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Cohesive and impassioned; a bold, engaging path to effective leadership.

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This debut manual/workbook focuses on self-directed leadership enrichment.

Some business leadership processes concentrate on organizational dependencies that could possibly impede personal development. Hardy’s methodology is decidedly different. She puts the responsibility for leadership squarely on an individual’s shoulders, suggesting that one must undergo a transformation by “engineering disruption in your life to become a better leader.” The approach is aptly named “crossing meridians” by the author, whose own development as a leader is emblematic. She rose from family poverty in the Mississippi city of Meridian to earn a law degree, hold senior positions at major insurance companies, and eventually form her own global consulting firm. This excellent work shows novice and experienced leaders alike how to chart a course through a deftly organized process of discovery, planning, and acting—with the ultimate goal of sustaining personal leadership excellence. The metaphorical use of meridians to represent both personal and organizational lines that must be crossed is very appropriate. It also serves to anchor the book around a strong, memorable concept that cleverly links the text to Hardy’s hometown of Meridian, a “symbolic origination point.” “Beginning Meridian” signifies a familiar, comfortable place from which any leadership journey starts. While it is easy to get too caught up in the volume’s “meridian” terminology, the approach is both logical and practical. During the author’s superb explanation of her self-improvement system, she recounts pertinent examples from her own life and cites several client illustrations to make the process come alive. A section on racial justice/workplace diversity is particularly timely and enlightening. Hardy stresses the importance of “empathy, openness, and resiliency” as “the bedrock—the ballast—of leadership.” She also highlights “leadership fluency” (the ability to “fluidly and continually navigate across divides” within organizations) as well as the need to build a distinct, personal “leadership brand.” Such concepts raise the content to a strategic level while the workbook integrated into the volume allows individuals to dive into the details and execute their own unique leadership development plans.

Cohesive and impassioned; a bold, engaging path to effective leadership.

Pub Date: Jan. 14, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-66551-261-9

Page Count: 200

Publisher: AuthorHouse

Review Posted Online: April 23, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2021

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Occasionally wonky but overall a good case for how the dismal science can make the world less—well, dismal.

“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. 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2019

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Smart, engaging sportswriting—good reading for organization builders as well as Pats fans.

Action-packed tale of the building of the New England Patriots over the course of seven decades.

Prolific writer Benedict has long blended two interests—sports and business—and the Patriots are emblematic of both. Founded in 1959 as the Boston Patriots, the team built a strategic home field between that city and Providence. When original owner Billy Sullivan sold the flailing team in 1988, it was $126 million in the hole, a condition so dire that “Sullivan had to beg the NFL to release emergency funds so he could pay his players.” Victor Kiam, the razor magnate, bought the long since renamed New England Patriots, but rival Robert Kraft bought first the parking lots and then the stadium—and “it rankled Kiam that he bore all the risk as the owner of the team but virtually all of the revenue that the team generated went to Kraft.” Check and mate. Kraft finally took over the team in 1994. Kraft inherited coach Bill Parcells, who in turn brought in star quarterback Drew Bledsoe, “the Patriots’ most prized player.” However, as the book’s nimbly constructed opening recounts, in 2001, Bledsoe got smeared in a hit “so violent that players along the Patriots sideline compared the sound of the collision to a car crash.” After that, it was backup Tom Brady’s team. Gridiron nerds will debate whether Brady is the greatest QB and Bill Belichick the greatest coach the game has ever known, but certainly they’ve had their share of controversy. The infamous “Deflategate” incident of 2015 takes up plenty of space in the late pages of the narrative, and depending on how you read between the lines, Brady was either an accomplice or an unwitting beneficiary. Still, as the author writes, by that point Brady “had started in 223 straight regular-season games,” an enviable record on a team that itself has racked up impressive stats.

Smart, engaging sportswriting—good reading for organization builders as well as Pats fans.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-982134-10-5

Page Count: 592

Publisher: Avid Reader Press

Review Posted Online: Aug. 25, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2020

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