WHEN TO SAY YES

THE FIVE STEPS TO PROTECT YOUR TIME

A tightly organized, well-presented case for a fresh way of doing business.

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An executive coach offers a five-step process to unlock personal productivity in this guide.

According to Khouri, who leads the largest executive coaching firm for dentists in the United States, most supervisors are “constantly busy rather than purposely productive.” One reason: Managers find it difficult to say no. The author’s approach is to “triage requests” using a methodical practice he developed to protect his own time. Khouri admits the five steps he recommends may at first seem complex, but his lucid explanations of each are reassuring. The business book begins with a look at the shortcomings of the to-do list and multitasking. Both have their limitations, writes the author, and neither helps one know “when to say yes.” Khouri addresses other intriguing psychological barriers to decision-making before turning his attention to the five specific steps: 1. Create your Roadmap. 2. Define your relationship hierarchy. 3. Assess the quality of the request. 4. Prioritize and reprioritize. 5. Master delegation. In Part 2, the author covers each of these steps in considerable detail, using numerous pertinent examples from his own experiences and coaching practice. There are some excellent productivity boosters embedded in this section, such as “Khouri’s Seven Cs,” seven criteria that apply to developing solid goals, and the “Five Components of a Quality Request.” Part 3 is highly instructive; it demonstrates how to apply the five steps in a five-week period. The author also offers examples of how he used the process for three specific requests. A particularly useful chapter illustrates how the five steps can be applied to the bane of existence for many managers—email. Khouri concludes by explaining how his process can be integrated with a meetings and appointments calendar. Each chapter includes a “Productivity Corner,” an exercise that relates directly to the section’s content. In an engaging, creative touch, the author repeatedly references segments of the classic movie It’s a Wonderful Life to playfully reinforce his methodology. This is a book that ingeniously applies psychology and time management techniques to address the challenge of being productive.

A tightly organized, well-presented case for a fresh way of doing business. (Appendix)

Pub Date: Sept. 14, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-77-458139-1

Page Count: 220

Publisher: Page Two Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 2, 2021

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  • IndieBound Bestseller

A WEALTH OF PIGEONS

A CARTOON COLLECTION

A virtuoso performance and an ode to an undervalued medium created by two talented artists.

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The veteran actor, comedian, and banjo player teams up with the acclaimed illustrator to create a unique book of cartoons that communicates their personalities.

Martin, also a prolific author, has always been intrigued by the cartoons strewn throughout the pages of the New Yorker. So when he was presented with the opportunity to work with Bliss, who has been a staff cartoonist at the magazine since 1997, he seized the moment. “The idea of a one-panel image with or without a caption mystified me,” he writes. “I felt like, yeah, sometimes I’m funny, but there are these other weird freaks who are actually funny.” Once the duo agreed to work together, they established their creative process, which consisted of working forward and backward: “Forwards was me conceiving of several cartoon images and captions, and Harry would select his favorites; backwards was Harry sending me sketched or fully drawn cartoons for dialogue or banners.” Sometimes, he writes, “the perfect joke occurs two seconds before deadline.” There are several cartoons depicting this method, including a humorous multipanel piece highlighting their first meeting called “They Meet,” in which Martin thinks to himself, “He’ll never be able to translate my delicate and finely honed droll notions.” In the next panel, Bliss thinks, “I’m sure he won’t understand that the comic art form is way more subtle than his blunt-force humor.” The team collaborated for a year and created 150 cartoons featuring an array of topics, “from dogs and cats to outer space and art museums.” A witty creation of a bovine family sitting down to a gourmet meal and one of Dumbo getting his comeuppance highlight the duo’s comedic talent. What also makes this project successful is the team’s keen understanding of human behavior as viewed through their unconventional comedic minds.

A virtuoso performance and an ode to an undervalued medium created by two talented artists.

Pub Date: Nov. 17, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-26289-9

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Celadon Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 30, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2020

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  • New York Times Bestseller


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GREENLIGHTS

A conversational, pleasurable look into McConaughey’s life and thought.

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All right, all right, all right: The affable, laconic actor delivers a combination of memoir and self-help book.

“This is an approach book,” writes McConaughey, adding that it contains “philosophies that can be objectively understood, and if you choose, subjectively adopted, by either changing your reality, or changing how you see it. This is a playbook, based on adventures in my life.” Some of those philosophies come in the form of apothegms: “When you can design your own weather, blow in the breeze”; “Simplify, focus, conserve to liberate.” Others come in the form of sometimes rambling stories that never take the shortest route from point A to point B, as when he recounts a dream-spurred, challenging visit to the Malian musician Ali Farka Touré, who offered a significant lesson in how disagreement can be expressed politely and without rancor. Fans of McConaughey will enjoy his memories—which line up squarely with other accounts in Melissa Maerz’s recent oral history, Alright, Alright, Alright—of his debut in Richard Linklater’s Dazed and Confused, to which he contributed not just that signature phrase, but also a kind of too-cool-for-school hipness that dissolves a bit upon realizing that he’s an older guy on the prowl for teenage girls. McConaughey’s prep to settle into the role of Wooderson involved inhabiting the mind of a dude who digs cars, rock ’n’ roll, and “chicks,” and he ran with it, reminding readers that the film originally had only three scripted scenes for his character. The lesson: “Do one thing well, then another. Once, then once more.” It’s clear that the author is a thoughtful man, even an intellectual of sorts, though without the earnestness of Ethan Hawke or James Franco. Though some of the sentiments are greeting card–ish, this book is entertaining and full of good lessons.

A conversational, pleasurable look into McConaughey’s life and thought.

Pub Date: Oct. 20, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-13913-4

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Oct. 27, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2020

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