Common-sense, if not earth-shattering, advice that should come in handy for anyone wanting to prosper in sales.

The Rival

PLAY THE GAME, OWN THE HUSTLE, POWER IN COMPETITION, LONGEVITY IN COLLABORATION

A debut guide that shows how to succeed in business while really trying.

In this primer for budding entrepreneurs, Von Seeger lays out some ground rules for success, taken from what he calls his “well-executed career.” Von Seeger, a multi-lingual native of Germany who’s worked for many years as a salesman, mainly for telecommunications companies, writes that he intends this compact guide as “a tool for those seeking to learn and follow in my footsteps.” The most important ingredients in his recipe for sales success, he says, are relationships, confidence, and “emotional intelligence.” It also helps, he says, to know in detail what one is selling, to study the competition, and to let honesty, integrity, and a do-unto-others attitude guide one’s business relationships. Along the way, he offers tips on job interviews, resumes, and tactics for establishing all-important business connections. He sprinkles the text with examples from his own career to illustrate his points, such as when he got face time with hard-to-reach executives by befriending their assistants. He also tells the story of a German businessman who threw his sales reps’ desks’ contents out the window when he found them sitting in the office during work hours instead of getting their feet on the street. Von Seeger has produced a concise how-to guide about getting ahead in business, especially sales, that will be particularly useful to those just starting their careers. His liberal use of examples from his own life helps illustrate his ideas for how to get ahead. He occasionally falls back on clichés (“knowledge is power, and the devil is in the details”), but in general, his writing is clear, crisp, and to the point. At times, though, he appears to contradict himself; for example, he warns against “greed and lack of respect for team members, colleagues, and partners,” but also condones the firing of 80 percent of sales reps who aren’t premium producers.

Common-sense, if not earth-shattering, advice that should come in handy for anyone wanting to prosper in sales.

Pub Date: Dec. 10, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4917-8079-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: iUniverse

Review Posted Online: March 10, 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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Occasionally wonky but overall a good case for how the dismal science can make the world less—well, dismal.

GOOD ECONOMICS FOR HARD TIMES

“Quality of life means more than just consumption”: Two MIT economists urge that a smarter, more politically aware economics be brought to bear on social issues.

It’s no secret, write Banerjee and Duflo (co-authors: Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way To Fight Global Poverty, 2011), that “we seem to have fallen on hard times.” Immigration, trade, inequality, and taxation problems present themselves daily, and they seem to be intractable. Economics can be put to use in figuring out these big-issue questions. Data can be adduced, for example, to answer the question of whether immigration tends to suppress wages. The answer: “There is no evidence low-skilled migration to rich countries drives wage and employment down for the natives.” In fact, it opens up opportunities for those natives by freeing them to look for better work. The problem becomes thornier when it comes to the matter of free trade; as the authors observe, “left-behind people live in left-behind places,” which explains why regional poverty descended on Appalachia when so many manufacturing jobs left for China in the age of globalism, leaving behind not just left-behind people but also people ripe for exploitation by nationalist politicians. The authors add, interestingly, that the same thing occurred in parts of Germany, Spain, and Norway that fell victim to the “China shock.” In what they call a “slightly technical aside,” they build a case for addressing trade issues not with trade wars but with consumption taxes: “It makes no sense to ask agricultural workers to lose their jobs just so steelworkers can keep theirs, which is what tariffs accomplish.” Policymakers might want to consider such counsel, especially when it is coupled with the observation that free trade benefits workers in poor countries but punishes workers in rich ones.

Occasionally wonky but overall a good case for how the dismal science can make the world less—well, dismal.

Pub Date: Nov. 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-61039-950-0

Page Count: 432

Publisher: PublicAffairs

Review Posted Online: Aug. 29, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2019

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