A highly useful primer for investors and board members alike.

HOW BOARDS WORK

AND HOW THEY CAN WORK BETTER IN A CHAOTIC WORLD

Economist Moyo, who serves on numerous corporate boards, explains their inner workings in admirably clear language.

“Strong and successful corporations are in the best interest of society. Indeed, the centrality of corporations to human progress cannot be overstated.” So writes Moyo, gainsaying those who argue that corporations are evil, outmoded, or both. As a board member, the author writes that she has seen numerous failures short of bankruptcy and just as many successes, even in difficult times. Agreeing that corporate boards need more diverse membership while arguing against quota appointments, Moyo holds that boards have an overarching function that is often ignored: While a CEO is in charge of daily operations, a board of directors and its various committees are collectively responsible for setting and maintaining long-term goals and visions, with “an important and central role to play in navigating global disruption.” The author is at her best when she focuses on that disruption and its many sources—e.g., competition from China, the imposition of trade barriers and other protectionist measures, the fallout from Brexit, Covid-19, the ascent of social media. For all that, she also notes that boards must fight the temptation to micromanage and to enter the realm of short-term thinking rather than long-term strategic decision-making. Boards must also become more aware of the life cycle of a business. Corporations typically last as long as mortgages do these days, not centuries as in the days of old, and even Jeff Bezos has predicted that Amazon and other large companies of today will be gone in 30 years. Finally, Moyo notes, corporate boards are increasingly called on to safeguard values, enforce ethics, and address social concerns such as gun control, data privacy, and mental health. “Society is holding companies to account precisely because these issues are important and not going away,” she writes. “In fact, the emphasis is likely only to increase.”

A highly useful primer for investors and board members alike.

Pub Date: May 4, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-5416-1942-5

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Basic

Review Posted Online: March 10, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2021

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

THINKING, FAST AND SLOW

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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Gucci demonstrates all the bravado and ferocious self-confidence that he counsels—and the photos are a nice bonus.

THE GUCCI MANE GUIDE TO GREATNESS

A hip-hop star who went on his first international tour wearing an ankle monitor explains how to succeed.

“The words you are about to read can help you,” writes Gucci. “That’s because there is truth in them. These are words of wisdom, like the Bible and its proverbs.” Unquestionably, Gucci likes to aim high, as many of his proverbs attest: “Stop Underestimating Yourself”; “Whatever You’re Thinking, Think Bigger”; “Nobody Cares. Work Harder”; “When They Sleep, I’m Grinding”; “Do More, Get More.” And never forget, “Women Are Brilliant.” Gucci not only shares his recipes for success. As in a cookbook that shows pictures of the end result, the author includes dozens of dazzling photos of himself and his beautiful wife, among them a series on his surprise wedding proposal at an Atlanta Hawks game. After the success of his bestselling debut, The Autobiography of Gucci Mane, Gucci has realized there is money to be made in the book business. In addition to the Bible, he has his eye on Malcolm Gladwell and his reported $5 million advances. While he is “cool with Malcolm Gladwell being more celebrated than me as an author…the difference between Malcolm Gladwell and me is that I’m going to make more money because I’m going to make so many books for my following….You can enjoy this book or not, but I’m going to make my fifty-second book, my hundred and eighth book.” Many readers will hope that one of them will be a diet book, as the 100-plus pounds Gucci has lost and kept off are a frequent topic—alas, he doesn’t reveal his weight loss secrets here. Until the next book, try to live the Gucci Mane way. “Avoid lazy and miserable people,” and “Find something to be excited about every day.”

Gucci demonstrates all the bravado and ferocious self-confidence that he counsels—and the photos are a nice bonus.

Pub Date: Oct. 13, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-982146-78-8

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Sept. 10, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2020

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