A serious business book with a light touch, a clear message and much wisdom.

Giraffes of Technology

THE MAKING OF THE TWENTY-FIRST-CENTURY LEADER

A CEO-turned-professor’s debut business book advocates a leadership style for the social media age.

Many business books have been centered on animal motifs, from cats to dogs to sharks, chameleons and penguins. Arguably, the metaphor is overdone, but readers may want to make room for one more in the menagerie, as Glover’s (Accounting/Drexel Univ.) giraffe allegory holds up well. Unlike many business-book peers who hire ghostwriters, Glover openly shares authorship with Curry, whose writing credits range from documentary projects to short fiction. It’s fitting, as Glover’s message is all about increasing transparency, flattening hierarchies and replacing top-down management with true dialogue in order to achieve shared goals. Glover rose from humble beginnings—his great-grandmother was a slave; his father, a school janitor. Nurtured by parents and church members who emphasized education, hard work, humility and patience, he overcame racism and tradition to become CEO of an Atlanta PricewaterhouseCoopers subsidiary in 2000, and he later started his own consulting company, Rede, Inc. After a foreword by Bill Cosby, Glover explores, in six compact chapters, how technology and changing cultural norms have come to favor leadership traits reminiscent of the giraffe, a nonpredatory herbivore and gentle giant known for farsightedness. A giraffe also rises up after dramatically falling at birth, skillfully avoids lions while constantly moving forward to feed and peacefully interacts with diverse herds (an analogy for social media strategy). Glover assembles trends and transformational concepts that aren’t new—and, in fact, are well-sourced—but his book’s organization and presentation are entirely original. Some readers may find that his praise for multinational giants such as Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, PepsiCo and Wal-Mart lacks critical balance, but he doesn’t aim to comprehensively analyze any one company; he presents examples of the leadership style he favors. It works best when he uses anecdotes from his personal life and professional career, which he does often; he also draws from poetry, Scripture, music, sports and popular media to cast additional light on his argument and on his own life.

A serious business book with a light touch, a clear message and much wisdom.

Pub Date: Feb. 11, 2013

ISBN: 978-1479349227

Page Count: 134

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: April 24, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2013

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

A timely, vividly realized reminder to slow down and harness the restorative wonders of serenity.

STILLNESS IS THE KEY

An exploration of the importance of clarity through calmness in an increasingly fast-paced world.

Austin-based speaker and strategist Holiday (Conspiracy: Peter Thiel, Hulk Hogan, Gawker, and the Anatomy of Intrigue, 2018, etc.) believes in downshifting one’s life and activities in order to fully grasp the wonder of stillness. He bolsters this theory with a wide array of perspectives—some based on ancient wisdom (one of the author’s specialties), others more modern—all with the intent to direct readers toward the essential importance of stillness and its “attainable path to enlightenment and excellence, greatness and happiness, performance as well as presence.” Readers will be encouraged by Holiday’s insistence that his methods are within anyone’s grasp. He acknowledges that this rare and coveted calm is already inside each of us, but it’s been worn down by the hustle of busy lives and distractions. Recognizing that this goal requires immense personal discipline, the author draws on the representational histories of John F. Kennedy, Buddha, Tiger Woods, Fred Rogers, Leonardo da Vinci, and many other creative thinkers and scholarly, scientific texts. These examples demonstrate how others have evolved past the noise of modern life and into the solitude of productive thought and cleansing tranquility. Holiday splits his accessible, empowering, and sporadically meandering narrative into a three-part “timeless trinity of mind, body, soul—the head, the heart, the human body.” He juxtaposes Stoic philosopher Seneca’s internal reflection and wisdom against Donald Trump’s egocentric existence, with much of his time spent “in his bathrobe, ranting about the news.” Holiday stresses that while contemporary life is filled with a dizzying variety of “competing priorities and beliefs,” the frenzy can be quelled and serenity maintained through a deliberative calming of the mind and body. The author shows how “stillness is what aims the arrow,” fostering focus, internal harmony, and the kind of holistic self-examination necessary for optimal contentment and mind-body centeredness. Throughout the narrative, he promotes that concept mindfully and convincingly.

A timely, vividly realized reminder to slow down and harness the restorative wonders of serenity.

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-53858-5

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Portfolio

Review Posted Online: July 21, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

more