A penetrating survey of the mindset, skills, traits and behaviors needed to become an executive in any organization.
In a genre filled with books with catchy titles, simplistic metaphors and prescriptive formulas, this debut business book takes a different approach. Saye, a technology executive for a global services company, offers a straightforward title and 10 densely written chapters probing many facets of the executive experience. Three chapters cover topics for managers aspiring to the executive level, and five explore the challenges that new junior executives face and the responses they’ll need to succeed; the final two chapters focus on how junior executives may rise to senior leadership. Each chapter contains about 10 subheadings, with 100 topics in all; many are conventional, such as “Project Management” or “Vision and Mission,” but others take imaginative turns, such as “Pastoral Thinking” and “Credibility Judo.” Saye summarizes each topic effectively in a boldface coda beginning “The Junior Executive will…,” as in, “The Junior Executive will organize all domain activities into portfolios that can be led by lieutenants.” The author’s overall premise is that most management books fail to bridge the chasm between theory and practice and that preparing for the executive role should be as rigorous as performing it. Using real-life examples, Saye’s writing carries an air of experience and authority, but this isn’t an easy read, nor is it intended to be. The book has a tendency toward wordiness, often restating the same things in different ways, but this technique allows Saye to introduce new concepts generally and then drill down to finer meanings. He also assumes that readers are already familiar with some management theories and authors, so beginners beware. Suggested readings include standards like Niccolò Machiavelli’s The Prince and Carl von Clausewitz’s On War but also works less often cited in management books, such as Herman Hesse’s Siddhartha and Franz Kafka’s The Castle. Overall, Saye presents the path to executive leadership as a highly philosophical, individualized program of self-development and a quest that requires significant introspection.
A book for serious candidates for the executive ranks.
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)