A serious study of project planning and implementation.

EXECUTION TO DIE FOR

THE MANAGER'S GUIDE TO MAKING IT HAPPEN

Haines provides a how-to for managing the execution of business projects.

While many business books emphasize broad, overarching management principles, Haines focuses squarely on the brass tacks of getting things done. Haines divides his book into five parts—planning; implementation; monitoring, measuring, adapting; reinventing the wheel or revising the plan; and “execution to die for.” The book concentrates on listing specific “barriers” to reaching goals and explains how they undermine progress; a typical planning barrier may have occurred because “there was no Action Program that set out the objective of each action, who was to be responsible for it and its completion date.” Haines offers specific tactics and techniques to counter such obstacles. The bulk of the book, Part 2, revolves around implementation, or “making it happen,” as Haines calls it. Here the author addresses organizational alignment, change management, leadership, teamwork, employee engagement and communication. Many chapters include charts and illustrations that support the text. Haines is a bit overly fond of gimmicks; abbreviations as mnemonic devices seem to run rampant at times. Still, the content is solid, and the book presents a level of organizational expertise that in itself is an example of just how to execute a project. The author uses a conceptual framework he calls “the Wagon Wheel” that illustrates aspects of project management. Marketing, products, activities, competitive strategy and competitive advantage are at the hub of the wheel; relevant support functions, such as finance, customer and distribution make up the wheel’s outer rim. Haines provides a real-life example of the wheel in action so readers can relate it to their own work environments. Ultimately, the book provides a carefully sequenced road map that guides the manager through the entire implementation process, with plenty of guidance and specific examples.

A serious study of project planning and implementation.

Pub Date: Oct. 24, 2011

ISBN: 978-1463592936

Page Count: 254

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Aug. 20, 2012

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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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Gucci demonstrates all the bravado and ferocious self-confidence that he counsels—and the photos are a nice bonus.

THE GUCCI MANE GUIDE TO GREATNESS

A hip-hop star who went on his first international tour wearing an ankle monitor explains how to succeed.

“The words you are about to read can help you,” writes Gucci. “That’s because there is truth in them. These are words of wisdom, like the Bible and its proverbs.” Unquestionably, Gucci likes to aim high, as many of his proverbs attest: “Stop Underestimating Yourself”; “Whatever You’re Thinking, Think Bigger”; “Nobody Cares. Work Harder”; “When They Sleep, I’m Grinding”; “Do More, Get More.” And never forget, “Women Are Brilliant.” Gucci not only shares his recipes for success. As in a cookbook that shows pictures of the end result, the author includes dozens of dazzling photos of himself and his beautiful wife, among them a series on his surprise wedding proposal at an Atlanta Hawks game. After the success of his bestselling debut, The Autobiography of Gucci Mane, Gucci has realized there is money to be made in the book business. In addition to the Bible, he has his eye on Malcolm Gladwell and his reported $5 million advances. While he is “cool with Malcolm Gladwell being more celebrated than me as an author…the difference between Malcolm Gladwell and me is that I’m going to make more money because I’m going to make so many books for my following….You can enjoy this book or not, but I’m going to make my fifty-second book, my hundred and eighth book.” Many readers will hope that one of them will be a diet book, as the 100-plus pounds Gucci has lost and kept off are a frequent topic—alas, he doesn’t reveal his weight loss secrets here. Until the next book, try to live the Gucci Mane way. “Avoid lazy and miserable people,” and “Find something to be excited about every day.”

Gucci demonstrates all the bravado and ferocious self-confidence that he counsels—and the photos are a nice bonus.

Pub Date: Oct. 13, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-982146-78-8

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Sept. 10, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2020

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