Ken Carroll?

December 04, 2010, 09:45 PM posted in I Have a Question

Well, I don't want to unearth any old rumors or scandelous speculation, but now that it has been almost a year, has anyone heard from Ken Carroll?  Is he still in Taiwan?  Is he still doing something with Chinese education?  I am _not_ interested in nosing into his personal life or the situation with his school last year, but I am curious if he's still out there somewhere in CSL cyberspace...

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December 05, 2010, 01:31 AM

Well, I did a little google search, and it appears he has reinvented himself by entering the realm of leadership coaching and training.  Check it out:

I'm glad that he found new direction.  I hope it works out.

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December 05, 2010, 03:02 AM

It's a blog rather than a business site.  I counted about nine posts in two years - I assume that this is not his full-time occupation.  Not that there is anything wrong with that, it's quality  that counts.  His first post was rather surprisingly 'must write shorter posts'.  

There are a million people out there writing about leadership, a crowded market.  Because people buy it. It is the 'sexy' end of management, we all tend to glamorise it.  Ken must have noticed this - he says he's writing 'the' book.  (He has a nice ironic style that might help him sell product.)  

He also has a rather unflattering photo of himself on the site - kind of jars with the 'leadership' ambitions.  I wonder if he listened to Talking Heads when he was young.  The photo, washed of colour and intentionally over-exposed, suggests a Chinese David Byrne.  Management rock star.  Or maybe he has mellowed - Elvis Costello?    

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Your statement although true, is a bit misleading. The blog contains 3 posts (if you count the shorter posts comment) about language teaching made back in 2009 before he left. Nothing more until Oct this year, since when he has posted 6 times about leadership. A topical change that broke a long silence, so I would say this is a new direction. They were not spread out over 2 years.

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I observed the hiatus you refer to. I didn't mean to be misleading, I was pointing to a genuine puzzle. (I did not know that the language ones were completed before he left.) I didn't know about this blog back then, and there is nothing on the site that I saw to explain the change in direction.

For a bit of 'anti-leadership' reading (a tiny rowboat battling the tidal wave of leadership titles) I recommend the distinguished Henry Mintzberg's book 'Managing'. I throw this in here for a bit of balance. Actually this book is famous for another reason - it is based on research which studiously avoids a single example from the United States. Mintzberg himself says that he did this in his lonely cause to achieve a bit of balance in the field.

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December 05, 2010, 09:08 PM

Well, I'm glad he's ok. I also made a post about his recent return, but it was more ignored than this one ;-) I guess the rumoured gangsters that caused him to flee in silence have been called off? Either that or his current location is still a mystery. 

Having recently been on a "leadership" course, I think it's a bit of a pity he's returned selling snake oil, but I'm genuinely glad he's ok :)

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December 06, 2010, 01:54 AM

I had the good fortune to meet the mystery man in person back in 2009 while I was visiting Shanghai. It was a completely random encounter on a street in the Pudong district.. was walking along with JohnB and we came across a large fire in a construction site. While we were gawking amongst the crowd we caught sight of him exiting a building nearby.. Just one of those things.. haha.. in such a huge city with so many people and the stars aligned. :)