Author Event: James Rhee - "red helicopter" with Steve Hinds

Event date: 
04/23/2024 - 7:00pm

Acclaimed CEO, TED speaker, and Entrepreneurship professor James Rhee presents his new book, red helicopter, the inspirational true story of finding success through kindness (plus a little math). James will be in conversation with Steve Hinds, Founding President of WPS Institute and Headmaster Emeritus of The Meadowbrook School.

This is a ticketed event. Your $5 ticket can be put towards a purchase of the book at the event. Alternatively, you can add on a purchase of the book to your order and receive a free ticket. Either way, buy tickets through the link below (fees apply) or by calling us at 781-431-1160 during store hours (no fees). Please note that we cannot accept refunds within 48 hours of the event. Please also note that you must purchase your copy of the book from Wellesley Books in order to have the author sign it at the event.

If you are unable to attend the event but would still like to buy the book, you can do so by scrolling down. Just remember that buying the book alone is not the same as buying a ticket. 



Learn the deceptively simple and positive way to embrace your agency, lead change, and fly free—in the business of life and the life of business.

In kindergarten, James Rhee received a toy red helicopter in gratitude for a simple act of generosity—sharing his lunch. Decades later, the lesson from that small gift led him to develop a human-centered framework for business and personal achievement that helped him overcome seemingly insurmountable hurdles and find unprecedented success.

Rhee was a high school teacher turned private equity investor when he unexpectedly took the helm of Ashley Stewart, an iconic company predominantly employing and serving Black women. Inspired by the values his dying Korean immigrant parents instilled in him, he knew that a radically different—yet familiar—approach was required to lead this twice-bankrupt company from certain liquidation to true transcendence. The entire world bet against him and Ashley, but Rhee trusted his instincts to identify, measure, and leverage the intangible goodwill at the company’s core, a decision which ultimately multiplied its fortunes several times over.

By combining the clarity and imagination we had as children with fundamental business metrics, anyone can apply this refreshingly intuitive approach to lead change at work and at home. While eloquently sharing a story of personal and professional success, red helicopter presents a comforting yet bold solution to the dissatisfaction and worry we all feel in a chaotic and sometimes terrifying world. The insights and knowledge that Rhee imparts have been accumulated over decades of investing and leading at the highest levels of business. Drawing on this experience, he encourages us to trust the wisdom deep inside each of us so we can learn how to:

  • Create and measure “goodwill,” the ultimate collective good
  • Discover agency and the truth about kindness it entails
  • Identify the invisible obstacles standing in your way
  • Lead transformational change through small, scalable acts
  • Construct an accurate “balance sheet” of our assets and liabilities
  • Reorient our lives, organizations, and the world to reflect the best in us

A poignant and uplifting celebration of humanity, red helicopter—a parable for our times is a beautiful literary tale of struggle and triumph, as well as a clear, instructional path to create a more sustainable balance between life, money, and joy for both ourselves and others.

red helicopter is a transformative experience. James Rhee’s story is a must read for anyone, of any age, who wishes to think, act, and lead with balance, agility, and wisdom.” —Jay Shetty, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Think Like a Monk and 8 Rules of Love

red helicopter is a breath of fresh air in a cluttered world of self-improvement and business literature. For anyone looking to find purpose in the chaos and to embrace life’s deeper connections, red helicopter is a guiding light. I enthusiastically endorse this book for anyone eager to elevate their life and career with heartfelt authenticity and clear-eyed vision.” —Marshall Goldsmith, New York Times bestselling author of The Earned Life, Triggers, and What Got You Here Won’t Get You There 



James Rhee is a high school teacher and Harvard Law School graduate turned private equity investor and CEO. James’s leadership story first grabbed global attention during his unlikely seven-year tenure as Chairman and first-time CEO of Ashley Stewart. After his radical and yet intuitive approach fueled a transcendent, unprecedented reinvention story for the company, James concretized his leadership philosophy and operating system—kindness plus a little math—in the form of red helicopter, his media-education platform. Rhee teaches at Howard University, where he serves as the Johnson Chair of Entrepreneurship, MIT Sloan School of Management, and Duke Law School. His TED Talk and Dare to Lead interview with Brené Brown have captured the imagination of millions. He composes systems that bridge peoples, industries, and ideas. He is the author of red helicopter (HarperOne; April 9, 2024). He lives outside of Boston, Massachusetts. 

(Photo credit Kimberly Wang)



Born in Colville, Washington and raised in Centerville, Ohio, Stephen Hinds was Headmaster of The Meadowbrook School from 1986 to 2017. He is passionate about teacher leadership, vision planning and global education. A nationally and internationally known independent school leader, Steve has served as president of AISNE (Association of Independent Schools), president of ESHA (Elementary School Heads Association) and trustee and executive committee member of NAIS (National Association of Independent Schools). Steve has been a conference planner at national conferences in NYC and Boston, and a speaker at international conferences in England, Scotland, and Australia. Steve has served as trustee at the Harvard Principals' Center and for Bridge Boston Charter School. Since 2017, Steve has served as President of the WPS Board.


red helicopter—a parable for our times: lead change with kindness (plus a little math) By James Rhee Cover Image
ISBN: 9780063317147
Availability: On our shelves now.
Published: HarperOne - April 9th, 2024

Event address: 
Wellesley Books
82 Central St
Wellesley, MA 02482-5714