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LEADERSHIP TWO WORDS AT A TIME

SIMPLE TRUTHS FOR LEADING COMPLICATED PEOPLE

An affable and engaging management guide.

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Consultant Treasurer’s latest business book offers concise tips for developing leadership skills.

The author, currently the chief encouragement officer at Giant Leap Consulting, builds on his previous books, including Leaders Open Doors(2014), by describing crucial concepts in two-word phrases. Unlike many other titles in the genre, this one explicitly addresses itself to young and midlevel corporate leaders—those who must guide and motivate employees but aren’t in a position to set the organization’s overall direction or shape its mission. The book is divided into three sections, focused on self-management, leading others, and understanding business concepts. Within each section, chapters (“Model Principles,” “Get Results”) and subsections (“Integrity Matters,” “Detonation Defused”) follow Treasurer’s minimalist two-word formula, with explanations of each concept in straightforward prose. The book explains the importance of being self-aware and disciplined, understanding the common challenges inherent in motivating others, and developing a knowledge of the company and the industry to produce results. Each chapter includes brief anecdotes from leaders with whom Treasurer has worked (such as Sara Blakely, the founder and CEO of Spanx), sharing their insights on how to apply leadership principles to specific situations; for instance, Kimberlee Curley, the vice president of workforce readiness at NTT Data, explains how trying and failing to mimic the behavior of her colleagues taught her the importance of authenticity and also how her colleagues were falling short as leaders. Chapters conclude with questions for readers to ask themselves (“Think Now”) and action items for developing skills and knowledge (“Act Now”).

Treasurer takes a coach’s approach to developing leadership skills—explaining why they matter, offering specific implementations, and assuring readers that they can learn and accomplish everything they need to achieve. The book’s tone is heartfelt without being cloying, and readers will find the narrative voice appealing. The book presents a solid mix of theory and anecdote, offering vivid examples of concepts, discussed in broad terms; for instance, Treasurer uses his own failure to remember the names of his employees’ children as a launching point for a discussion of how to manage employees as people rather than cogs in a corporate machine. The section on developing employees’ skills is particularly well done, drawing clear connections between giving employees the tools and freedom to get work done and having enough time to focus on the work of management: “After working with you, each of your direct reports should be somehow enhanced, better off for having been positively impacted by your leadership.” Although the book’s core message will be familiar to anyone who’s spent time in the business section of a bookstore, it’s well written and well organized, making it a solid addition to one’s shelf; it’s also an effective introduction to newcomers to the topic of building leadership skills. Treasurer’s two-word conceit never feels overdone, offering readers convenient mnemonics without feeling gimmicky. Readers will come away with a clear sense of what leaders need to do to effectively manage themselves and their organizations and a clear path to implementation.

An affable and engaging management guide.

Pub Date: Sept. 27, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-5230-0317-4

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers

Review Posted Online: Aug. 8, 2022

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  • New York Times Bestseller

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POVERTY, BY AMERICA

A clearly delineated guide to finally eradicate poverty in America.

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A thoughtful program for eradicating poverty from the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Evicted.

“America’s poverty is not for lack of resources,” writes Desmond. “We lack something else.” That something else is compassion, in part, but it’s also the lack of a social system that insists that everyone pull their weight—and that includes the corporations and wealthy individuals who, the IRS estimates, get away without paying upward of $1 trillion per year. Desmond, who grew up in modest circumstances and suffered poverty in young adulthood, points to the deleterious effects of being poor—among countless others, the precarity of health care and housing (with no meaningful controls on rent), lack of transportation, the constant threat of losing one’s job due to illness, and the need to care for dependent children. It does not help, Desmond adds, that so few working people are represented by unions or that Black Americans, even those who have followed the “three rules” (graduate from high school, get a full-time job, wait until marriage to have children), are far likelier to be poor than their White compatriots. Furthermore, so many full-time jobs are being recast as contracted, fire-at-will gigs, “not a break from the norm as much as an extension of it, a continuation of corporations finding new ways to limit their obligations to workers.” By Desmond’s reckoning, besides amending these conditions, it would not take a miracle to eliminate poverty: about $177 billion, which would help end hunger and homelessness and “make immense headway in driving down the many agonizing correlates of poverty, like violence, sickness, and despair.” These are matters requiring systemic reform, which will in turn require Americans to elect officials who will enact that reform. And all of us, the author urges, must become “poverty abolitionists…refusing to live as unwitting enemies of the poor.” Fortune 500 CEOs won’t like Desmond’s message for rewriting the social contract—which is precisely the point.

A clearly delineated guide to finally eradicate poverty in America.

Pub Date: March 21, 2023

ISBN: 9780593239919

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Nov. 30, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2023

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THE CULTURE MAP

BREAKING THROUGH THE INVISIBLE BOUNDARIES OF GLOBAL BUSINESS

These are not hard and fast rules, but Meyer delivers important reading for those engaged in international business.

A helpful guide to working effectively with people from other cultures.

“The sad truth is that the vast majority of managers who conduct business internationally have little understanding about how culture is impacting their work,” writes Meyer, a professor at INSEAD, an international business school. Yet they face a wider array of work styles than ever before in dealing with clients, suppliers and colleagues from around the world. When is it best to speak or stay quiet? What is the role of the leader in the room? When working with foreign business people, failing to take cultural differences into account can lead to frustration, misunderstanding or worse. Based on research and her experiences teaching cross-cultural behaviors to executive students, the author examines a handful of key areas. Among others, they include communicating (Anglo-Saxons are explicit; Asians communicate implicitly, requiring listeners to read between the lines), developing a sense of trust (Brazilians do it over long lunches), and decision-making (Germans rely on consensus, Americans on one decider). In each area, the author provides a “culture map scale” that positions behaviors in more than 20 countries along a continuum, allowing readers to anticipate the preferences of individuals from a particular country: Do they like direct or indirect negative feedback? Are they rigid or flexible regarding deadlines? Do they favor verbal or written commitments? And so on. Meyer discusses managers who have faced perplexing situations, such as knowledgeable team members who fail to speak up in meetings or Indians who offer a puzzling half-shake, half-nod of the head. Cultural differences—not personality quirks—are the motivating factors behind many behavioral styles. Depending on our cultures, we understand the world in a particular way, find certain arguments persuasive or lacking merit, and consider some ways of making decisions or measuring time natural and others quite strange.

These are not hard and fast rules, but Meyer delivers important reading for those engaged in international business.

Pub Date: May 27, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-61039-250-1

Page Count: 288

Publisher: PublicAffairs

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2014

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