Very few books on Thai leadership are built from the bottom up by ethnographic research among Thai leaders, but this is one for sure. It unpacks Thai terms for an invisible currency in Thai leadership called “face.” It’s also 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