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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Essential reading for citizens of the here and now. Other economists should marvel at how that plain language can be put to...

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A French academic serves up a long, rigorous critique, dense with historical data, of American-style predatory capitalism—and offers remedies that Karl Marx might applaud.

Economist Piketty considers capital, in the monetary sense, from the vantage of what he considers the capital of the world, namely Paris; at times, his discussions of how capital works, and especially public capital, befit Locke-ian France and not Hobbesian America, a source of some controversy in the wide discussion surrounding his book. At heart, though, his argument turns on well-founded economic principles, notably r > g, meaning that the “rate of return on capital significantly exceeds the growth rate of the economy,” in Piketty’s gloss. It logically follows that when such conditions prevail, then wealth will accumulate in a few hands faster than it can be broadly distributed. By the author’s reckoning, the United States is one of the leading nations in the “high inequality” camp, though it was not always so. In the colonial era, Piketty likens the inequality quotient in New England to be about that of Scandinavia today, with few abject poor and few mega-rich. The difference is that the rich now—who are mostly the “supermanagers” of business rather than the “superstars” of sports and entertainment—have surrounded themselves with political shields that keep them safe from the specter of paying more in taxes and adding to the fund of public wealth. The author’s data is unassailable. His policy recommendations are considerably more controversial, including his call for a global tax on wealth. From start to finish, the discussion is written in plainspoken prose that, though punctuated by formulas, also draws on a wide range of cultural references.

Essential reading for citizens of the here and now. Other economists should marvel at how that plain language can be put to work explaining the most complex of ideas, foremost among them the fact that economic inequality is at an all-time high—and is only bound to grow worse.

Pub Date: March 10, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-674-43000-6

Page Count: 640

Publisher: Belknap/Harvard Univ.

Review Posted Online: April 30, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2014

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