Leland Gaskins is author of the new book STEP UP

Leland Gaskins is author of the new book STEP UP

Leland Gaskins is author of the new book STEP UPLeland Gaskins is author of the new book STEP UPLeland Gaskins is author of the new book STEP UP

Step Up is a simple story to help readers recognize and overcome recurring cross-cultural problems in today's workplace

Buy it now in e-book or paperback 

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From Reader Reviews

“The Best book out there on Japanese working with Americans”



“The book engages us through stories about common cross-cultural problems in the workplace between Japanese businesspeople and their western counterparts”

“Unlike most books about Japan or Japanese business, this book is grounded in reality”


“This book is a must read for both Japanese and American business people working together”


“Worth noting is the balance the author manages to strike between telling a narrative and creating teachable moments”

“This is a must read not only for Japanese currently working, or considering working in western organizations, but anyone who’s looking to improve their  understanding about perspective/expectations in the workplace”



“Finally, a book that accurately describes my experience as a foreign manager in Japan”


“The recurring message, and strength of the book, is that knowing about cross cultural differences is not enough”


“I could identify with the characters while at the same time gain new insights why my Japanese colleagues may have responded as they did”


“As someone who has managed many Japanese employees throughout my career, I found myself nodding in agreement through every chapter in Step Up


“I liked that this book explains everything in situational setting and doesn't give any right or wrong. The examples are also quite realistic and easy to understand.”


“This book is perfect for unraveling trans-cultural management confusion”


“It leveraged the power of story-telling to make the concepts digestible - even for ESL readers” 

“Easy to read with not a dull moment” 

“The  situations in the book would often require me to re-read a chapter, as my mind would wander to the all too familiar real situations in my own workplace”


“Highly recommend to anyone working in multicultural setting especially for Japanese people working or planning to work in Western companies!”

“I’ve built my career being a bridge-builder between Asian culture and Western culture, and this book could wipe-out my competitive advantage”

About the Book


The purpose  of this book is to help readers succeed in their professional lives. It addresses common cross-cultural differences between Japanese and Western business people which lead to problems that hinder business and damage careers.


It is for Japanese employees of Western companies and anyone who wants to go beyond simply studying cultural differences to develop a deeper understanding of common cross-cultural conflicts, their causes, and possible solutions. 


Cross-cultural conflict is a constant issue at organizations in Japan. Left unrecognized or unaddressed, these problems harm a person’s ability to gain the trust, respect, and support of others and can have serious consequences for an individual's career.


This book is not a broad study of cross-cultural theory. It does not simply describe the many differences. It is not a list of do's and don’ts. It does not suggest simplistic answers to complex problems. It is not an attempt to change the reader's culture.   


It is an honest look at the biases, misunderstandings, and conflicts common in today’s cross-cultural workplace. It is a practical guide to recognizing, understanding, and overcoming these most common and most damaging problems.


The content is presented as the  story of a Japanese main character learning to recognize and overcome cross-cultural problems that threaten his career. It is a simple story that provides smart solutions to complex problems.