A valuable handbook for leaders and decision-makers at any level of the organizational chart.

LEADERSHIP STRATEGY AND TACTICS

FIELD MANUAL

Leadership lessons from the front lines, just where leadership is most needed.

As the title suggests, Willink (The Dichotomy of Leadership: Balancing the Challenges of Extreme Ownership To Lead and Win, 2018, etc.), a retired Navy SEAL, views the world from a military point of view. That said, the lessons he offers here are of universal application, for, as he notes, “what makes leadership so hard is dealing with people, and people are crazy.” Fair enough. The practice of leadership is therefore a fluid thing that has to be tailored to the people at hand, and that requires the ability to observe and listen quietly, sometimes when your head is about to explode. The author has a lesson for that, too, and it’s a highly useful one: Lift your chin, “which elevates your vision and compels you to look around,” breathe deeply, and try to give your brain a chance to catch up to your emotions. Throughout, Willink is tough-minded—one of his lessons suggests that the leader not be too quick to praise or too effusive with it since the natural tendency of folks being praised is to slack off—but he’s also fair-minded: A lesson that will be hard for micromanagers to assimilate is to back off and give people a chance to figure out how to do things for themselves, the paradox being that the person who leads the most actually leads the least. The sitting president might take a lesson or two from the author’s eminently useful manual, especially when it comes to throwing other people under the bus in order to save your own skin. “When people notice that,” Willink writes, “they will not follow you for long.” There’s plenty of psychology at play here but, thankfully, not much in the way of Machiavellian machinations: When things aren’t working the way they’re supposed to, Willink counsels, the first direction to look is inward, not at others to point the blame.

A valuable handbook for leaders and decision-makers at any level of the organizational chart.

Pub Date: Jan. 14, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-22684-6

Page Count: 320

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: Dec. 16, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 15

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller

UNTAMED

More life reflections from the bestselling author on themes of societal captivity and the catharsis of personal freedom.

In her third book, Doyle (Love Warrior, 2016, etc.) begins with a life-changing event. “Four years ago,” she writes, “married to the father of my three children, I fell in love with a woman.” That woman, Abby Wambach, would become her wife. Emblematically arranged into three sections—“Caged,” “Keys,” “Freedom”—the narrative offers, among other elements, vignettes about the soulful author’s girlhood, when she was bulimic and felt like a zoo animal, a “caged girl made for wide-open skies.” She followed the path that seemed right and appropriate based on her Catholic upbringing and adolescent conditioning. After a downward spiral into “drinking, drugging, and purging,” Doyle found sobriety and the authentic self she’d been suppressing. Still, there was trouble: Straining an already troubled marriage was her husband’s infidelity, which eventually led to life-altering choices and the discovery of a love she’d never experienced before. Throughout the book, Doyle remains open and candid, whether she’s admitting to rigging a high school homecoming court election or denouncing the doting perfectionism of “cream cheese parenting,” which is about “giving your children the best of everything.” The author’s fears and concerns are often mirrored by real-world issues: gender roles and bias, white privilege, racism, and religion-fueled homophobia and hypocrisy. Some stories merely skim the surface of larger issues, but Doyle revisits them in later sections and digs deeper, using friends and familial references to personify their impact on her life, both past and present. Shorter pieces, some only a page in length, manage to effectively translate an emotional gut punch, as when Doyle’s therapist called her blooming extramarital lesbian love a “dangerous distraction.” Ultimately, the narrative is an in-depth look at a courageous woman eager to share the wealth of her experiences by embracing vulnerability and reclaiming her inner strength and resiliency.

Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

Pub Date: March 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-0125-8

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

The Stoics did much better with the much shorter Enchiridion.

THE LAWS OF HUMAN NATURE

A follow-on to the author’s garbled but popular 48 Laws of Power, promising that readers will learn how to win friends and influence people, to say nothing of outfoxing all those “toxic types” out in the world.

Greene (Mastery, 2012, etc.) begins with a big sell, averring that his book “is designed to immerse you in all aspects of human behavior and illuminate its root causes.” To gauge by this fat compendium, human behavior is mostly rotten, a presumption that fits with the author’s neo-Machiavellian program of self-validation and eventual strategic supremacy. The author works to formula: First, state a “law,” such as “confront your dark side” or “know your limits,” the latter of which seems pale compared to the Delphic oracle’s “nothing in excess.” Next, elaborate on that law with what might seem to be as plain as day: “Losing contact with reality, we make irrational decisions. That is why our success often does not last.” One imagines there might be other reasons for the evanescence of glory, but there you go. Finally, spin out a long tutelary yarn, seemingly the longer the better, to shore up the truism—in this case, the cometary rise and fall of one-time Disney CEO Michael Eisner, with the warning, “his fate could easily be yours, albeit most likely on a smaller scale,” which ranks right up there with the fortuneteller’s “I sense that someone you know has died" in orders of probability. It’s enough to inspire a new law: Beware of those who spend too much time telling you what you already know, even when it’s dressed up in fresh-sounding terms. “Continually mix the visceral with the analytic” is the language of a consultant’s report, more important-sounding than “go with your gut but use your head, too.”

The Stoics did much better with the much shorter Enchiridion.

Pub Date: Oct. 23, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-525-42814-5

Page Count: 580

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: July 31, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2018

Did you like this book?

more