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CAREER FORWARD

STRATEGIES FROM WOMEN WHO'VE MADE IT

A thoughtfully upbeat and humane business book.

Two former executives offer advice for women seeking long-term career satisfaction.

Puma, former executive vice president of PepsiCo, believes that a woman’s passion for her career is just one of the many factors that can lead to success. In collaboration with Shi, a former Nike executive, Puma provides a detailed framework for how women can thrive at work and in the lives they build outside that arena. The authors begin by observing that in the post-pandemic world (“nearly 12 million women left their jobs in the early months of the pandemic”), working hard just to maintain a company’s profitability no longer appeals. What does appeal is working toward overall personal fulfillment. According to the authors, this goal can be achieved through adopting a “360-degree life” mindset that neither neglects nor hides all the activities and personal/family situations that also comprise a working woman’s life. They suggest that a commitment to excellence and to bringing value to every job interaction are two of the most important investments women need to make in their careers. Both create “professional equity” that maximizes the chances of receiving employer concessions to the flexibility that women need to pursue outside interests while also tending to themselves and to those who may depend on them. The authors also emphasize that while a career-forward attitude is always necessary, so is one that allows women necessary leeway to “lose the guilt” they may feel about advocating for their own needs, especially with bosses and colleagues. Women workers will no doubt appreciate the authors’ advice and take heart in a vision of career success that helps balance out the lean-in mentality that has—quite unintentionally—led to high rates of burnout among high-performing women over the last decade.

A thoughtfully upbeat and humane business book.

Pub Date: Feb. 20, 2024

ISBN: 9781668018606

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2023

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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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POVERTY, BY AMERICA

A clearly delineated guide to finally eradicate poverty in America.

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  • New York Times Bestseller

A thoughtful program for eradicating poverty from the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Evicted.

“America’s poverty is not for lack of resources,” writes Desmond. “We lack something else.” That something else is compassion, in part, but it’s also the lack of a social system that insists that everyone pull their weight—and that includes the corporations and wealthy individuals who, the IRS estimates, get away without paying upward of $1 trillion per year. Desmond, who grew up in modest circumstances and suffered poverty in young adulthood, points to the deleterious effects of being poor—among countless others, the precarity of health care and housing (with no meaningful controls on rent), lack of transportation, the constant threat of losing one’s job due to illness, and the need to care for dependent children. It does not help, Desmond adds, that so few working people are represented by unions or that Black Americans, even those who have followed the “three rules” (graduate from high school, get a full-time job, wait until marriage to have children), are far likelier to be poor than their White compatriots. Furthermore, so many full-time jobs are being recast as contracted, fire-at-will gigs, “not a break from the norm as much as an extension of it, a continuation of corporations finding new ways to limit their obligations to workers.” By Desmond’s reckoning, besides amending these conditions, it would not take a miracle to eliminate poverty: about $177 billion, which would help end hunger and homelessness and “make immense headway in driving down the many agonizing correlates of poverty, like violence, sickness, and despair.” These are matters requiring systemic reform, which will in turn require Americans to elect officials who will enact that reform. And all of us, the author urges, must become “poverty abolitionists…refusing to live as unwitting enemies of the poor.” Fortune 500 CEOs won’t like Desmond’s message for rewriting the social contract—which is precisely the point.

A clearly delineated guide to finally eradicate poverty in America.

Pub Date: March 21, 2023

ISBN: 9780593239919

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Nov. 30, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2023

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