A valuable manual deftly shows that certain success skills can’t be learned in the classroom.



A multifaceted guide focuses on career considerations.

With experience developing learning tools at MIT and Harvard Business School, Herschberg uses this debut to impart his knowledge of the working world, highlighting critical “firm skills” he believes are rarely taught in educational institutions. The book, which the author likens to a “career success accelerator,” encompasses three areas: “Career,” “Leadership & Management,” and “Interpersonal Dynamics.” The “Career” section covers how to develop a career plan, how to work effectively in a company setting, and interviewing skills, both from the candidate’s and company’s perspectives. The first chapter is the most expansive in the volume; it offers a useful road map for a career plan with key questions to answer, a discussion of various options, and suggestions for developing the blueprint. The three examples Herschberg offers for a “Career Decision Tree” helpfully depict the kinds of preparation and experience needed to progress in certain fields. This chapter also addresses the value of collaborating with a mentor and the differences between working for a startup and a large corporation. “Working Effectively” is an insightful overview of the role of the individual in an organization; it includes valuable guidance for navigating departments, reading signals from company management, and comprehending corporate politics. “Interviewing” serves a dual purpose: This chapter gives the job candidate solid advice on how to interview for a position as well as actionable criteria for a team tasked with hiring a candidate. Here, the author provides a plethora of interview questions divided into such categories as “Values,” “Situational Questions,” and “Analysis.”

The book’s second part examines leadership and management skills, which are extensively covered in other guides. Still, Herschberg manages to deliver some new, engaging material. For example, he draws a perceptive distinction between “positional” and “influential” leadership, presents the intriguing “myth of the alpha male,” and sensitively calls attention to the “double bind” of the female leader: “The more a woman exhibits the traits often associated with being a good leader, such as being direct, confident, unemotional, and ambitious, the more she violates the societal expectations we have of a ‘good woman,’ meaning gentle, self-deprecating, emotional, and supportive.” The portion on being an effective manager is equally illuminating. The author emphasizes the manager’s four roles (“Strategist,” “Translator,” “Planner,” “Coach”), shares several intriguing theories about employee motivation, and provides a solid discussion of teamwork. The final part of the guide is perhaps the most meaningful; it addresses interacting with others, concentrating on communication, networking, negotiation, and ethics. In this section, Herschberg furnishes numerous beneficial and insightful tips. Concerning networking, for example, he supplies specific, useful examples of the wrong and right ways to network. The chapter on negotiation may be one of the most pertinent in the volume. Herschberg identifies stages and types of negotiations, again using excellent, relevant illustrations, and suggests how to deal with a job offer. A closing chapter on business and personal ethics is laudable.

A valuable manual deftly shows that certain success skills can’t be learned in the classroom.

Pub Date: Jan. 5, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-96-010074-3

Page Count: 292

Publisher: Cognosco Media

Review Posted Online: Aug. 4, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2021

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


“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. 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2019

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Even if they're pie-in-the-sky exercises, Sanders’ pitched arguments bear consideration by nonbillionaires.


Everyone’s favorite avuncular socialist sends up a rousing call to remake the American way of doing business.

“In the twenty-first century we can end the vicious dog-eat-dog economy in which the vast majority struggle to survive,” writes Sanders, “while a handful of billionaires have more wealth than they could spend in a thousand lifetimes.” With that statement, the author updates an argument as old as Marx and Proudhon. In a nice play on words, he condemns “the uber-capitalist system under which we live,” showing how it benefits only the slimmest slice of the few while imposing undue burdens on everyone else. Along the way, Sanders notes that resentment over this inequality was powerful fuel for the disastrous Trump administration, since the Democratic Party thoughtlessly largely abandoned underprivileged voters in favor of “wealthy campaign contributors and the ‘beautiful people.’ ” The author looks squarely at Jeff Bezos, whose company “paid nothing in federal income taxes in 2017 and 2018.” Indeed, writes Sanders, “Bezos is the embodiment of the extreme corporate greed that shapes our times.” Aside from a few passages putting a face to avarice, Sanders lays forth a well-reasoned platform of programs to retool the American economy for greater equity, including investment in education and taking seriously a progressive (in all senses) corporate and personal taxation system to make the rich pay their fair share. In the end, he urges, “We must stop being afraid to call out capitalism and demand fundamental change to a corrupt and rigged system.” One wonders if this firebrand of a manifesto is the opening gambit in still another Sanders run for the presidency. If it is, well, the plutocrats might want to take cover for the duration.

Even if they're pie-in-the-sky exercises, Sanders’ pitched arguments bear consideration by nonbillionaires.

Pub Date: Feb. 21, 2023

ISBN: 9780593238714

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Feb. 21, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2023

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