An excellent resource for anyone tasked with the professional management of others.

It's My Pleasure

THE IMPACT OF EXTRAORDINARY TALENT AND A COMPELLING CULTURE

A blueprint for fostering a workplace environment that’s conducive to both success and moral development.

Debut author Turner has spent the last 30 years as the vice president of corporate talent at Chick-fil-A but prefers to describe herself as an “Opportunity Facilitator.” The underlying theme of her work is the creation and maintenance of what she calls a “compelling culture”—one that not only achieves profitability, but also keeps customers and employees fundamentally satisfied. She articulates what she considers “timeless principles”: ideas proven true by the arduous tests of history. These principles seem not only to be about efficient management, but also moral clarity; the four guiding ideas are excellence, integrity, generosity, and loyalty. In addition to a well-crafted business plan, she says, a company’s future success depends upon a well-defined sense of purpose and a list of core values. All of this is necessary, she asserts, to manage the single most important challenge any company faces: the recruitment and retention of talent. Turner goes even further, however, arguing that a company must sustain their employees by helping them find and maximize opportunities to advance. Her lessons draw heavily upon her own experiences at Chick-fil-A and are greatly indebted, as she often acknowledges, to the vision of the company’s founder, S. Truett Cathy. (The book’s foreword is written by Cathy’s son, Dan.) Turner provides specific, actionable advice on hiring and mentoring new personnel, starting with the initial review of applications. Her assertion that moral integrity and success are causally linked will be refreshing to readers who might be interested in a business iteration that doesn’t devolve into materialistic nihilism. Her invocation of biblical principles may not resonate with staunchly secular readers, but her overall position isn’t specifically sectarian. She offers her counsel in a breezy, anecdotal style that avoids business jargon or didactic proselytizing. Overall, this is a clearly written, sensible response to human resource issues that every company inevitably faces.

An excellent resource for anyone tasked with the professional management of others. 

Pub Date: Nov. 3, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-937498-88-7

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Elevate

Review Posted Online: Aug. 12, 2015

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

GOOD ECONOMICS FOR HARD TIMES

“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. 29, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2019

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