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BECOMING AN ENLIGHTENED CONSULTANT

AWAKENED BY CANCER

A cogent, grounded examination of business practices.

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A veteran consultant assesses his career after a cancer diagnosis.

In this debut business book, Hilditch looks back on 40 years as an environmental consultant—with a perspective shaped by a recent diagnosis of brain cancer. Hilditch worked for large firms and also founded his own business. Here, he analyzes consulting companies—how consultants interact with clients, what it means to be a good employer or colleague, and how ethical consultants can make a positive difference in the world. Topics include practical matters, like business development, contracts, and billing, along with more abstract considerations, including the role ego plays in the workplace, something Hilditch has studied in depth. The author covers favorite projects, like the restoration of an endangered warbler’s habitat, alongside tips on using LinkedIn to build connections throughout the consulting world. The idiosyncratic blend of personal passions and traditional workplace advice makes this an engaging read, and Hilditch imbues his work with a retrospective self-assessment (“I acknowledge that I have spent the last few decades working intensely as a human ‘doing’ not as a human ‘being’ ”). The text returns frequently to the topic of the ego, and Hilditch does not hesitate to point out when his got in his way before he learned how to check it. Although he primarily addresses his fellow environmental consultants, both the topics and the advice are broadly applicable across the business world. It’s concisely and coherently written, with bulleted summaries at the end of each chapter. While the idea of bringing humility into the work environment is not a new one, Hilditch is a qualified and convincing advocate for the concept, and he makes it clear that being authentic on the job doesn’t conflict with delivering solid financial results.

A cogent, grounded examination of business practices.

Pub Date: N/A

ISBN: 978-1-5255-9626-1

Page Count: 182

Publisher: FriesenPress

Review Posted Online: Oct. 25, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2022

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  • New York Times Bestseller

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POVERTY, BY AMERICA

A clearly delineated guide to finally eradicate poverty in America.

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  • New York Times Bestseller

A thoughtful program for eradicating poverty from the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Evicted.

“America’s poverty is not for lack of resources,” writes Desmond. “We lack something else.” That something else is compassion, in part, but it’s also the lack of a social system that insists that everyone pull their weight—and that includes the corporations and wealthy individuals who, the IRS estimates, get away without paying upward of $1 trillion per year. Desmond, who grew up in modest circumstances and suffered poverty in young adulthood, points to the deleterious effects of being poor—among countless others, the precarity of health care and housing (with no meaningful controls on rent), lack of transportation, the constant threat of losing one’s job due to illness, and the need to care for dependent children. It does not help, Desmond adds, that so few working people are represented by unions or that Black Americans, even those who have followed the “three rules” (graduate from high school, get a full-time job, wait until marriage to have children), are far likelier to be poor than their White compatriots. Furthermore, so many full-time jobs are being recast as contracted, fire-at-will gigs, “not a break from the norm as much as an extension of it, a continuation of corporations finding new ways to limit their obligations to workers.” By Desmond’s reckoning, besides amending these conditions, it would not take a miracle to eliminate poverty: about $177 billion, which would help end hunger and homelessness and “make immense headway in driving down the many agonizing correlates of poverty, like violence, sickness, and despair.” These are matters requiring systemic reform, which will in turn require Americans to elect officials who will enact that reform. And all of us, the author urges, must become “poverty abolitionists…refusing to live as unwitting enemies of the poor.” Fortune 500 CEOs won’t like Desmond’s message for rewriting the social contract—which is precisely the point.

A clearly delineated guide to finally eradicate poverty in America.

Pub Date: March 21, 2023

ISBN: 9780593239919

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Nov. 30, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2023

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  • New York Times Bestseller


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GREENLIGHTS

A conversational, pleasurable look into McConaughey’s life and thought.

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All right, all right, all right: The affable, laconic actor delivers a combination of memoir and self-help book.

“This is an approach book,” writes McConaughey, adding that it contains “philosophies that can be objectively understood, and if you choose, subjectively adopted, by either changing your reality, or changing how you see it. This is a playbook, based on adventures in my life.” Some of those philosophies come in the form of apothegms: “When you can design your own weather, blow in the breeze”; “Simplify, focus, conserve to liberate.” Others come in the form of sometimes rambling stories that never take the shortest route from point A to point B, as when he recounts a dream-spurred, challenging visit to the Malian musician Ali Farka Touré, who offered a significant lesson in how disagreement can be expressed politely and without rancor. Fans of McConaughey will enjoy his memories—which line up squarely with other accounts in Melissa Maerz’s recent oral history, Alright, Alright, Alright—of his debut in Richard Linklater’s Dazed and Confused, to which he contributed not just that signature phrase, but also a kind of too-cool-for-school hipness that dissolves a bit upon realizing that he’s an older guy on the prowl for teenage girls. McConaughey’s prep to settle into the role of Wooderson involved inhabiting the mind of a dude who digs cars, rock ’n’ roll, and “chicks,” and he ran with it, reminding readers that the film originally had only three scripted scenes for his character. The lesson: “Do one thing well, then another. Once, then once more.” It’s clear that the author is a thoughtful man, even an intellectual of sorts, though without the earnestness of Ethan Hawke or James Franco. Though some of the sentiments are greeting card–ish, this book is entertaining and full of good lessons.

A conversational, pleasurable look into McConaughey’s life and thought.

Pub Date: Oct. 20, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-13913-4

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Oct. 27, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2020

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