Tough-love business management advice that never loses sight of the big-picture economy.

READ REVIEW

Manage It Right!

INTRAPRENEURIAL SKILLS TO SUCCEED IN ANY ORGANIZATION

A demanding road map for turning around a failing business.

Fifty years of corporate management experience are distilled in this practical handbook for business managers, especially for those tasked with saving a business that is bleeding revenue and fending off bruising publicity. In their debut volume, the Zoreas—father and son—coach middle managers on fixing internal management problems. The senior author’s engineering background is evident in the book’s clear, methodical approach to information gathering and analysis, all succinctly summarized in a questionnaire included as an appendix. The basis of good management, according to the Zoreas, is the unglamorous but necessary business of “problem finding, problem solving, implementation, monitoring, and control.” In turning around a failing business, accurate profit-and-loss accounting matters more than charismatic leadership, the authors write. The handbook is filled with tables showing, for example, how to keep track of action items and how to create “change design” dashboards. Offering coaching tips on communicating effectively with higher-ups, selecting project management software and conducting productive meetings, the book has an explicit bias against employees with advanced degrees who lack multidisciplinary business skills, despite their MBAs. It also takes aim at conflict-of-interest practices among corporate executives. Some executives who are compensated for meeting performance benchmarks are setting goals and objectives that are too easy to reach, thereby causing their companies to stagnate and lose market share. It’s hard to imagine a more disciplined regimen for business recovery than the one outlined by this coaching duo, who demand a seven-days-a-week commitment of time and thought for a stretch of two to three years. Although the book follows a fictional midcareer business manager through two years of coaching, many of the narrative details—e.g., “Chuck took a sip of his mineral water”—aren’t great additions to the book’s valuable business insights, including those related to outsourcing. Chuck criticizes managers who, instead of learning how to manage complex business challenges, become “addicted” to outsourcing: “Maybe that’s okay for the retiring generation, but what about the younger generations who need to work and feed their families?”

Tough-love business management advice that never loses sight of the big-picture economy.

Pub Date: March 12, 2014

ISBN: 978-0991392704

Page Count: 346

Publisher: Manage It Right! Press

Review Posted Online: May 21, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A timely, vividly realized reminder to slow down and harness the restorative wonders of serenity.

STILLNESS IS THE KEY

An exploration of the importance of clarity through calmness in an increasingly fast-paced world.

Austin-based speaker and strategist Holiday (Conspiracy: Peter Thiel, Hulk Hogan, Gawker, and the Anatomy of Intrigue, 2018, etc.) believes in downshifting one’s life and activities in order to fully grasp the wonder of stillness. He bolsters this theory with a wide array of perspectives—some based on ancient wisdom (one of the author’s specialties), others more modern—all with the intent to direct readers toward the essential importance of stillness and its “attainable path to enlightenment and excellence, greatness and happiness, performance as well as presence.” Readers will be encouraged by Holiday’s insistence that his methods are within anyone’s grasp. He acknowledges that this rare and coveted calm is already inside each of us, but it’s been worn down by the hustle of busy lives and distractions. Recognizing that this goal requires immense personal discipline, the author draws on the representational histories of John F. Kennedy, Buddha, Tiger Woods, Fred Rogers, Leonardo da Vinci, and many other creative thinkers and scholarly, scientific texts. These examples demonstrate how others have evolved past the noise of modern life and into the solitude of productive thought and cleansing tranquility. Holiday splits his accessible, empowering, and sporadically meandering narrative into a three-part “timeless trinity of mind, body, soul—the head, the heart, the human body.” He juxtaposes Stoic philosopher Seneca’s internal reflection and wisdom against Donald Trump’s egocentric existence, with much of his time spent “in his bathrobe, ranting about the news.” Holiday stresses that while contemporary life is filled with a dizzying variety of “competing priorities and beliefs,” the frenzy can be quelled and serenity maintained through a deliberative calming of the mind and body. The author shows how “stillness is what aims the arrow,” fostering focus, internal harmony, and the kind of holistic self-examination necessary for optimal contentment and mind-body centeredness. Throughout the narrative, he promotes that concept mindfully and convincingly.

A timely, vividly realized reminder to slow down and harness the restorative wonders of serenity.

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-53858-5

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Portfolio

Review Posted Online: July 21, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more