A well-written guide to developing leadership skills that draws effectively on the hands-on experience of one co-author and...

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CORNER OFFICE RULES

THE 10 REALITIES OF EXECUTIVE LIFE

A seasoned executive and a psychologist who specializes in corporate coaching team up to advise newly-promoted senior managers on adjusting to their roles at the top of the ladder.

Wyche (Good Is Not Enough, 2008) and Booth divide their book into two sections, with Wyche drawing on his experience in managing several large businesses to share the crucial skills a leader needs to develop, while Booth addresses strategies for success and the personal aspects of being an executive. The book draws a clear distinction between the top level of management, its target audience, and mid-level managers, explaining that the two areas require different sets of skills for success. With its blend of advice and anecdotes, the book does an effective job of convincing the reader that executives need to turn their attention from the details of business operations to big-picture strategies, and to develop confidence in their judgment and decision-making without isolating themselves from useful criticism or accurate information, and it does so while largely avoiding the unpleasant jargon associated with many books on management. The authors stress the importance of making a distinction between personal and professional relationships, motivations, and actions, urging readers to maintain a sense of themselves that extends beyond the office. This is particularly relevant in the final chapter, which advises executives to prepare to leave their positions long before it becomes necessary to do so, arguing that one of the strongest forms of leadership is knowing when to walk away. The book goes beyond platitudes and overused generalizations, offering solid and substantial advice for becoming an effective leader and managing organizations for success. Wyche's willingness to share stories of his shortcomings as well as his successes—how he inadvertently turned grocery store bakeries into red velvet cake factories, or how a low-level employee taught him that his communication methods were ineffective—provides useful object lessons in addition to a fully-developed portrait of an executive who learned much of his leadership technique on the job.

A well-written guide to developing leadership skills that draws effectively on the hands-on experience of one co-author and the insights and coaching techniques of the other.

Pub Date: Sept. 23, 2013

ISBN: 978-0615738222

Page Count: 210

Publisher: Kandelle Enterprises

Review Posted Online: Dec. 5, 2013

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WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD

A LIFETIME OF RECORDINGS

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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Necessarily swift and adumbrative as well as inclusive, focused, and graceful.

A LITTLE HISTORY OF POETRY

A light-speed tour of (mostly) Western poetry, from the 4,000-year-old Gilgamesh to the work of Australian poet Les Murray, who died in 2019.

In the latest entry in the publisher’s Little Histories series, Carey, an emeritus professor at Oxford whose books include What Good Are the Arts? and The Unexpected Professor: An Oxford Life in Books, offers a quick definition of poetry—“relates to language as music relates to noise. It is language made special”—before diving in to poetry’s vast history. In most chapters, the author deals with only a few writers, but as the narrative progresses, he finds himself forced to deal with far more than a handful. In his chapter on 20th-century political poets, for example, he talks about 14 writers in seven pages. Carey displays a determination to inform us about who the best poets were—and what their best poems were. The word “greatest” appears continually; Chaucer was “the greatest medieval English poet,” and Langston Hughes was “the greatest male poet” of the Harlem Renaissance. For readers who need a refresher—or suggestions for the nightstand—Carey provides the best-known names and the most celebrated poems, including Paradise Lost (about which the author has written extensively), “Kubla Khan,” “Ozymandias,” “The Charge of the Light Brigade,” Wordsworth and Coleridge’s Lyrical Ballads, which “changed the course of English poetry.” Carey explains some poetic technique (Hopkins’ “sprung rhythm”) and pauses occasionally to provide autobiographical tidbits—e.g., John Masefield, who wrote the famous “Sea Fever,” “hated the sea.” We learn, as well, about the sexuality of some poets (Auden was bisexual), and, especially later on, Carey discusses the demons that drove some of them, Robert Lowell and Sylvia Plath among them. Refreshingly, he includes many women in the volume—all the way back to Sappho—and has especially kind words for Marianne Moore and Elizabeth Bishop, who share a chapter.

Necessarily swift and adumbrative as well as inclusive, focused, and graceful.

Pub Date: April 21, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-300-23222-6

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Yale Univ.

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

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