An inspirational—and more than a little grandiose—series of business world insights.

12 POWER PRINCIPLES FOR SUCCESS

A guide offers advice on achieving success in business and life.

In his book, Proctor (It’s Not About the Money, 2018) invites readers to imagine traveling around the world and talking to the wealthiest, happiest people. If they asked all these folks the same question—what is the key to your success?their answers would always boil down to the same things. The author then asks: Wouldn’t you like to know what those things are? Proctor lays out those answers in his manual, broken down into 12 “principles” grouped around core ideas. The author opens by assuring his readers that they were born with the keys to success and only need to realize that in order to begin living their best lives. “Misunderstanding this part keeps the masses in the foothills,” he writes, “wandering aimlessly, never climbing their mountains, frequently frustrated, often angry, and too often miserably disappointed with themselves and their accomplishments.” This delineation between winners and losers runs throughout the work, with Proctor asserting that “decision makers go to the top, and those who do not make decisions seem to go nowhere.” He raises several key general concepts, like “goals,” “persistence,” and “creativity,” and in each case quotes from business inspiration standards like Winston Churchill and delivers wide-reaching insights and encouragements. Some of these will strike longtime readers of business books as very familiar—things like “risks must be taken, because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing” and “you cannot escape from a prison if you do not know you are in one.” Less familiar—and more questionable—are much broader claims like “We are all spiritual beings. There is no one person who has more power, more knowledge or access to greater resources than any other person.” Or “I am responsible for my life, for my feelings, and for every result I get.” These extravagant contentions are perhaps not out of line with a book that asserts: “You are one with the infinite.”

An inspirational—and more than a little grandiose—series of business world insights.

Pub Date: Nov. 19, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-72250-191-4

Page Count: 220

Publisher: G&D Media

Review Posted Online: Dec. 4, 2019

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Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

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UNTAMED

More life reflections from the bestselling author on themes of societal captivity and the catharsis of personal freedom.

In her third book, Doyle (Love Warrior, 2016, etc.) begins with a life-changing event. “Four years ago,” she writes, “married to the father of my three children, I fell in love with a woman.” That woman, Abby Wambach, would become her wife. Emblematically arranged into three sections—“Caged,” “Keys,” “Freedom”—the narrative offers, among other elements, vignettes about the soulful author’s girlhood, when she was bulimic and felt like a zoo animal, a “caged girl made for wide-open skies.” She followed the path that seemed right and appropriate based on her Catholic upbringing and adolescent conditioning. After a downward spiral into “drinking, drugging, and purging,” Doyle found sobriety and the authentic self she’d been suppressing. Still, there was trouble: Straining an already troubled marriage was her husband’s infidelity, which eventually led to life-altering choices and the discovery of a love she’d never experienced before. Throughout the book, Doyle remains open and candid, whether she’s admitting to rigging a high school homecoming court election or denouncing the doting perfectionism of “cream cheese parenting,” which is about “giving your children the best of everything.” The author’s fears and concerns are often mirrored by real-world issues: gender roles and bias, white privilege, racism, and religion-fueled homophobia and hypocrisy. Some stories merely skim the surface of larger issues, but Doyle revisits them in later sections and digs deeper, using friends and familial references to personify their impact on her life, both past and present. Shorter pieces, some only a page in length, manage to effectively translate an emotional gut punch, as when Doyle’s therapist called her blooming extramarital lesbian love a “dangerous distraction.” Ultimately, the narrative is an in-depth look at a courageous woman eager to share the wealth of her experiences by embracing vulnerability and reclaiming her inner strength and resiliency.

Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

Pub Date: March 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-0125-8

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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The Stoics did much better with the much shorter Enchiridion.

THE LAWS OF HUMAN NATURE

A follow-on to the author’s garbled but popular 48 Laws of Power, promising that readers will learn how to win friends and influence people, to say nothing of outfoxing all those “toxic types” out in the world.

Greene (Mastery, 2012, etc.) begins with a big sell, averring that his book “is designed to immerse you in all aspects of human behavior and illuminate its root causes.” To gauge by this fat compendium, human behavior is mostly rotten, a presumption that fits with the author’s neo-Machiavellian program of self-validation and eventual strategic supremacy. The author works to formula: First, state a “law,” such as “confront your dark side” or “know your limits,” the latter of which seems pale compared to the Delphic oracle’s “nothing in excess.” Next, elaborate on that law with what might seem to be as plain as day: “Losing contact with reality, we make irrational decisions. That is why our success often does not last.” One imagines there might be other reasons for the evanescence of glory, but there you go. Finally, spin out a long tutelary yarn, seemingly the longer the better, to shore up the truism—in this case, the cometary rise and fall of one-time Disney CEO Michael Eisner, with the warning, “his fate could easily be yours, albeit most likely on a smaller scale,” which ranks right up there with the fortuneteller’s “I sense that someone you know has died" in orders of probability. It’s enough to inspire a new law: Beware of those who spend too much time telling you what you already know, even when it’s dressed up in fresh-sounding terms. “Continually mix the visceral with the analytic” is the language of a consultant’s report, more important-sounding than “go with your gut but use your head, too.”

The Stoics did much better with the much shorter Enchiridion.

Pub Date: Oct. 23, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-525-42814-5

Page Count: 580

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: July 31, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2018

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