Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Easy to read and understand!  I really enjoyed this book, starting with the opening story of his early management trial.   He presents very practical insight into group dynamics, group management and problem solving.
I attended many "Leadership Courses" while in the military and this book puts everything we spent months going over into a nice concise, straight to the point  book.  The real life examples Mr. Allen uses are great!!  He gives us the leadership skills a person needs to be aware of intermingled with concrete examples and practical exercises.  
His writing style gives confidence and his identification of the "Gang of Four" is so right.
I feel this book is a good read for anyone interested in business management, sociology or psychology and would find this book enjoyable, practical and useful.  This is especially true for those new graduates of our business schools and military leadership courses who have a lot of theory but little in the way of tools to lead.
If a person takes the time to ponder the relevance of their own experience and apply his insights that person will have a starting point in their own development as a leader. Forrest Carper

It’s a very short book that could be even shorter.  I found it to be very repetitive as Allen continually reminds us of his successful “Priceless” ad campaign with Master Card, and how his likable personality made him a successful leader.   As for solving …”the case of the missing cutlery”, it seems to me it didn’t take any genius to go to the commissary and observe what was going on to quickly solve that mystery.  Then in lieu of a reprimand you enlist the guilty to trying to figure out a remedy.
The so called 'leadership lessons’ are just basic common sense examples of how you can accomplish more with honey, etc.  To take five chapters to deal with the cutlery case is an example of trying to stretch out a thesis lacking in actual worth.  I didn’t like the book at all and felt as though I was reading a grade school primer. Emily Gilday

Great book, short and precise and buoyant!
I was lucky and started right from college into management, but reading this book I see so many mistakes I made, not realizing how to deal with people I managed, I only focused on getting the job done.
Using these techniques would have made my life a lot easier!
I hope all future managers read this book and respect those they manage as people, rather than just getting the job done.
I am hoping to get back into the workforce, although with the economy it is tough.
This book has also helped me revise my resume and I give it a "thumbs up"! Cynergy

I have read and found Kevin Allen's book, The Case of the Missing Cutlery very interesting.  And since Kevin spent  many of his professional career years at Marriott, my favorite hotel chain, I was into the book as soon as I received it.  As you know it is a small book and a very easy quick read.  I spent the first 38 years of a 50 year career in the business world being at the top of a very large organization.  So I have experienced many time what Kevin presents in his "Case."  All too often people who may be well intention just keep doing what seems right but is costly and wrong.  They fail to come up with the right decision.  I like this idea of going undercover.  I know many times as I slipped into spots where I was not usually seen in my organizations I witnessed many things that may have felt right but were not.  And as Kevin found, they are clearly not in the best interest of our customers/clients.
Since I traveled extensively for many years I spent lots of time in airports, on planes and in hotels so I started extensive reading and for over 45 years read more than 100 books a year.  I have read extensively and am a student of leadership so much of my reading was on leadership.  One thing novel about Kevin's book is the use of the term buoyancy.  And Kevin uses it to remind us of the absolute need to adjust, sometimes start over and sometimes entirely scrap the way we do things in an effort to do what is both right and better.
I would recommend this book to all leaders.  You just can't go wrong reading material that is right on target and can be read quickly. Doug Newberry

The Case of the Missing Cutlery is a short simple book that pushes the doctrine that effective leadership and problem solving involves more than a scientific approach. The team leader or manager must relate to his members by listening, learning, trusting and most importantly empathizing in order to engender mutual respect and cooperation.
This message resonates the same in all industries and organizations.
Truly if people learned how to respect trust and be honest with each other what a better world we would live in. Marvin Stein, Coral Springs

Short.  Easy to read.  Informative.  Great resource.  A must read for all new and experienced leaders who want to lead others and succeed in today's global business environment.  The principals Kevin introduces are easily relatable and can be successfully applied to any situation that involves people and goals.  This is a book that you definitely want to keep at "arms length". Alex Camacho

I felt the book was short & sweet.  It almost felt like I was reading the Cliff’s Notes version of the actual book, as the author managed to cut to the chase & get right down to the good stuff.  Important reading for a novice in the business industry or anyone that wants to brush up on their leadership skills. Terri Bryant Davie, FL

I kind of liked the idea behind The Case of the Missing Cutlery. When a book promotes itself as a Leadership Course for the Rising Star as written by a successful tycoon, you expect you'll get an anecdotal review of situational learning which is how this little(60pages) work starts out.  In this "case" however the old adage Good things come is Small Packages, applies.

Despite the glitch vocabulary like:  we'll catalyse your organization to achieve balance through organizational analysis and reach flow;  there are some good behavioral lessons being promoted by this interesting 'I learned from experience" guru.

According to Allen, it is all about a way of thinking, and his application of the lessons which others have developed more fully(like Daniel Pink maybe) to mobilize intrinsic motivation in the practical situations, for the good of people rather the extrinsic, rapidly becoming archaic rules from business standards.
   The take-away from this story is not original though: when faced with a crisis - Take Action collectively
1. Acknowledge a problem
2. Consider possibilities
3. Target the cause
4.  Inspire confidence
5. Organize the right team
6. Nominate a catalyst to drive through to a successful conclusion

The people that you inspire, who believe in your shared values, create the conditions of buoyancy that sustain the solutions long enough to reach sustainability. This reaches beyond extrinsic motivators of the carrot and stick approach.  Have we heard this before?  its oft repeated. The presentation of this message is the same, despite a curious promotional twist, that seems like a add campaign, at

But he saves the best for last.  Don't miss the virtual connections that  Kevin Allen creates to get the management lessons he's learned across.  Yes, it saved the book; you can log into a game simulation to practice these applications - a Game Theory final for the course.  Take  a look, its an original that justifies the cost of the printing. Jim Swaner  Miami Shores

The book is more of an introduction since the topics are simple  originate from complex hospitality business scenarios. may provide the missing sections of this small, short, brief read which  is similar to a text blog with a bit of artist description.  The topics include the change from a dictatorship economy to demand economy.   Also, qualities such as listening, learning, challenges and readiness fall under the new title of this book  The Short Case of  the Buoyant Leader. William Murtada

This book is an effective leaders guide to leadership. A light and easy read will propel its reader from simply a person in leadership to a motivated and effective leader. This should be a mandatory read for all MBA students. Deidre Campbell

The case of the missing cutlery is a book  written in a style of storytelling which is unique to most leadership books that are published.  This style  makes the book easy to read and enjoyable. The concept of leadership is expressed  in the book  in a clear and precise way, however I found it somewhat superficial.  Human behavior is very complex and interactions between individuals and situations makes it almost impossible to make predictions of what works with certainty.  Plenty has been said and written about effective leadership and  just like diets, there is no  one single good answer. The book shows the importance  of making  genuine connections with employees. It  also exemplifies the value of establishing a trusting relationship between leaders and followers. Pilar Somoza
Great book – fast read. Wish my previous bosses had read this lexicon on leadership!  Love the clear demonstration of how to achieve buy-in and drive productivity, solve problems and improve job satisfaction, from executive suite down to the factory floor trenches.  Pass this one along to everyone who works with others!
Doramary Russell Coral Springs


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