An entertaining romp through corporate life that covers pithy truths in a sugar coating of funny, memorable anecdotes.

Looking Down On Leaders

A BIRD'S EYE VIEW OF BUSINESS AND BOSSES

An executive coach by trade, Martin, in his debut, takes a look at the lighter side of leadership.

As Martin explains in the first chapter, busy executives and business leaders don’t have time to plow through yet another dense academic tome about how to succeed as a coach or leader. Instead, Martin chooses to teach by storytelling. The book is a collection of strange-but-true tales collected during his years as an accountant, a manager and finally as an executive coach. While the names may have been changed to protect the guilty, the stories are, for the most part, too bizarre to be fictional. There’s Alfred Wang, the CFO who called to cancel a meeting because he’d just remembered he was getting married that day; Stefan the Spreadsheet King, who was bogging down a crucial labor negotiation, until the police arrived to arrest him for failing to pay alimony, car insurance and speeding fines; and Charlotte, whose passionate affair with a co-worker tanked her career when she emailed him a love letter and accidentally sent it to the entire company. Not meant merely as entertainment, the stories come packaged with a few words of wisdom for any executive. For example, Charlotte’s story emphasizes the importance of double checking every business email before hitting send. In Alfred’s case, he was a resident of Hong Kong, where marriage tends to include so many wedding ceremonies that forgetting one is a distinct possibility. Martin uses this anecdote as an example of what can happen when different cultures clash and there’s a lack of understanding on one or both sides. In each chapter, the parables provide a clear, and usually amusing, example of the business realities Martin is trying to impart. His nonlinear approach results in a book that can be picked up and put down and read in bits and pieces without losing any of the material’s benefits. As Martin puts it, “[R]eal leadership is much more of an art than a science....This book is just a gentle ramble through the buzzing, steamy global business jungle.”

An entertaining romp through corporate life that covers pithy truths in a sugar coating of funny, memorable anecdotes.

Pub Date: Feb. 18, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4905-4405-2

Page Count: 268

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: March 24, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2014

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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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