A smart, systematic approach to enlightened leadership.

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8 PARADOXES OF LEADERSHIP AGILITY

HOW TO LEAD AND INSPIRE IN THE REAL WORLD

An international coach shares her four-step approach to becoming an agile leader.

Agile leadership is a style that features the ability to be flexible and adapt to change. In this second edition, Yeo updates her guide to agile leadership. It is centered on “Re4,” a coaching model the author developed while working with large organizations, including Fortune 500 companies and the United Nations. Re4 consists of four steps: “Reconstruct the Map,” “Refresh the Lens,” “Renew the Identity,” and “Rebuild the Capabilities.” Instead of merely explaining the Re4 concept, Yeo deftly demonstrates its application by citing examples of how several of her clients employed it to improve their leadership approaches. In addition, she relates these cases to eight paradoxes that leaders generally face. Each of these is explained in a chapter that defines the paradox and shows how one of her clients applied Re4 to address the situation. For example, in the third paradox, “Self vs. System,” Yeo’s client Amy found it challenging to manage the conflict between her job and her family and used Re4 to solve the problem. The sixth paradox, “Executing vs. Inspiring,” depicts how the author’s client Prakash employed Re4 to learn how to facilitate team brainstorming and decision-making rather than taking on sole responsibility. The business book is organized in a useful way: After a general discussion of leadership agility (Part I), Yeo outlines the paradoxes (Part II). Then, in Part III, the author offers an in-depth examination of each client’s motivations and experiences with Re4 as well as posing questions for readers to answer. This is a very effective approach because it identifies a leadership challenge, depicts the implementation of a solution by an actual client, and encourages readers to immerse themselves in and reflect on the Re4 methodology. Yeo concludes that leaders who understand their “authentic” selves find that “the right answer” for their contexts can help them lead with “greater agility.” Well-constructed, clearly written, and replete with appropriate examples, this guide is a distinguished and welcome addition to an already burgeoning business book category.

A smart, systematic approach to enlightened leadership.

Pub Date: May 31, 2020

ISBN: 978-981-14-5846-0

Page Count: 194

Publisher: Acesence

Review Posted Online: June 19, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2020

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Fans of Seinfeld will eat this up, and aspiring comics will want to study how he shapes his seemingly effortless humor.

IS THIS ANYTHING?

“All comedians are slightly amazed when anything works.” So writes Seinfeld in this pleasing collection of sketches from across his four-decade career.

Known for his wry, observational humor, Seinfeld has largely avoided profanity and dirty jokes and has kept politics out of the equation. Like other schooled jokesters, perhaps most famously Bob Hope, he keeps a huge library of gags stockpiled, ever fearful of that day when the jokes will run out or the emcee will call you back for another set. “For the most part, it was the people who killed themselves to keep coming up with great new material who were able to keep rising through the many levels,” he recounts of his initiation into the New York stand-up scene. Not all his early material played well. The first piece in this collection, laid out sentence by sentence as if for a teleprompter, is a bit about being left-handed, which comes with negative baggage: “Two left feet. / Left-handed compliment. / Bad ideas are always ‘out of left field.’ / What are we having for dinner? / Leftovers.” He gets better, and quickly, as when he muses on the tininess of airplane bathrooms: “And a little slot for used razor blades. Who is shaving on the plane? And shaving so much, they’re using up razor blades. Is the Wolfman flying in there?” For the most part, the author’s style is built on absurdities: “Why does water ruin leather? / Aren’t cows outside a lot of the time?” It’s also affable, with rare exceptions, as when, taking on a mob boss persona, he threatens a child with breaking the youngster’s Play-Doh creations: “Nothing wrong with sending your child a little Sicilian message once in a while.” One wishes there were more craft notes among the gags, but the ones that are there are both inspiring and gnomic: “Stand-up is about a brief, fleeting moment of human connection.”

Fans of Seinfeld will eat this up, and aspiring comics will want to study how he shapes his seemingly effortless humor.

Pub Date: Oct. 6, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-982112-69-1

Page Count: 480

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2020

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A virtuoso performance and an ode to an undervalued medium created by two talented artists.

A WEALTH OF PIGEONS

A CARTOON COLLECTION

The veteran actor, comedian, and banjo player teams up with the acclaimed illustrator to create a unique book of cartoons that communicates their personalities.

Martin, also a prolific author, has always been intrigued by the cartoons strewn throughout the pages of the New Yorker. So when he was presented with the opportunity to work with Bliss, who has been a staff cartoonist at the magazine since 1997, he seized the moment. “The idea of a one-panel image with or without a caption mystified me,” he writes. “I felt like, yeah, sometimes I’m funny, but there are these other weird freaks who are actually funny.” Once the duo agreed to work together, they established their creative process, which consisted of working forward and backward: “Forwards was me conceiving of several cartoon images and captions, and Harry would select his favorites; backwards was Harry sending me sketched or fully drawn cartoons for dialogue or banners.” Sometimes, he writes, “the perfect joke occurs two seconds before deadline.” There are several cartoons depicting this method, including a humorous multipanel piece highlighting their first meeting called “They Meet,” in which Martin thinks to himself, “He’ll never be able to translate my delicate and finely honed droll notions.” In the next panel, Bliss thinks, “I’m sure he won’t understand that the comic art form is way more subtle than his blunt-force humor.” The team collaborated for a year and created 150 cartoons featuring an array of topics, “from dogs and cats to outer space and art museums.” A witty creation of a bovine family sitting down to a gourmet meal and one of Dumbo getting his comeuppance highlight the duo’s comedic talent. What also makes this project successful is the team’s keen understanding of human behavior as viewed through their unconventional comedic minds.

A virtuoso performance and an ode to an undervalued medium created by two talented artists.

Pub Date: Nov. 17, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-26289-9

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Celadon Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 31, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2020

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