A well-written, straightforward business manual that covers familiar material in an effective and engaging way.

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TWENTY-FIVE STRATEGIES FOR ORGANIZATIONAL SUCCESS

A debut handbook for managers addresses all aspects of shaping and guiding a business.

In this volume, Gaston draws on decades of experience in security and defense-related industries to provide a list of rules for managers working on both day-to-day issues and broader questions of strategy and procedure. Using an outline-style format with frequent bullet points and subheadings, the author steers readers through managing their own career paths (“Take time to determine what you want to do, when you want to do it, and where you want to be”), serving as significant assets to their superiors (“Your boss is the most important person in your organizational chain”), limiting the impact of overhead expenses (“Be prepared to close down failing non-core business initiatives that exceed budget, break deadlines, or do not meet basic return-on-investment expectations”), and ensuring the security of proprietary information (“The theft of trade secrets is alive and well”), among other matters. Each facet of management strategy, personal development, and leadership techniques is presented in its own chapter, concluding with a checklist of action items on the topic and Gaston’s summary of his key points. The author’s defense and security background brings a unique perspective to traditional management advice, with recommendations to hire veterans included among the tips for staffing a successful company and frequent mentions of working with government contracts throughout. While none of the information in these pages will be groundbreaking to readers already familiar with business literature, Gaston does an expert job of offering his strategies in a highly readable format ideal for quick reference. In addition, the author delivers a substantial amount of solid advice that readers new to the topic are likely to find useful. The concise guide also includes detailed information on subjects like contingency planning and physical security that are less often addressed in volumes on management theory, adding to its value in a collection of resources.

A well-written, straightforward business manual that covers familiar material in an effective and engaging way.

Pub Date: April 7, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5127-7739-0

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Westbow Press

Review Posted Online: Aug. 9, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2017

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Occasionally wonky but overall a good case for how the dismal science can make the world less—well, dismal.

GOOD ECONOMICS FOR HARD TIMES

“Quality of life means more than just consumption”: Two MIT economists urge that a smarter, more politically aware economics be brought to bear on social issues.

It’s no secret, write Banerjee and Duflo (co-authors: Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way To Fight Global Poverty, 2011), that “we seem to have fallen on hard times.” Immigration, trade, inequality, and taxation problems present themselves daily, and they seem to be intractable. Economics can be put to use in figuring out these big-issue questions. Data can be adduced, for example, to answer the question of whether immigration tends to suppress wages. The answer: “There is no evidence low-skilled migration to rich countries drives wage and employment down for the natives.” In fact, it opens up opportunities for those natives by freeing them to look for better work. The problem becomes thornier when it comes to the matter of free trade; as the authors observe, “left-behind people live in left-behind places,” which explains why regional poverty descended on Appalachia when so many manufacturing jobs left for China in the age of globalism, leaving behind not just left-behind people but also people ripe for exploitation by nationalist politicians. The authors add, interestingly, that the same thing occurred in parts of Germany, Spain, and Norway that fell victim to the “China shock.” In what they call a “slightly technical aside,” they build a case for addressing trade issues not with trade wars but with consumption taxes: “It makes no sense to ask agricultural workers to lose their jobs just so steelworkers can keep theirs, which is what tariffs accomplish.” Policymakers might want to consider such counsel, especially when it is coupled with the observation that free trade benefits workers in poor countries but punishes workers in rich ones.

Occasionally wonky but overall a good case for how the dismal science can make the world less—well, dismal.

Pub Date: Nov. 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-61039-950-0

Page Count: 432

Publisher: PublicAffairs

Review Posted Online: Aug. 29, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2019

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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

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