A gift book approach to leadership lessons that delivers highlights elegantly.

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A guide offers a collection of business insights in an attractively designed package.

Business guru Peters’ book combines his thoughts—and the words of many others he quotes throughout the volume—with the design work of Nancye Green to create a motivational objet d’art that is both aesthetically pleasing and thought provoking. The volume, which is a small square rather than the standard rectangular shape found on most bookshelves, consists of 13 thematic sections. With headings including “Execution: The ‘Last 95 Percent,’ ” “Long-Term Investors Prosper,” “Sustainability: The Right Things to Do. The Profitable Thing to Do,” and “Leadership: You Must Care,” the work addresses familiar topics in business literature, and does so concisely, with just a handful of words on each page. From the start, Peters urges readers to think about business as having a social and community purpose as much as a financial role to fulfill (“Business as a community and as a contributor to communities has an obligation to create products and services which inspire—and which aim to make the world a bit better”). The book backs a holistic approach to business, with liberal arts graduates in key roles, leaders who advocate for their staffs, and a focus on long-term results over short-term financials. Most of the Peters-written content, he explains in the introduction, is “extracted” from his work Excellence Now: Extreme Humanism (2021). His new volume also includes many quotations from journalists, business executives, and thought leaders—including Larry Bossidy (former CEO of Honeywell International), Anita Roddick (founder of the British version of the Body Shop), entrepreneur Richard Branson, and author Marcus Buckingham—which Peters expands on.

The book’s design is inviting and engaging, even though the color palette is limited to grayscale, with the typography enhancing and reinforcing the work’s messages. The generous font size makes for easy reading, as does the inclusion of a significant amount of white space on most of the pages. This is not an information-heavy tome but a convenient and attractive gift book for those who are already familiar with Peters’ writings and want a beautiful object for display or an easy-to-grab collection of pithy and often insightful quotes. A few, like “WTTMS(ASTMSUTF)W: Whoever Tries The Most Stuff (And Screws The Most Stuff Up The Fastest) Wins” and “Fail. Forward. Fast.” (both attributed to “High-tech executive, Philadelphia, at one of Peters’ speeches”), seem more like filler than valuable material. Some pages are more interactive, presenting readers with a series of questions, but most simply offer a short excerpt from another work; citations are given for all quotes. The thematic sections provide the book’s structure, and although they are generally discrete, they do build on one another. Readers who are in search of concrete and actionable lessons in leadership and management should turn to Peters’ more traditional books or those by other business thought leaders for deeper explorations of how to develop the skills and implement the ideas discussed in this volume. But for Peters fans who are already acquainted with his work and appreciate easy access to a selection of conceptual points in a well-designed package, the work is a present that will be appreciated.

A gift book approach to leadership lessons that delivers highlights elegantly.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-64687-124-7

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Ideapress Publishing

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2022


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. 3, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2011


A clearly delineated guide to finally eradicate poverty in America.

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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