Leland Gaskins has lived and worked in Japan for more than twenty years. For ten of these years he served as principal Investment Representative in Asia for the State of North Carolina. In that role, he worked with numerous Japanese companies, assisting with their investments in U.S. operations. Prior to that, Leland was Senior Vice-President, Asia-Pacific, at Cognitive Arts Corporation, an industry leader in building high-impact experiential educational programs for universities, corporations and government. In this role, he focused primarily on workforce learning and development priorities at major Japanese companies and Japanese subsidiaries of Western firms.
Leland has observed and discussed cross-cultural issues for many years. He long ago came to two conclusions. First, that most cross-cultural conflict between Japanese and Western businesspeople is essentially the same few problems being repeated again and again. Second, that most of the cross-cultural training people have received has not been effective and there must be a better way. This led him to focus in recent years on developing a deeper understanding of culture, cross-cultural conflict, and conflict resolution. Step Up brings together this research with his years of experience, his interest in innovative learning methods, and his desire to offer a better solution.
Leland lives in Tokyo with his wife, Carolyn. When not obsessing over these current projects, he can often be found exploring rural Japan by bicycle.