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THE CORE VALUE EQUATION

Extensive, engaging, and highly actionable business advice.

Awards & Accolades

Our Verdict

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A CEO examines the importance of organizational core values.

This book tackles a topic that arguably addresses the most vital issue facing CEOs: how to inculcate their organizations with meaningful core values. In a firsthand account, Mirshahzadeh, a CEO who started several successful, high-growth companies, exhibits considerable mea culpa at the outset of his journey, asserting in the introduction: “I hate this company. I can’t believe I created this.” This sobering admission in 2007 led the author to pursue the art and science of creating and implementing worthwhile corporate core values. The book is organized in two parts, the first of which tears down mistaken notions about core values in order to build them up again in Part 2. In Part 1, Mirshahzadeh explores his own failure to develop appropriate core values for his company, his recognition that these values consist of critical elements, and his realization that they “must be authentic from top to bottom in the organization.” He introduces an equation that anchors the remainder of the volume: “CORE VALUES = DECISIONS = ACTIONS = RESULTS.” He also puts forth an intriguing notion—that if the equation is properly followed, core values effectively function as “the most powerful invisible manager in the world.” Part 2 is a comprehensive manual for how to build, refine, and fully implement core values in a company. The author first painstakingly dissects the steps involved in designing core values, citing examples from his own experience. He then discusses “The Art of the Rollout,” a remarkably thorough step-by-step plan for introducing core values to an organization. Next is a refreshingly creative chapter concerning how to make core values “sticky,” in which he reveals, through text and numerous uncredited black-and-white photographs, exactly how these values were brought to life in one of his companies. Finally, Mirshahzadeh explains in detail how to measure and assess results. There is much of value here at a level of detail necessary to do justice to the subject, even if the specifics may seem overwhelming to some. Visionary CEOs will surely embrace the author’s message and take it to heart.

Extensive, engaging, and highly actionable business advice. (appendix)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2020

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: 205

Publisher: Lioncrest Publishing

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2020

MAGIC WORDS

WHAT TO SAY TO GET YOUR WAY

Perhaps not magic but appealing nonetheless.

Want to get ahead in business? Consult a dictionary.

By Wharton School professor Berger’s account, much of the art of persuasion lies in the art of choosing the right word. Want to jump ahead of others waiting in line to use a photocopy machine, even if they’re grizzled New Yorkers? Throw a because into the equation (“Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine, because I’m in a rush?”), and you’re likely to get your way. Want someone to do your copying for you? Then change your verbs to nouns: not “Can you help me?” but “Can you be a helper?” As Berger notes, there’s a subtle psychological shift at play when a person becomes not a mere instrument in helping but instead acquires an identity as a helper. It’s the little things, one supposes, and the author offers some interesting strategies that eager readers will want to try out. Instead of alienating a listener with the omniscient should, as in “You should do this,” try could instead: “Well, you could…” induces all concerned “to recognize that there might be other possibilities.” Berger’s counsel that one should use abstractions contradicts his admonition to use concrete language, and it doesn’t help matters to say that each is appropriate to a particular situation, while grammarians will wince at his suggestion that a nerve-calming exercise to “try talking to yourself in the third person (‘You can do it!’)” in fact invokes the second person. Still, there are plenty of useful insights, particularly for students of advertising and public speaking. It’s intriguing to note that appeals to God are less effective in securing a loan than a simple affirmative such as “I pay all bills…on time”), and it’s helpful to keep in mind that “the right words used at the right time can have immense power.”

Perhaps not magic but appealing nonetheless.

Pub Date: March 7, 2023

ISBN: 9780063204935

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Harper Business

Review Posted Online: March 23, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2023

THINKING, FAST AND SLOW

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

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. 3, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2011

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