As an associate and friend of Norman Cohen, I very much enjoyed reading his book. It provides his interesting and informative first-person account of the international business arena. The reader should note, though, that Cohen doesn't pull any punches. He calls them as he sees them, which may not sit well with everyone.
For example, even though I know him fairly well, I was initially shocked by his opening story about how he challenged, in a blunt, somewhat confrontational way, a group of high-level Japanese executives during a business meeting. But as I read further, I realized that the story was meant to grab the reader's attention and to introduce, in a very concise way, the key lessons he conveys throughout the rest of the book, particularly how not to be taken advantage of by your competitors and collaborators.'
Throughout the book, Cohen provides a considerable amount of personal/biographical information, which provides useful insight into his character and the events that shaped who he is today. Perhaps most interesting to readers, particularly those interested in international business, will be the chapters discussing his dealings with executives and government officials from Japan, China, India, and Europe. While I didn't agree with all of his observations, they did make me think deeper about the roles that factors such as history, culture, media, stereotypes, and biases play in our behaviors and interactions with others, particularly those who differ from us.
In an increasingly global economy, our interactions with other countries are growing dramatically. One of the key points of Cohen's book is that, during those interactions, we have to recognize that the rules of the game aren't the same across countries. To the extent that is the case, he argues we shouldn't cry foul; rather, we should be cognizant of the differences and act in a pro-active manner to ensure that we succeed while respecting others.''
In reading Cohen's book, you'll get strong sense of the key reasons underlying his successes in business: creativity, a willingness to take risks, and the ability to be true to himself. These traits aren't exhibited by many people, which is a key reason why few people have had the same successes that he has. Many people, in fact, are turned off by those who exhibit these traits. The key, though, to getting past people's potential discomfort is to add to those traits persistence, a willingness to find terms that are respectful of all parties, and a likeable personality. Norman Cohen brings all of those traits to the table (and to his book).