A straightforward presentation that promotes values of conduct most of us would be proud to share.

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HOW TO LEAD YOURSELF AND OTHERS TO GREATER SUCCESS

Three former U.S. military officers advocate for transferring military leadership methods into the civilian business sector and beyond.

Along with Sean Lynch, Morgan and Courtney Lynch (co-authors: Leading From the Front: No-Excuse Leadership Tactics for Women, 2006) run Lead Star, a corporate consulting firm that counts among their well-known clients Facebook, Accenture, Best Buy, and the United Way. The authors take issue with some widespread views about leadership and misinformation about the military and its culture. As Morgan writes, “most people think of leadership as a title, not as a set of behaviors, so they don’t see themselves as leaders.” While uniformed leaders are widely viewed as top-down rather than laterally distributed, the authors contend that the same qualities of high-level military leaders can be found at all levels of any institutional enterprise. Unfortunately, society values such leadership but does not teach it. Using what they have learned, the authors explore how to lead through the exercise of influence. They focus on the choices individuals make when they accept certain responsibilities, and they offer examples of how they came to grasp the significant principles involved in their own training and careers. Morgan relates how an officer she was terrified of went out of his way to help her deal with loss in her family, and Sean recounts how he found the courage to speak up for what he believed in. The capacity to influence grows from the values and principles many people hold dear, including self-control, a dedication to service, accountability, intentionality, and trustworthiness. Ultimately, though, true leaders must first learn to lead themselves before taking responsibility for others. Many of the qualities the authors espouse are those that many readers aspire to, no matter what their backgrounds.

A straightforward presentation that promotes values of conduct most of us would be proud to share.

Pub Date: Jan. 3, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-544-71618-6

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2016

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Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our...

THINKING, FAST AND SLOW

A psychologist and Nobel Prize winner summarizes and synthesizes the recent decades of research on intuition and systematic thinking.

The author of several scholarly texts, Kahneman (Emeritus Psychology and Public Affairs/Princeton Univ.) now offers general readers not just the findings of psychological research but also a better understanding of how research questions arise and how scholars systematically frame and answer them. He begins with the distinction between System 1 and System 2 mental operations, the former referring to quick, automatic thought, the latter to more effortful, overt thinking. We rely heavily, writes, on System 1, resorting to the higher-energy System 2 only when we need or want to. Kahneman continually refers to System 2 as “lazy”: We don’t want to think rigorously about something. The author then explores the nuances of our two-system minds, showing how they perform in various situations. Psychological experiments have repeatedly revealed that our intuitions are generally wrong, that our assessments are based on biases and that our System 1 hates doubt and despises ambiguity. Kahneman largely avoids jargon; when he does use some (“heuristics,” for example), he argues that such terms really ought to join our everyday vocabulary. He reviews many fundamental concepts in psychology and statistics (regression to the mean, the narrative fallacy, the optimistic bias), showing how they relate to his overall concerns about how we think and why we make the decisions that we do. Some of the later chapters (dealing with risk-taking and statistics and probabilities) are denser than others (some readers may resent such demands on System 2!), but the passages that deal with the economic and political implications of the research are gripping.

Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our minds.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-374-27563-1

Page Count: 512

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Sept. 4, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2011

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A deftly argued case for a new kind of socialism that, while sure to inspire controversy, bears widespread discussion.

CAPITAL AND IDEOLOGY

A massive investigation of economic history in the service of proposing a political order to overcome inequality.

Readers who like their political manifestoes in manageable sizes, à la Common Sense or The Communist Manifesto, may be overwhelmed by the latest from famed French economist Piketty (Top Incomes in France in the Twentieth Century: Inequality and Redistribution, 1901-1998, 2014, etc.), but it’s a significant work. The author interrogates the principal forms of economic organization over time, from slavery to “non-European trifunctional societies,” Chinese-style communism, and “hypercapitalist” orders, in order to examine relative levels of inequality and its evolution. Each system is founded on an ideology, and “every ideology, no matter how extreme it may seem in its defense of inequality, expresses a certain idea of social justice.” In the present era, at least in the U.S., that idea of social justice would seem to be only that the big ones eat the little ones, the principal justification being that the wealthiest people became rich because they are “the most enterprising, deserving, and useful.” In fact, as Piketty demonstrates, there’s more to inequality than the mere “size of the income gap.” Contrary to hypercapitalist ideology and its defenders, the playing field is not level, the market is not self-regulating, and access is not evenly distributed. Against this, Piketty arrives at a proposed system that, among other things, would redistribute wealth across societies by heavy taxation, especially of inheritances, to create a “participatory socialism” in which power is widely shared and trade across nations is truly free. The word “socialism,” he allows, is a kind of Pandora’s box that can scare people off—and, he further acknowledges, “the Russian and Czech oligarchs who buy athletic teams and newspapers may not be the most savory characters, but the Soviet system was a nightmare and had to go.” Yet so, too, writes the author, is a capitalism that rewards so few at the expense of so many.

A deftly argued case for a new kind of socialism that, while sure to inspire controversy, bears widespread discussion.

Pub Date: March 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-674-98082-2

Page Count: 976

Publisher: Belknap/Harvard Univ.

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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