A heartfelt and highly readable guide to developing leadership abilities and making a positive impact in the workplace.

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A veteran corporate executive offers motivational advice to fellow leaders.

In this debut business book, Coombs shares stories from a decadeslong career in technology and call center management—as well as anecdotes from his childhood and the lives of his kids—that illustrate the principles of effective leadership. The author encourages readers to be superb leaders by setting a good example, taking responsibility, and empowering subordinates, among other techniques. He delivers detailed examples from his own career and those of other noted leaders, including Ray Kroc, Walt Disney, and Abraham Lincoln. Coombs describes many scenarios in which he has improved business performance through strengthening relationships, owning his mistakes, and demonstrating a strong work ethic. While the topics presented in the volume are common ones in business literature, something Coombs acknowledges in the introduction, the narrative voice has an enthusiasm and energy that keep the pages turning despite the familiar territory covered. The author has an engaging approach to criticizing the limitations of the bureaucratic mindset (“What if we decided to exercise just once or twice a year and call it good? How healthy would we be? It seems silly to even imagine such a thing—so why do some firms take this approach to core principles, vision, and values?”). His anecdotes, even when rambling, do an excellent job of illuminating leadership concepts and providing readers with a deeper understanding. Moments of implausibility (his 6-year-old daughter says, “Daddy, I do not want to hear it. Excuses do not change results”) can be forgiven in the service of fine storytelling, which Coombs does throughout the book, to good effect. Although the volume examines issues explored at length in other works, the author’s raconteur skills and palpable enthusiasm for helping others to reach their leadership potentials make this both a quick and satisfying read as well as a worthwhile addition to the world of business books.

A heartfelt and highly readable guide to developing leadership abilities and making a positive impact in the workplace.

Pub Date: Nov. 19, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-9895523-7-0

Page Count: 248

Publisher: Scrivener Books

Review Posted Online: Nov. 12, 2019



This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996




An extravaganza in Bemelmans' inimitable vein, but written almost dead pan, with sly, amusing, sometimes biting undertones, breaking through. For Bemelmans was "the man who came to cocktails". And his hostess was Lady Mendl (Elsie de Wolfe), arbiter of American decorating taste over a generation. Lady Mendl was an incredible person,- self-made in proper American tradition on the one hand, for she had been haunted by the poverty of her childhood, and the years of struggle up from its ugliness,- until she became synonymous with the exotic, exquisite, worshipper at beauty's whrine. Bemelmans draws a portrait in extremes, through apt descriptions, through hilarious anecdote, through surprisingly sympathetic and understanding bits of appreciation. The scene shifts from Hollywood to the home she loved the best in Versailles. One meets in passing a vast roster of famous figures of the international and artistic set. And always one feels Bemelmans, slightly offstage, observing, recording, commenting, illustrated.

Pub Date: Feb. 23, 1955

ISBN: 0670717797

Page Count: -

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Oct. 25, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1955

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