Expert Consultants in Thai Leadership Values

Few books on Thai leadership are informed by robust interviews with Thai leaders, and that’s what makes this book special. It unpacks key words Thais use when talking about “face.” It offers a wealth of knowledge about patron-client dynamics, sources of power for leadership, and a little-used pathway to leadership that empowers both leaders and followers.


“If you want to learn in-depth about leadership, power, and communication in Thai culture, read this invaluable source of wisdom. Based on original research and written in crisp prose, it is a well-crafted gem—a luminous dissection of Thai face that is accessible, relevant, and deeply insightful, a must read.” —Stella Ting-Toomey, Professor of Intercultural Communication, California State University at Fullerton.


“Persons eloquently demonstrates the power of extensive ethnographic research in his exploration of the complex and significant concept of face in Thai culture. In doing so he casts doubt on the widely accepted view that foreigners cannot know ‘Thai-ness.’ All readers seeking to comprehend Thai culture, whether anthropologists or anyone intent on blending into Thai society, will find much of value in this important book.” —William E. Wormsley, Teaching Associate Professor in Anthropology, North Carolina State University

“An exceptional exegesis of the anatomy of Thai face and the paradigms of power available to Thai leaders. Working from a rich body of ethnographic interview data, and a clear grasp of Thai concepts and metaphors of facework and leadership, Persons displays the complex facets and remarkable dynamics of local, regional, and national leadership in Thailand.”—Sherwood G. Lingenfelter, Senior Professor of Anthropology and Provost Emeritus, Fuller Theological Seminary



Amara Prasithrathsint, PhD


 at Chulalongkorn University

“As a professor at Chulalongkorn University, I like Larry’s book very much. The details show that he really has insight into Thai society and Thai people. It is different from the common Thai’s understanding of their own society or a Western person’s picture of Thailand.”

Karl Dahlfred, PhD

“The Way Thais Lead was an excellent, well written, very engaging book with lots of colorful quotes from Thai leaders. It gives a good framework for understanding what is happening all around you in everyday social interactions. It is a must-read if you live in Thailand”

Christopher Flanders, PhD

“If you wish to understand Thai leadership and how to work with Thais, there is no other place to begin than Dr. Persons’ book, The Way Thais Lead. I suspect this will remain the definitive work for a generation.”

David W. Conner, EdD

“I’ve read no other book by a farang (or Thai) researcher that has so richly unpacked Thai ‘face’ and then so cleverly utilized it as a powerful lens for viewing and understanding Thai leadership thinking and behavior.”