A starting point for smart leaders who want to build smarter companies.




Technology consultant Richardson, in her debut, aims to create savvy business leaders by banishing guesswork and blind decision-making.

It takes more than talent, technical prowess and hard work to lead a successful business, writes Richardson. Executives must also have a comprehensive knowledge of the people, products and processes that affect profitability so that they can make better decisions. The author, a technology whiz who has worked as a corporate strategist for Fortune 500 companies, cleverly calls this knowledge “Executive IQ” —common-sensical, data-driven insight into a company’s customers, employees, products and sales. She argues that merely having a vague idea of which customers buy certain products, or how much is spent on marketing, is unacceptable. Shrewd executives, she asserts, probe deeper when making strategic decisions. By using cutting-edge software, they can answer such questions as “How long does it take from the initial inquiry to convert a sale?” or “How many promotions have been awarded internally in the last two to five years?” This may seem like analytical overkill, but Richardson contends that understanding such metrics can keep a business afloat during rocky times. The book urges readers to assess their current Executive IQ by taking a “balanced scorecard” quiz and provides three well-crafted chapters of advice on how to implement a customer relationship management program; executives can use a CRM and Executive IQ together to operate their firms more effectively, the author explains. Overall, this is a book for overachievers, penned in a witty, nimble style. Some assertions here will ruffle feathers; for example, Richardson believes that many executives and entrepreneurs make poor decisions due to ego, fear or ignorance. The author has founded two companies herself, and her words carry the authority of someone who’s fought in the trenches. A new approach will likely generate friction, Richardson notes, but she makes the case that change can pave the way for long-term success.

A starting point for smart leaders who want to build smarter companies.

Pub Date: April 4, 2013

ISBN: 978-0988339415

Page Count: 204

Publisher: The RLC Group, Inc.

Review Posted Online: Aug. 16, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2013

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This early reader is an excellent introduction to the March on Washington in 1963 and the important role in the march played by Martin Luther King Jr. Ruffin gives the book a good, dramatic start: “August 28, 1963. It is a hot summer day in Washington, D.C. More than 250,00 people are pouring into the city.” They have come to protest the treatment of African-Americans here in the US. With stirring original artwork mixed with photographs of the events (and the segregationist policies in the South, such as separate drinking fountains and entrances to public buildings), Ruffin writes of how an end to slavery didn’t mark true equality and that these rights had to be fought for—through marches and sit-ins and words, particularly those of Dr. King, and particularly on that fateful day in Washington. Within a year the Civil Rights Act of 1964 had been passed: “It does not change everything. But it is a beginning.” Lots of visual cues will help new readers through the fairly simple text, but it is the power of the story that will keep them turning the pages. (Easy reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-448-42421-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2000

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Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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