A forceful, engaging program for taking a clear, calming look at an increasingly alarming world.


A debut guide aims to help young leaders grapple with the uncertainties of the 21st century.

The author takes the title of his book from an essay by David Foster Wallace in which an old fish asks a young fish “How’s the water?” and the latter later wonders: “What the hell is water?” Kian intends his manual to aid young achievers and entrepreneurs not only to be more aware of their “water” (the broader contexts of their world), but also to “lift yourself out of the water and have a fresh look at where you are.” The author, a management consultant at McKinsey & Company in Amsterdam, describes the cosmos facing young leaders as characterized by VUCA: It’s volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous. He describes the “overwhelming sense of a lack of control” that’s created in those who face a VUCA universe. The coping framework he outlines draws heavily on the ancient philosophy of stoicism and seeks to help readers appraise the many upsets an uncertain world will inevitably supply. Without such analysis, Kian writes, “it’s easy to get overwhelmed with the amount of exposure to negativity that you might have through work, social media, email, news, and voice and text messages.” Employing graphs and providing extensive open space for the audience to work out answers, the author lays out clear strategies for readers to capitalize on their strengths, clearly evaluate their weaknesses, and always remember the importance of community. “Especially in a VUCA world,” he writes, “the sense of not being alone serves as a buffer for many challenges.” The book’s advice on matters of communication (the widespread stress factor of the 21st century) is its clearest and most useful, but the whole manual is energetically and invitingly written. Kian’s experience as a consultant is most evident in the many ways he’s devised to assist his readers to become involved in creating their own plans for improvement.

A forceful, engaging program for taking a clear, calming look at an increasingly alarming world.

Pub Date: May 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5445-0352-3

Page Count: 160

Publisher: To the Moon Publishing

Review Posted Online: July 4, 2019

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



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").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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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)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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