A guidebook for implementing more effective leadership skills.
In their debut nonfiction collaboration, Australian author Pennington and Australian management consultant Bindig start by addressing what they see as four key failures of business leadership: not considering the context of workers’ skills (“Some offices might prefer phone to email, so teaching a strict communication method that preferences email won’t be helpful”); inaccurately judging workers’ levels of proficiency; not paying proper attention to what the authors call “motivational drivers”; and failing to offer enough management support. In a series of short, fast-paced chapters, with each broken into multiple, numbered segments, Pennington and Bindig go on to outline a wide variety of basic managerial concepts, including dealing with workplace conflicts and building one’s own networking skills. Throughout, they stress the importance of looking inward; great leaders, they assert, must know themselves as well as they know their business: When leaders unlock their own potential, they will be able to see clearly where others are under- or overused. Readers who’ve dealt with unpleasant managers may have little patience with the authors’ notion of management enlightenment; however, even skeptical readers will find valuable ideas in these pages. The authors address at length numerous aspects of leadership and training for it, and they resolutely keep the language simple throughout. About new managers, for example, they point out that “Taking on their new responsibilities often means letting go of old ones.” There’s also plenty of all-purpose advice on such topics as recognizing and overcoming communication barriers. Such general counsel is hardly original, but it’s useful to have it all laid out in one place, in clear, straightforward language.
An often familiar but comprehensive leadership handbook for managers new and old.
Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.
Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").
Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)