of the book.