A valuable management playbook that reinforces sound practices.

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TRUST RULES

HOW THE WORLD'S BEST MANAGERS CREATE GREAT PLACES TO WORK

A set of research-based rules for building trust in the workplace.

In this debut work, Lee, a senior leader at the Great Place to Work Institute business consultancy, shares his observations about how managers can use trust to create better work environments. This notion is nothing new, but Lee notes that his study of “feedback” from almost 2 million employees in 80 countries has given him a deeper perspective. He found similarities in the ways that employees trusted their bosses, distilled that data, and identified 16 “trust rules” that he says all great managers follow. Lee summarizes these in short, breezy chapters, providing an overview of each rule along with a few relevant examples and suggestions. Individually, the rules, such as “Be Approachable and Easy to Talk To,” “Make Your Expectations Clear,” and “Treat Everyone Fairly,” seem obvious, but taken together, they form a comprehensive checklist, and the author’s practical suggestions are particularly useful. For example, for the rule “Live with Integrity,” Lee enumerates five specific points, including “Be what you want your employees to be” and “Keep a positive and respectful attitude when challenging the status quo.” One chapter asks the important question, “So how can a high-trust manager reconcile the need to achieve results (the reason the organization exists in the first place) with the desire to help employees achieve a reasonable work-life balance?” The author then ably provides the answer by discussing four specific strategies that demonstrate an enlightened, humanistic approach to management. The style in which Lee delivers this material only heightens its usefulness, as he explains each rule in clear, illustrative text. Each rule is reinforced by “Key Points” at the end of each chapter, and each chapter builds upon the previous ones, so that the sum becomes greater than the discrete parts. In closing, Lee offers an engaging 10-step plan for implementing the changes necessary to put these rules into action.

A valuable management playbook that reinforces sound practices.

Pub Date: April 6, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-9957378-9-1

Page Count: 184

Publisher: The Trust Lab

Review Posted Online: June 13, 2017

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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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Essential reading for citizens of the here and now. Other economists should marvel at how that plain language can be put to...

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CAPITAL IN THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY

A French academic serves up a long, rigorous critique, dense with historical data, of American-style predatory capitalism—and offers remedies that Karl Marx might applaud.

Economist Piketty considers capital, in the monetary sense, from the vantage of what he considers the capital of the world, namely Paris; at times, his discussions of how capital works, and especially public capital, befit Locke-ian France and not Hobbesian America, a source of some controversy in the wide discussion surrounding his book. At heart, though, his argument turns on well-founded economic principles, notably r > g, meaning that the “rate of return on capital significantly exceeds the growth rate of the economy,” in Piketty’s gloss. It logically follows that when such conditions prevail, then wealth will accumulate in a few hands faster than it can be broadly distributed. By the author’s reckoning, the United States is one of the leading nations in the “high inequality” camp, though it was not always so. In the colonial era, Piketty likens the inequality quotient in New England to be about that of Scandinavia today, with few abject poor and few mega-rich. The difference is that the rich now—who are mostly the “supermanagers” of business rather than the “superstars” of sports and entertainment—have surrounded themselves with political shields that keep them safe from the specter of paying more in taxes and adding to the fund of public wealth. The author’s data is unassailable. His policy recommendations are considerably more controversial, including his call for a global tax on wealth. From start to finish, the discussion is written in plainspoken prose that, though punctuated by formulas, also draws on a wide range of cultural references.

Essential reading for citizens of the here and now. Other economists should marvel at how that plain language can be put to work explaining the most complex of ideas, foremost among them the fact that economic inequality is at an all-time high—and is only bound to grow worse.

Pub Date: March 10, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-674-43000-6

Page Count: 640

Publisher: Belknap/Harvard Univ.

Review Posted Online: April 30, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2014

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