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An inspiring primer on navigating one’s life with self-knowledge and integrity.

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A public relations executive and strategy consultant provides his thoughts on how to build, wield, and retain power and influence in an everchanging world in this advice guide.

Dilenschneider helmed Hill & Knowlton from 1986 to 1991 and now leads his own public relations firm, The Dilenschneider Group. In this book, he details how to develop personal power and influence while interacting with others in order to achieve one’s desired life and career goals. Its first part focuses on self-examination: discovering what one’s passions and abilities are and collecting feedback on how one is perceived by others. This analysis, Dilenschneider asserts, is critical in informing and guiding one’s future actions and decision-making. The book then segues into offering tips regarding more specific activities, including networking (starting by cultivating three people as part of an ongoing process); effective communication (which, he says, is less about style and more about being clear in one’s messaging); and what Dilenschneider terms “memorable” management, which focuses on having respect and enthusiasm for other people’s opinions. Dilenschneider dedicates the final part of the book to a discussion of how to maintain one’s power and influence while handling crises and dealing with everchanging trends in the industry, workplace, and society. He recommends having a team and plan in place for when crises occur, and assessing what are truly “hard trends” of lasting impact in one’s personal life and workplace. Dilenschneider concludes this book with a recommendation to help and advise others—and thus pay one’s power forward.

The author’s latest offering is a well-organized work that not only provides readers with valuable, evergreen core advice, particularly regarding self-assessment, but also useful commentary on hard trends, including how the Covid-19 pandemic has transformed the workplace. In the early pages of this book, Dilenschneider acknowledges there are countless other business books on these topics available to readers, but he can correctly claim that his “comes to you from decades of experience working with some of the most successful companies in the world—and the people who lead them.” The author certainly demonstrates a distinct and authoritative viewpoint on his subject matter, even if some of the examples that he provides along the way may be quite familiar to some readers. One of them, regarding recognizing when to pivot in one’s career, tells the story of James Patterson’s moving from a career as an advertising professional to a much more successful one as an author, which is an oft-told tale. Still, Dilenschneider also offers plenty of timely strategic pointers in this book, including recommendations to stay abreast of what’s happening on social media platforms, given their power in the business world, and to recognize that the hybrid workplace is indeed the new reality. Most of all, Dilenschneider provides readers with an important and inspiring ethical directive, demonstrated through examples in his career and others’, to have an element of the “commonweal” in one’s quest for personal influence and power.

An inspiring primer on navigating one’s life with self-knowledge and integrity.

Pub Date: July 25, 2023

ISBN: 9781637742938

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Matt Holt/BenBella

Review Posted Online: June 30, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2023

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Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our...

A psychologist and Nobel Prize winner summarizes and synthesizes the recent decades of research on intuition and systematic thinking.

The author of several scholarly texts, Kahneman (Emeritus Psychology and Public Affairs/Princeton Univ.) now offers general readers not just the findings of psychological research but also a better understanding of how research questions arise and how scholars systematically frame and answer them. He begins with the distinction between System 1 and System 2 mental operations, the former referring to quick, automatic thought, the latter to more effortful, overt thinking. We rely heavily, writes, on System 1, resorting to the higher-energy System 2 only when we need or want to. Kahneman continually refers to System 2 as “lazy”: We don’t want to think rigorously about something. The author then explores the nuances of our two-system minds, showing how they perform in various situations. Psychological experiments have repeatedly revealed that our intuitions are generally wrong, that our assessments are based on biases and that our System 1 hates doubt and despises ambiguity. Kahneman largely avoids jargon; when he does use some (“heuristics,” for example), he argues that such terms really ought to join our everyday vocabulary. He reviews many fundamental concepts in psychology and statistics (regression to the mean, the narrative fallacy, the optimistic bias), showing how they relate to his overall concerns about how we think and why we make the decisions that we do. Some of the later chapters (dealing with risk-taking and statistics and probabilities) are denser than others (some readers may resent such demands on System 2!), but the passages that deal with the economic and political implications of the research are gripping.

Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our minds.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-374-27563-1

Page Count: 512

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Sept. 3, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2011

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These are not hard and fast rules, but Meyer delivers important reading for those engaged in international business.

A helpful guide to working effectively with people from other cultures.

“The sad truth is that the vast majority of managers who conduct business internationally have little understanding about how culture is impacting their work,” writes Meyer, a professor at INSEAD, an international business school. Yet they face a wider array of work styles than ever before in dealing with clients, suppliers and colleagues from around the world. When is it best to speak or stay quiet? What is the role of the leader in the room? When working with foreign business people, failing to take cultural differences into account can lead to frustration, misunderstanding or worse. Based on research and her experiences teaching cross-cultural behaviors to executive students, the author examines a handful of key areas. Among others, they include communicating (Anglo-Saxons are explicit; Asians communicate implicitly, requiring listeners to read between the lines), developing a sense of trust (Brazilians do it over long lunches), and decision-making (Germans rely on consensus, Americans on one decider). In each area, the author provides a “culture map scale” that positions behaviors in more than 20 countries along a continuum, allowing readers to anticipate the preferences of individuals from a particular country: Do they like direct or indirect negative feedback? Are they rigid or flexible regarding deadlines? Do they favor verbal or written commitments? And so on. Meyer discusses managers who have faced perplexing situations, such as knowledgeable team members who fail to speak up in meetings or Indians who offer a puzzling half-shake, half-nod of the head. Cultural differences—not personality quirks—are the motivating factors behind many behavioral styles. Depending on our cultures, we understand the world in a particular way, find certain arguments persuasive or lacking merit, and consider some ways of making decisions or measuring time natural and others quite strange.

These are not hard and fast rules, but Meyer delivers important reading for those engaged in international business.

Pub Date: May 27, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-61039-250-1

Page Count: 288

Publisher: PublicAffairs

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2014

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