A storehouse of timely advice well-suited to the intended audience.

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YOUR INVISIBLE TOOLBOX

THE TECHNOLOGICAL UPS AND INTERPERSONAL DOWNS OF THE MILLENNIAL GENERATION

A guidebook for millennials that helps them navigate a shifting business landscape. 

Debut authors Crosbie and Rinner spent a quarter-century as professional trainers at Tero International, an institute famous for grooming top performers. They decoct that entire experience into 100 basic lessons, divided into sections handling social interaction, self-presentation, globalism, leadership, and personal growth. The handbook illustrates some lessons through stories, and all of them are fairly brief—a few pages in length—and end with a neat synopsis and a single line of instruction. The authors have deliberately directed their counsel to millennials, who they believe are uniquely situated to effect seismic transformation and also uniquely vulnerable to the breakneck pace of technologically induced change. Crosbie and Rinner focus on what they call “invisible tools,” the skill set used to achieve successful social interactions. They contend that these abilities, more than any technical skills, are the true ingredients of lasting professional advancement. Many of the lessons specifically target the collective alienation caused by technological hyperconnectedness. To counter this, the authors encourage millennials to remember names, pen personal notes, listen attentively, and confidently court strangers. Other lessons are meant to examine biases, encouraging the embrace of diversity, a proper respect of cultural differences, and a searching examination of one’s assumptions and stereotypes. Additionally, one of the themes of the book is the value of self-awareness. The guide encourages a considerable amount of self-examination, including due diligence regarding self-representation on social media accounts. While the advice is mostly common sense, that doesn’t diminish its value for the intended audience. One genuine challenge for millennials is how to cultivate meaningful relationships in a new world that encourages the shallowest kind of networking, and the authors are particularly strong in this area. Also, the entire work is written in a familiar, unpretentious style that’s clear, direct, and well-organized. If millennials don’t buy this book, parents should purchase it for them. 

A storehouse of timely advice well-suited to the intended audience. 

Pub Date: April 20, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-9986528-1-8

Page Count: 300

Publisher: Business Publications Corporation Inc.

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2017

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Occasionally wonky but overall a good case for how the dismal science can make the world less—well, dismal.

GOOD ECONOMICS FOR HARD TIMES

“Quality of life means more than just consumption”: Two MIT economists urge that a smarter, more politically aware economics be brought to bear on social issues.

It’s no secret, write Banerjee and Duflo (co-authors: Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way To Fight Global Poverty, 2011), that “we seem to have fallen on hard times.” Immigration, trade, inequality, and taxation problems present themselves daily, and they seem to be intractable. Economics can be put to use in figuring out these big-issue questions. Data can be adduced, for example, to answer the question of whether immigration tends to suppress wages. The answer: “There is no evidence low-skilled migration to rich countries drives wage and employment down for the natives.” In fact, it opens up opportunities for those natives by freeing them to look for better work. The problem becomes thornier when it comes to the matter of free trade; as the authors observe, “left-behind people live in left-behind places,” which explains why regional poverty descended on Appalachia when so many manufacturing jobs left for China in the age of globalism, leaving behind not just left-behind people but also people ripe for exploitation by nationalist politicians. The authors add, interestingly, that the same thing occurred in parts of Germany, Spain, and Norway that fell victim to the “China shock.” In what they call a “slightly technical aside,” they build a case for addressing trade issues not with trade wars but with consumption taxes: “It makes no sense to ask agricultural workers to lose their jobs just so steelworkers can keep theirs, which is what tariffs accomplish.” Policymakers might want to consider such counsel, especially when it is coupled with the observation that free trade benefits workers in poor countries but punishes workers in rich ones.

Occasionally wonky but overall a good case for how the dismal science can make the world less—well, dismal.

Pub Date: Nov. 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-61039-950-0

Page Count: 432

Publisher: PublicAffairs

Review Posted Online: Aug. 29, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2019

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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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