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The Shibumi Strategy: A Powerful Way to Create Meaningful Change

The Shibumi Strategy: A Powerful Way to Create Meaningful Change

Matthew E. May

ISBN: 978-0-470-76950-8

Nov 2010, Jossey-Bass

176 pages

In Stock



Gold Medal Winner, Business Fable, 2012 Axiom Business Book Awards

A personal leadership fable on applying principles of Zen to work & life choices.

The Shibumi Strategy is a little book about a big breakthrough. It tells the story of a hardworking family man who finds himself in crisis when his company closes. Through his struggle, and guidance from unlikely sources, he learns subtle lessons in the form of “personal zen” principles, coming to understand that it is often the involuntary challenge, the setbacks, that harbor the power to transform. When approached as an opportunity — no easy task when simple survival is the first order of business—unforeseen trials can sometimes result in an altogether new lease on life.

  • Shows how "personal leadership" can lead to real (and not always easy) breakthroughs
  • Includes key lessons on commitment, preparation, struggle, breakthrough, and transformation
  • Is based on Shibumi, a Japanese word without literal definition that describes the height of personal excellence, elegant performance, and effortless effectiveness. 

For those struggling with personal breakthroughs, The Shubimi Strategy offers a new way to face work and life challenges for balanced solutions.



The Commitment.

The Preparation.

The Struggle.

The Breakthrough.

The Transformation.


Note to Reader.

Reflections on Shibumi.

Kata for Practice.

Notes and References.


Reading and Resources.

About the Author.