A concrete business guide that emphasizes relationship building.




In her latest how-to for business executives, Bence (Leading YOU, 2016, etc.) proposes a people-oriented approach for leadership.

Forget all those stereotypes of the gray-haired executive who barks orders while underlings scurry about. An effective leader, writes Bence, actively listens—and even asks lower-level team members for constructive criticism. With more than 20 years in the executive world, Bence, an entrepreneur and executive coach, has seen a lot of negative leadership, such as bosses who look at email when an employee is speaking. In this easy-to-read guide, she advises how to eliminate 15 bad senior-level behaviors—like not listening—to become a successful manager. Business has evolved, and interpersonal “soft skills,” like knowing how to give genuine praise, are in demand. Her leadership philosophy hinges on what she describes as the relationship-oriented Generation Y: “More than any other generation, Gen Y wants to be heard and be part of creating solutions to problems. So, above-the-threshold leaders recognize the need to listen to younger team members in order to retain and keep top talent.” While some may consider a feelings-based approach too soft for the money world, Bence’s advice is quite practical. For example, instead of asking employees questions with simple yes-or-no answers, she recommends questions beginning with words like “how” to foster leadership skills (a deeper thinking, proactive team can save time and money). Replete with animated anecdotes from herself and others, Bence’s clear writing is delightfully light on industry jargon. A self-described “brand passionista,” her enthusiastic optimism serves the message, and hands-on quizzes are helpful tools for self-reflection. Not necessarily groundbreaking (some of the advice, like repeating what another person says during a conversation, is familiar), but it is beneficial.

A concrete business guide that emphasizes relationship building.

Pub Date: Jan. 2, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-9825353-5-6

Page Count: 200

Publisher: Global Insight Communications

Review Posted Online: Jan. 23, 2017

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Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our...


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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A deftly argued case for a new kind of socialism that, while sure to inspire controversy, bears widespread discussion.


A massive investigation of economic history in the service of proposing a political order to overcome inequality.

Readers who like their political manifestoes in manageable sizes, à la Common Sense or The Communist Manifesto, may be overwhelmed by the latest from famed French economist Piketty (Top Incomes in France in the Twentieth Century: Inequality and Redistribution, 1901-1998, 2014, etc.), but it’s a significant work. The author interrogates the principal forms of economic organization over time, from slavery to “non-European trifunctional societies,” Chinese-style communism, and “hypercapitalist” orders, in order to examine relative levels of inequality and its evolution. Each system is founded on an ideology, and “every ideology, no matter how extreme it may seem in its defense of inequality, expresses a certain idea of social justice.” In the present era, at least in the U.S., that idea of social justice would seem to be only that the big ones eat the little ones, the principal justification being that the wealthiest people became rich because they are “the most enterprising, deserving, and useful.” In fact, as Piketty demonstrates, there’s more to inequality than the mere “size of the income gap.” Contrary to hypercapitalist ideology and its defenders, the playing field is not level, the market is not self-regulating, and access is not evenly distributed. Against this, Piketty arrives at a proposed system that, among other things, would redistribute wealth across societies by heavy taxation, especially of inheritances, to create a “participatory socialism” in which power is widely shared and trade across nations is truly free. The word “socialism,” he allows, is a kind of Pandora’s box that can scare people off—and, he further acknowledges, “the Russian and Czech oligarchs who buy athletic teams and newspapers may not be the most savory characters, but the Soviet system was a nightmare and had to go.” Yet so, too, writes the author, is a capitalism that rewards so few at the expense of so many.

A deftly argued case for a new kind of socialism that, while sure to inspire controversy, bears widespread discussion.

Pub Date: March 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-674-98082-2

Page Count: 976

Publisher: Belknap/Harvard Univ.

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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