A book of broad application with useful lessons for everyone from Girl Scouts to corporate masters to world leaders—and...

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THE CODE OF TRUST

AN AMERICAN COUNTERINTELLIGENCE EXPERT'S FIVE RULES TO LEAD AND SUCCEED

“You don’t work for your country by being greedy and playing dirty, day after day.” FBI agent Dreeke delivers a pragmatic, patriotic recipe for the key ingredient of leadership: trust.

With the assistance of Stauth, Dreeke, a veteran of the bureau with direct experience in securing confidences among reluctant respondents, begins with a provocative brace of challenges: “First: Be eminently worthy of trust. Second: Prove you are.” As if that weren’t difficult enough, there are built-in obstacles: just as we would trust few people with our lives or bank accounts, so few people trust us. How to inspire more to do so and thereby gain not just trust, but allegiance? Be more considerate. Put other people first. Listen without thinking of the next clever thing to say. It’s not exactly Machiavelli, it’s sometimes simplistic and often repetitive, and the presentation is a little formulaic, but Dreeke’s set of rules is eminently practical and, if actually put into practice, would yield a measurably more pleasant world. Fittingly, many of his examples come from the oddly rule-governed world of espionage. If you’re shady, he notes, you can build trust among a network of spies, “but it’s a weak, fake type of trust, built on lies, manipulation, and coercion, and it can topple overnight.” Given all the headlines about manipulation and backroom dealing these days, it’s a useful observation that high-level leaders should consider, but in the main, the book is meant for ordinary Janes and Joes who seek to build their leadership skills. There, Dreeke proves a worthy guide, making observations that might go without saying if we lived in better times but that bear repeating—e.g., “common decency is the common ground of humankind”; “a terrible deficit in our current culture is the lack of the civil give-and-take that has expanded individual and societal intelligence for thousands of years.”

A book of broad application with useful lessons for everyone from Girl Scouts to corporate masters to world leaders—and aspiring spies, too.

Pub Date: Aug. 8, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-250-09346-2

Page Count: 384

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: June 5, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2017

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Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

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UNTAMED

More life reflections from the bestselling author on themes of societal captivity and the catharsis of personal freedom.

In her third book, Doyle (Love Warrior, 2016, etc.) begins with a life-changing event. “Four years ago,” she writes, “married to the father of my three children, I fell in love with a woman.” That woman, Abby Wambach, would become her wife. Emblematically arranged into three sections—“Caged,” “Keys,” “Freedom”—the narrative offers, among other elements, vignettes about the soulful author’s girlhood, when she was bulimic and felt like a zoo animal, a “caged girl made for wide-open skies.” She followed the path that seemed right and appropriate based on her Catholic upbringing and adolescent conditioning. After a downward spiral into “drinking, drugging, and purging,” Doyle found sobriety and the authentic self she’d been suppressing. Still, there was trouble: Straining an already troubled marriage was her husband’s infidelity, which eventually led to life-altering choices and the discovery of a love she’d never experienced before. Throughout the book, Doyle remains open and candid, whether she’s admitting to rigging a high school homecoming court election or denouncing the doting perfectionism of “cream cheese parenting,” which is about “giving your children the best of everything.” The author’s fears and concerns are often mirrored by real-world issues: gender roles and bias, white privilege, racism, and religion-fueled homophobia and hypocrisy. Some stories merely skim the surface of larger issues, but Doyle revisits them in later sections and digs deeper, using friends and familial references to personify their impact on her life, both past and present. Shorter pieces, some only a page in length, manage to effectively translate an emotional gut punch, as when Doyle’s therapist called her blooming extramarital lesbian love a “dangerous distraction.” Ultimately, the narrative is an in-depth look at a courageous woman eager to share the wealth of her experiences by embracing vulnerability and reclaiming her inner strength and resiliency.

Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

Pub Date: March 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-0125-8

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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A timely, vividly realized reminder to slow down and harness the restorative wonders of serenity.

STILLNESS IS THE KEY

An exploration of the importance of clarity through calmness in an increasingly fast-paced world.

Austin-based speaker and strategist Holiday (Conspiracy: Peter Thiel, Hulk Hogan, Gawker, and the Anatomy of Intrigue, 2018, etc.) believes in downshifting one’s life and activities in order to fully grasp the wonder of stillness. He bolsters this theory with a wide array of perspectives—some based on ancient wisdom (one of the author’s specialties), others more modern—all with the intent to direct readers toward the essential importance of stillness and its “attainable path to enlightenment and excellence, greatness and happiness, performance as well as presence.” Readers will be encouraged by Holiday’s insistence that his methods are within anyone’s grasp. He acknowledges that this rare and coveted calm is already inside each of us, but it’s been worn down by the hustle of busy lives and distractions. Recognizing that this goal requires immense personal discipline, the author draws on the representational histories of John F. Kennedy, Buddha, Tiger Woods, Fred Rogers, Leonardo da Vinci, and many other creative thinkers and scholarly, scientific texts. These examples demonstrate how others have evolved past the noise of modern life and into the solitude of productive thought and cleansing tranquility. Holiday splits his accessible, empowering, and sporadically meandering narrative into a three-part “timeless trinity of mind, body, soul—the head, the heart, the human body.” He juxtaposes Stoic philosopher Seneca’s internal reflection and wisdom against Donald Trump’s egocentric existence, with much of his time spent “in his bathrobe, ranting about the news.” Holiday stresses that while contemporary life is filled with a dizzying variety of “competing priorities and beliefs,” the frenzy can be quelled and serenity maintained through a deliberative calming of the mind and body. The author shows how “stillness is what aims the arrow,” fostering focus, internal harmony, and the kind of holistic self-examination necessary for optimal contentment and mind-body centeredness. Throughout the narrative, he promotes that concept mindfully and convincingly.

A timely, vividly realized reminder to slow down and harness the restorative wonders of serenity.

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-53858-5

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Portfolio

Review Posted Online: July 21, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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