When Elephants Fly: Customs Leadership and Management in a Globalized World

It is almost here! In early 2015 former Director of Capacity Building of the World Customs Organization and Director of Swedish Customs, Mr Lars Karlsson, will release his new book entitled “When Elephants Fly: Customs Leadership and Management in a Globalized World”.

“Why write a book about leadership and management? It is a good question since every year there are about 10,000 new leadership and management books published in the world. Still, there are no books about Customs leadership and management. One thing that I have found out working with capacity building for more than twenty years and visiting more than 160 countries around the world, is that leadership and the ability to manage our organizations – our future – is something that we can develop through capacity building. I believe that building the ability to lead, understand and manage reform and modernization is the most important part of capacity building.

We live in the age of globalization and this is something that has an impact on ur lives every day. One of the areas where the changes driven by globalization have the greatest impact is the global trade system. This is where customs per definition works, so the consequences of globalization have an influence over our environment. What does that mean for us as customs leaders and the management of our organizations? I wanted to write a handbook on customs leadership that could serve as training material and course literature in customs education and training all around the world – a practical book where I give my personal view on leadership based on my own knowledge and experience from my leadership career. However, this is also an interview book sharing the views of outstanding internationally highly respected and successful customs leaders, about leadership and management in a globalized world. Do you want to know what happens when elephants fly? Read this book.” Lars Karlsson Mr Lars Karlsson is President of KGH Border Services, an international customs capacity building company. He has spent 30 years as a customs leader, specifically involved in reform and modernisation. Lars was the first Director of Capacity Building of the World Customs Organization (2006-2010) where he spearheaded the work of developing capacity building strategies, standards, infrastructure and operational programs, including Columbus and PICARD.

Before joining the WCO, Lars held key positions within Swedish Customs, including as Acting Deputy Director General, Director Customs and Head of ICT, reform and modernisation. Lars has extensive work experience in many countries.

In 2010, Lars Karlsson was appointed as an Honorary Fellow of the

International Network of Customs Universities in recognition of his distinguished contribution to the WCO’s PICARD Programme, the INCU and to promoting the academic standing of the Customs profession.

To watch a video recording of Lars Karlsson’s book launch at the Inaugural INCU Global Conference, please click here.

The book will be released in early 2015.