This realistic and hopeful manual shows how accomplished individuals can tackle problems whose victims often lack resources...



How experienced leaders in business and other professions can act on their “youthful idealism” and make a difference in addressing complex societal problems.

Harvard Business School professor Kanter (Move: Putting America's Infrastructure Back in the Lead, 2015, etc.) directs Harvard’s Advanced Leadership Institute, which, since 2008, has helped some 500 retired CEOs and others gain the “outside-the-building, silo-busting” skills needed to take on “messy, complex systems problems” ranging from income inequality to human trafficking. In this striking book, the author distills the lessons learned in the program, in which successful men and women, eager to do good measured in lives improved rather than income earned, explore societal issues of interest, take classes on relevant topics outside their own area of expertise, and use their “capabilities, connections, and cash” (the latter not necessarily their own) to create cross-sector coalitions in pursuit of social change. Drawing on 50 case studies and hundreds of interviews, Kanter tells riveting stories of “bold, imaginative” leadership: A Trader Joe’s CEO fights hunger, an Anheuser-Busch CEO confronts educational disparities in St. Louis, a European banker creates partnerships to finance improved ocean health, and a Hong Kong investment banker helps women work in Southeast Asia. In each case, the societal issue is rife with ambiguity and conflict, with no single organization in charge, and the challenge is to find fresh, convention-defying approaches engaging many stakeholders. The author stresses the care with which participants must approach an issue, how they develop the ability to conduct “multiple efforts on multiple fronts,” and the challenges of working “across disciplines and institutional silos.” She is sometimes repetitious, but mainly to emphasize the powerful potential of her approach. Time alone will reveal the outcomes of these projects, she writes, but they hold much promise and could well serve as models for others.

This realistic and hopeful manual shows how accomplished individuals can tackle problems whose victims often lack resources to take action.

Pub Date: Jan. 28, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5417-4271-0

Page Count: 352

Publisher: PublicAffairs

Review Posted Online: Sept. 25, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2019

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More uncommonly sensible investment guidance from a master of the game. Drawing on his experience at Fidelity's Magellan Fund, a high- profile vehicle he quit at age 46 in 1990 after a spectacularly successful 13-year tenure as managing director, Lynch (One Up on Wall Street, 1988) makes a strong case for common stocks over bonds, CDs, or other forms of debt. In breezy, anecdotal fashion, the author also encourages individuals to go it alone in the market rather than to bank on money managers whose performance seldom justifies their generous compensation. With the caveat that there's as much art as science to picking issues with upside potential, Lynch commends legwork and observation. ``Spending more time at the mall,'' he argues, invariably is a better way to unearth appreciation candidates than relying on technical, timing, or other costly divining services prized by professionals. The author provides detailed briefings on how he researches industries, special situations, and mutual funds. Particularly instructive are his candid discussions of where he went wrong as well as right in his search for undervalued securities. Throughout the genial text, Lynch offers wry, on-target advisories under the rubric of ``Peter's Principles.'' Commenting on the profits that have accrued to those acquiring shares in enterprises privatized by the British government, he notes: ``Whatever the Queen is selling, buy it.'' In praise of corporate parsimony, the author suggests that, ``all else being equal, invest in the company with the fewest photos in the annual report.'' Another bull's-eye for a consummate pro, with appeal for market veterans and rookies alike. (Charts and tabular material— not seen.)

Pub Date: March 1, 1993

ISBN: 0-671-75915-9

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1993

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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. 4, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2011

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