A step-by-step, concept-by-concept approach to making corporate endeavors work.

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LEAD OR LAG

LINKING STRATEGIC PROJECT MANAGEMENT AND THOUGHT LEADERSHIP

A detailed handbook delivers advice on increasing the focus and efficiency of team projects in the business world.

Alexander’s nonfiction debut concentrates on collective endeavors—on unlocking the hidden potential in the project management tactics that businesses of all sizes use every day. The author likens the idea of conducting business without a clear strategy to driving a car while blindfolded, maintaining that clear operational thinking is vital to getting anything done in the corporate world. The bulk of the book is devoted to the many aspects of creating and implementing business plans—the mistakes that many companies make and the solutions Alexander and other “thought leaders” in the field have developed to avoid those errors and provide maximum results for “stakeholders” and others concerned with project outcomes. The book’s chapters attempt to break down with step-by-step clarity the things that effective project managers do. Business-world readers coming to Alexander’s text, with its neologisms and endless term abbreviations (KPI for key performance indicators, BPI for business process improvements, PMI for Project Management Institute, PMM for project management methodologies, etc.), should appreciate the clear, methodological thinking in these pages. Those readers are clearly the book’s intended audience, as virtually all of the points made throughout are couched in impenetrable business-speak that will be incomprehensible to outsiders. “Great thought leaders should always strive toward having advance awareness and multiple options as well as being as abundantly prepared to adopt project strategies that fully align with company-wide strategies,” readers are told, for example, and “Process breakdowns and delivery deficiencies can become a reality if effective change management is not factored into project outcomes.” Such gibberish walls off works like this one from entry-level, nonbusiness readers. But those in its target demographic should find plenty here to interest them, particularly the emphasis the author places on planning and on the crucial role of project managers in building the right teams to carry proposals to completion. “Not every project is a need,” Alexander writes, “some will just be wants.” This is a short, pointed book about telling the difference.

A step-by-step, concept-by-concept approach to making corporate endeavors work.

Pub Date: Nov. 4, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-692-77681-0

Page Count: 216

Publisher: Lead-Her-Ship Group

Review Posted Online: Dec. 9, 2016

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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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