Features the standard litany of leadership platitudes, but readers looking for a fast take on management skills may find...


Ciarella’s how-to on leadership blends American military and business strategies.

This cleverly titled book suggests some connection between military leadership and business leadership. The author, who has almost 30 years of sales and sales leadership experience, uses his brief stint as an Army officer as a platform to discuss the characteristics of good leaders and good followers. Ciarella frequently references the military angle; however, most of the guide is essentially grounded in standard management practices that have repeatedly been covered elsewhere. On the positive side, Ciarella summarizes many business basics in a tidy little book that is both mildly informative and easy to read. He also includes the requisite specific examples to support the generalizations. In addition to offering an overview of the qualities supervisors and support staff need, the author includes chapters on choosing directors and team players, assessing performance, and understanding the benefits and rewards of good guidance. In one of the more intriguing chapters, the author suggests, “Good leaders use data to support their positions, never to be the position itself.” Ciarella includes some suggestions for making the best use of facts and figures in decision-making, and many of these are worthy of note. For example, “Use only as much detail as necessary”; “Spread around the burden of data-gathering and analysis”; and “Have a good understanding of the true costs of data-gathering.” These tips become all the more important when viewed in the context of the author’s statement that leaders would do well to “avoid over-studying a decision point.” This chapter, at least, presents a fresh view of the potential danger of data dependence. But for the leader-to-be who’s seeking substantive guidance, this book marches down a too-well-trodden path.

Features the standard litany of leadership platitudes, but readers looking for a fast take on management skills may find what they need.

Pub Date: May 7, 2012

ISBN: 978-1469935546

Page Count: 98

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Oct. 29, 2012

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


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

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More uncommonly sensible investment guidance from a master of the game. Drawing on his experience at Fidelity's Magellan Fund, a high- profile vehicle he quit at age 46 in 1990 after a spectacularly successful 13-year tenure as managing director, Lynch (One Up on Wall Street, 1988) makes a strong case for common stocks over bonds, CDs, or other forms of debt. In breezy, anecdotal fashion, the author also encourages individuals to go it alone in the market rather than to bank on money managers whose performance seldom justifies their generous compensation. With the caveat that there's as much art as science to picking issues with upside potential, Lynch commends legwork and observation. ``Spending more time at the mall,'' he argues, invariably is a better way to unearth appreciation candidates than relying on technical, timing, or other costly divining services prized by professionals. The author provides detailed briefings on how he researches industries, special situations, and mutual funds. Particularly instructive are his candid discussions of where he went wrong as well as right in his search for undervalued securities. Throughout the genial text, Lynch offers wry, on-target advisories under the rubric of ``Peter's Principles.'' Commenting on the profits that have accrued to those acquiring shares in enterprises privatized by the British government, he notes: ``Whatever the Queen is selling, buy it.'' In praise of corporate parsimony, the author suggests that, ``all else being equal, invest in the company with the fewest photos in the annual report.'' Another bull's-eye for a consummate pro, with appeal for market veterans and rookies alike. (Charts and tabular material— not seen.)

Pub Date: March 1, 1993

ISBN: 0-671-75915-9

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1993

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