A lean and bracingly straightforward look at the core paths to the executive suite.

READ REVIEW

CRACK THE C-SUITE CODE

A debut guide delivers insights into what it takes to move into the much-coveted corner office in the business world.

In this compact book, Frangos focuses on the holy grail of the C-suite, which sits at the pinnacle of every professional career, and lays out not only a variety of reasons why people might want to achieve that goal, but also an assortment of methods for attaining it. The author has coached businesspeople for years, and in that time she’s noticed a comparative lack of literature on the philosophy and strategy of climbing to the executive level (as opposed to becoming a boss, about which there’s abundant reading matter available). In this volume’s clearly written, fast-paced chapters, she breaks down the characteristics of the four “core paths” to the C-suite: the Tenured Executive, who rises steadily through the corporate ranks in the traditional way; the Free Agent, who’s recruited from outside the firm but otherwise fulfills most of the same expectations; the Leapfrog Leader, an “internal or external candidate” who possesses an unconventional mindset or approach to the business; and the Founder, who succeeds by creating a company or vision, bypassing the establishment entirely. Frangos examines each of these paths in detail, providing examples from the business world, citing other motivational books and authors frequently, and listing accelerating and derailing factors endemic to each track. In all cases, the author demands of her readers a fairly high degree of brutal self-awareness; anyone looking primarily for feel-good motivational pep talks will find very little of such material here. Instead, the key idea running through all of the C-suite breakdowns in these pages is one of managed sacrifice: Reaching the peaks of their professional careers requires readers to know who they are and what they are willing to do. Do they have the managerial elements that are needed? Frangos summarizes it all with a disarmingly simple question: “Is this the right plan for you?”

A lean and bracingly straightforward look at the core paths to the executive suite.

Pub Date: March 6, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-61363-084-6

Page Count: 134

Publisher: Wharton Digital Press

Review Posted Online: Aug. 2, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A declaration worth hearing out in a time of growing inequality—and indignity.

ECONOMIC DIGNITY

Noted number cruncher Sperling delivers an economist’s rejoinder to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Former director of the National Economic Council in the administrations of Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, the author has long taken a view of the dismal science that takes economic justice fully into account. Alongside all the metrics and estimates and reckonings of GDP, inflation, and the supply curve, he holds the great goal of economic policy to be the advancement of human dignity, a concept intangible enough to chase the econometricians away. Growth, the sacred mantra of most economic policy, “should never be considered an appropriate ultimate end goal” for it, he counsels. Though 4% is the magic number for annual growth to be considered healthy, it is healthy only if everyone is getting the benefits and not just the ultrawealthy who are making away with the spoils today. Defining dignity, admits Sperling, can be a kind of “I know it when I see it” problem, but it does not exist where people are a paycheck away from homelessness; the fact, however, that people widely share a view of indignity suggests the “intuitive universality” of its opposite. That said, the author identifies three qualifications, one of them the “ability to meaningfully participate in the economy with respect, not domination and humiliation.” Though these latter terms are also essentially unquantifiable, Sperling holds that this respect—lack of abuse, in another phrasing—can be obtained through a tight labor market and monetary and fiscal policy that pushes for full employment. In other words, where management needs to come looking for workers, workers are likely to be better treated than when the opposite holds. In still other words, writes the author, dignity is in part a function of “ ‘take this job and shove it’ power,” which is a power worth fighting for.

A declaration worth hearing out in a time of growing inequality—and indignity.

Pub Date: May 5, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-7987-5

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Penguin Press

Review Posted Online: Feb. 26, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

CAPITAL AND IDEOLOGY

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more