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Hi. Welcome to the business books section of I am Chaim Hilton, or as jokesters like to say, Haim Chilton. Yes, I am a blond Jew and I am single, for all of your who are wondering. With that out of the way, I hope I can be a good guide each month, in the realm of business books.


Sometimes business and Judaism don't mix well...

Chaim Hilton's APRIL 2021 SELECTION

[book] Think Again:
The Power of Knowing
What You Don't Know
by Adam Grant
February 2, 2021

The bestselling author of Give and Take and Originals examines the critical art of rethinking: learning to question your opinions and open other people's minds, which can position you for excellence at work and wisdom in life

Intelligence is usually seen as the ability to think and learn, but in a rapidly changing world, there's another set of cognitive skills that might matter more: the ability to rethink and unlearn. In our daily lives, too many of us favor the comfort of conviction over the discomfort of doubt. We listen to opinions that make us feel good, instead of ideas that make us think hard. We see disagreement as a threat to our egos, rather than an opportunity to learn. We surround ourselves with people who agree with our conclusions, when we should be gravitating toward those who challenge our thought process. The result is that our beliefs get brittle long before our bones. We think too much like preachers defending our sacred beliefs, prosecutors proving the other side wrong, and politicians campaigning for approval--and too little like scientists searching for truth. Intelligence is no cure, and it can even be a curse: being good at thinking can make us worse at rethinking. The brighter we are, the blinder to our own limitations we can become.

Organizational psychologist Adam Grant is an expert on opening other people's minds--and our own. As Wharton's top-rated professor and the bestselling author of Originals and Give and Take, he makes it one of his guiding principles to argue like he's right but listen like he's wrong. With bold ideas and rigorous evidence, he investigates how we can embrace the joy of being wrong, bring nuance to charged conversations, and build schools, workplaces, and communities of lifelong learners. You'll learn how an international debate champion wins arguments, a Black musician persuades white supremacists to abandon hate, a vaccine whisperer convinces concerned parents to immunize their children, and Adam has coaxed Yankees fans to root for the Red Sox. Think Again reveals that we don't have to believe everything we think or internalize everything we feel. It's an invitation to let go of views that are no longer serving us well and prize mental flexibility over foolish consistency. If knowledge is power, knowing what we don't know is wisdom.

Chaim Hilton's MARCH 2021 SELECTION

[book] The Art & Science of Facilitation:
How to Lead Effective Collaboration
with Agile Teams
by Marsha Acker
January 12, 2021
Team Catapult

Have you ever felt unsure how to help a team that was spinning in circles? Or wanted to flee a room with a high-conflict group? If you lead teams of any size, chances are you have been a facilitator at some point. But what does it mean to be a facilitator? While sticky notes, dot voting, and gathering people around a whiteboard are all helpful activities, they can only take us so far.

The Art & Science of Facilitation is your guide to moving your team further forward using the groundbreaking Five Guiding Principles of the Facilitation Stance. You will learn to lead teams toward effective collaboration by inviting different points of view (even when it creates conflict), remaining unbiased in high-stakes meetings, understanding what the group needs, and navigating difficult interpersonal dynamics.
This book is for anyone ready to lead with self-awareness and group insight, and to help their teams work more efficiently and effectively in a truly collaborative environment. "Every voice in an organization matters, and Marsha shows us how to hear each one." - Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen, authors of Difficult Conversations and Thanks for the FeedbackMarsha

Acker is a professional facilitator, executive, and team coach. The founder and CEO of Team Catapult, she uses systems thinking, structural dynamics, dialogue, and agility to help teams collaborate and align with clarity, purpose, and vision.

Chaim Hilton's FEBRUARY 2021 SELECTION

[book] Belonging:
The Key to Transforming
and Maintaining Diversity,
Inclusion and Equality at Work
by Sue Unerman,
Kathryn Jacob, Mark Edwards
January 19, 2021

A groundbreaking investigation into diversity and equality in the workplace, arguing that both men and women need to be active participants to promote meaningful progress.

There's never been more discussion and activity around diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Every week, ever more high-profile statistics, stories and initiatives are swirling around: from gender and ethnicity pay gap differentials to #MeToo fallout, and from the focus on more diverse company boards to the prevalence of company-wide unconscious bias training, it seems that every company and organization has finally grasped that change needs to happen.

Following interviews at over 200 businesses about the irrefutable business case for diversity at work, Sue Unerman, Kathryn Jacob and Mark Edwards have discovered one major problem that is holding back the move towards greater diversity: where are all the men?

The book sets out to understand why more men aren't engaged with D&I initiatives in organizations--at one extreme they may be feeling actively hostile, and threatened by the changing cultural landscape. Others may be unmotivated to change: they may see diversity as a good thing in the abstract but can't see what's in it for them. Many will be open-minded and supportive, while still feeling unsure about what to do.

Belonging will speak to both men and women, because:

- Men need to understand how they can benefit from more diverse cultures and how they can become champions of new ways of working; and
- Women need to have an awareness of where men are right now, and identify the most effective ways of bringing them on board to ensure that diversity initiatives do not fall at the first hurdle.

[book] Backable:
The Surprising Truth Behind
What Makes People Take a Chance on You
by Suneel Gupta, Carlye Adler
February 23, 2021
Little, Brown

A groundbreaking book that boldly claims the key to success is not talent, connections, or ideas, but the ability to persuade people to take a chance on your potential.

"The most exceptional people aren't just brilliant...they're backable." —Daniel Pink, #1 New York Times bestselling author of When, Drive and To Sell is Human

No one makes it alone. But there’s a reason some people can get investors or bosses to believe in them while others cannot. And that reason has little to do with experience, pedigree, or a polished business plan. Backable people seem to have a hidden quality that inspires others to take action. We often chalk this up to natural talent or charisma...either you have “it” or you don’t.

After getting rejected by every investor he pitched, Suneel Gupta had a burning question: Could “it” be learned?

Drawing lessons from hundreds of the world’s biggest thinkers, Gupta discovered how to pitch new ideas in a way that has raised millions of dollars, influenced large-scale change inside massive corporations, and even convinced his eight-year-old daughter to clean her room. Inside Backable are long-held secrets from producers of Oscar-winning films, members of Congress, military leaders, culinary stars, venture capitalists, founders of unicorn-status startups, and executives at iconic companies like Lego, Method, and Pixar.

Backable reveals how the key to success is not charisma, connections, or even your résumé, but rather your ability to persuade others to take a chance on you. This original book will show you how.

Chaim Hilton's JANUARY 2021 SELECTION

[book] Making Great Strategy:
Arguing for Organizational Advantage
by Glenn R. Carroll, Jesper B. Sørensen
(Stanford Business School
JANUARY 26, 2021
Columbia Business School Press

Making strategy requires undertaking major-often irreversible-decisions aimed at long-term success in an uncertain future. All leaders must formulate a clear course of action, yet many lack confidence in their ability to think systematically about their strategy. They struggle to apply the abstract lessons offered by conventional approaches to strategic analysis to their unique contexts.

Making Great Strategy resolves these challenges with a straightforward, readily applicable framework. Jesper B. Sørensen and Glenn R. Carroll show that one factor underlies all sustainably successful strategies: a logically coherent argument that connects resources, capabilities, and environmental conditions to desired outcomes. They introduce a system for formulating and managing strategy through a set of three core activities: visualization, formalization and logic, and constructive argumentation. These activities can be implemented in any organization and are illustrated through examples and case studies from well-known companies such as Apple, Walmart, and The Economist.

This book shows that while great strategic thinking is hard, it is not a mystery. Widely applicable and relevant for managers and leaders at all levels, especially executive teams charged with setting the course of their organizations, it is essential reading for anyone faced with practical problems of strategic management.

Over 90% of Jewish teens in America will enroll in college, and their families will need to save to pay for it
[book] The Price You Pay for College:
An Entirely New Road Map
for the Biggest Financial Decision
Your Family Will Ever Make
by Ron Lieber
(New York Times)
January 26, 2021

The hugely popular New York Times “Your Money” columnist and author of the bestselling The Opposite of Spoiled offers a deeply reported and emotionally honest approach to the biggest financial decision families will ever make: what to pay for college.

Sending a teenager to a flagship state university for four years of on-campus living costs more than $100,000 in many parts of the United States. Meanwhile, many families of freshmen attending selective private colleges will spend triple—over $300,000. With the same passion, smarts, and humor that infuse his personal finance column, Ron Lieber offers a much-needed roadmap to help families navigate this difficult and often confusing journey.

Lieber begins by explaining who pays what and why and how the financial aid system got so complicated. He also pulls the curtain back on merit aid, an entirely new form of discounting that most colleges now use to compete with peers.

While price is essential, value is paramount. So what is worth paying extra for, and how do you know when it exists in abundance at any particular school? Is a small college better than a big one? Who actually does the teaching? Given that every college claims to have reinvented its career center, who should we actually believe? He asks the tough questions of college presidents and financial aid gatekeepers that parents don’t know (or are afraid) to ask and summarizes the research about what matters and what doesn’t.

Finally, Lieber calmly walks families through the process of setting financial goals, explaining the system to their children and figuring out the right ways to save, borrow, and bargain for a better deal.

The Price You Pay for College gives parents the clarity they need to make informed choices and helps restore the joy and wonder the college experience is supposed to represent.

Chaim Hilton's APRIL 2020 SELECTION

[book] The Catalyst:
How to Change Anyone's Mind
by Jonah Berger
Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
March 10, 2020
Simon and Schuster

“Jonah Berger is one of those rare thinkers who blends research-based insights with immensely practical guidance. I am grateful to be one of the many who have learned from this master teacher.” —Jim Collins, author Good to Great, coauthor Built to Last

From the author of New York Times bestsellers Contagious and Invisible Influence comes a revolutionary approach to changing anyone’s mind.

Everyone has something they want to change. Marketers want to change their customers’ minds and leaders want to change organizations. Start-ups want to change industries and nonprofits want to change the world. But change is hard. Often, we persuade and pressure and push, but nothing moves. Could there be a better way?

This book takes a different approach. Successful change agents know it’s not about pushing harder, or providing more information, it’s about being a catalyst. Catalysts remove roadblocks and reduce the barriers to change. Instead of asking, “How could I change someone’s mind?” they ask a different question: “Why haven’t they changed already? What’s stopping them?”

The Catalyst identifies the key barriers to change and how to mitigate them. You’ll learn how catalysts change minds in the toughest of situations: how hostage negotiators get people to come out with their hands up and how marketers get new products to catch on, how leaders transform organizational culture and how activists ignite social movements, how substance abuse counselors get addicts to realize they have a problem, and how political canvassers change deeply rooted political beliefs.

This book is designed for anyone who wants to catalyze change. It provides a powerful way of thinking and a range of techniques that can lead to extraordinary results. Whether you’re trying to change one person, transform an organization, or shift the way an entire industry does business, this book will teach you how to become a catalyst.

FROM the daughter of a secretary to a rabbi on the south side of Chicago, to the nation's top popular financial planner and wahoo fisher:
[book] The Ultimate Retirement Guide for 50+:
Winning Strategies to Make
Your Money Last a Lifetime
by Suze Orman
February 25, 2020
Hay House


Retirement today is more complex than ever before. It is most definitely not your parents' retirement. You will have to make decisions that weren't even part of the picture a generation ago. Without a clear-cut path to manage the money you've saved, you may feel like you're all on your own.

Except you're not—because Suze Orman has your back.

Suze is America's most recognized personal finance expert for a reason. She's been dispensing actionable advice for years to people seeking financial security. Now, in The Ultimate Retirement Guide for 50+, she gives you the no-nonsense advice and practical tools you need to plan wisely for your retirement in today's ever-changing landscape. You'll find new rules for downsizing, spending wisely, delaying Social Security benefits, and more-starting where you are right now.

Suze knows money decisions are never just about money. She understands your hopes, your fears, your wishes, and your desires for your own life as well as for your loved ones. She will guide you on how to let go of regret and fear, and with her unparalleled knowledge and unique empathy, she will reveal practical and personal steps so you can always live your Ultimate Retirement life.

"I wrote this book for you," Suze says. "The worried, the fearful, the anxious. I know you need help navigating the road ahead. I've helped steer people toward happy and secure retirements my whole life, and that's exactly what I want to do for you."

Chaim Hilton's MARCH 2020 SELECTION

[book] The Power of Experiments:
Decision Making in a Data-Driven World
by Michael Luca and Max H. Bazerman
(Harvard Business School)
March 3, 2020

How organizations-including Google, StubHub, Airbnb, and Facebook-learn from experiments in a data-driven world.

Have you logged into Facebook recently? Searched for something on Google? Chosen a movie on Netflix? If so, you've probably been an unwitting participant in a variety of experiments-also known as randomized controlled trials-designed to test the impact of different online experiences. Once an esoteric tool for academic research, the randomized controlled trial has gone mainstream. No tech company worth its salt (or its share price) would dare make major changes to its platform without first running experiments to understand how they would influence user behavior. In this book, Michael Luca and Max Bazerman explain the importance of experiments for decision making in a data-driven world.

Luca and Bazerman describe the central role experiments play in the tech sector, drawing lessons and best practices from the experiences of such companies as StubHub, Alibaba, and Uber. Successful experiments can save companies money-eBay, for example, discovered how to cut $50 million from its yearly advertising budget-or bring to light something previously ignored, as when Airbnb was forced to confront rampant discrimination by its hosts. Moving beyond tech, Luca and Bazerman consider experimenting for the social good-different ways that govenments are using experiments to influence or “nudge” behavior ranging from voter apathy to school absenteeism. Experiments, they argue, are part of any leader's toolkit. With this book, readers can become part of “the experimental revolution.”

[book] Leading in the Digital World:
How to Foster Creativity,
Collaboration, and Inclusivity
(Management on the Cutting Edge)
by Amit S. Mukherjee
(IMD, Hult Business School-Cambridge)
March 3, 2020

The definitive book on leadership in the digital era: why digital technologies call for leadership that emphasizes creativity, collaboration, and inclusivity.

Certain ideas about business leadership are held to be timeless, and certain characteristics of leaders-often including a square jaw, a deep voice, and extroversion-are said to be universal. In Leading in the Digital World, Amit Mukherjee argues that since digital technologies are changing everything else, how could they notchange leadership ideologies and styles? As more people worldwide participate equally in business, those assumptions of a leader's ideal profile have become irrelevant. Offering a radical rethinking of leadership, Mukherjee shows why digital technologies call for a new kind of leader-one who emphasizes creativity, collaboration, and inclusivity.

Drawing on a global survey of 700 mid-tier to senior executives and interviews with C-level executives from around the world, Mukherjee explains how digital technologies are already reshaping organizations and work and what this means for leaders. For example, globally dispersed businesses can't reserve key leadership roles for people from exclusive groups; leadership must become inclusive, or fail. Leaders must learn to collaborate in a multipolar world of networked organizations, working with co-located and non-co-located colleagues. Leaders must lead for creativity rather than productivity. Focusing on practice, Mukherjee outlines goals and strategies, warns against unthinking assumptions, and explains how leaders can identify the mindsets, behaviors, and actions they need to pursue. With Leading in the Digital World, Mukherjee offers the definitive book on leadership for the digital era.

Over two decades, I listened to business leaders and consultants. Rishad's book is perhaps the only one that is sensible and brilliant
[book] Restoring the Soul of Business:
Staying Human in the Age of Data
by Rishad Tobaccowala
HarperCollins Leadership

The hidden key to successful transformation in any organization lies between human intuition and data-driven insights.

Named by Time as a top five marketing innovator, Rishad Tobaccowala draws on research and interviews, as well as over three decades of experience as a business and thought leader, to describe how digilog companies—ones where digital tools and analog people are integrated expertly—develop a hybrid consciousness and learn to be proactive when they see warning signs that human traits are being subordinated to technology and data only decisions.

Restoring the Soul of Business provides practical tools and techniques that every organization can and should implement, and challenges readers to move forward with the kind of balance that catalyzes transformation and produces one great success after another.

Understand how to unleash the significant benefit that can by realized by combining emotion and data, human and machine, analog and digital.
Spot the warning signs of data-blinded companies: cold cultures with little human interaction, poor innovation stemming from stifled employees not encouraged to contribute ideas or insights, and poor customer service due to automated, robotic processes that cause frustration and hurt the brand.
Explore how organizations of various sizes and from different industries, from Walmart and IBM to Starbucks and Domino’s to Netflix and Google, have successfully reoriented their thinking on how to fuse technology and humanity.
Gain skills to become an expert in connections critical to growth and success, including the connection between being creative and using technology, between succeeding today and thriving tomorrow, and between leveraging networks and creating new ideas and approaches.
Everyone working in an organization will find penetrating observations and guidance about how and why establishing the proper balance between human intuition and creativity and data-driven insights can lead to increased revenue, profitability, retention—and even joy—in their careers and business.

Chaim Hilton's OCTOBER 2019 SELECTION

[book] Connect First:
52 Simple Ways to Ignite
Success, Meaning, and Joy at Work
by Melanie A. Katzman, PhD
October 2019

A renowned business psychologist, advisor, and consultant to the world’s leading companies reveals the key to greater success, meaning, and joy at work

Technology has enabled us to be more interconnected today than ever before. So why do so many of us feel isolated and undervalued at work? Why does it feel like something is missing? It doesn’t have to be this way. In these rapidly changing, challenging times, how do we-YOU-develop the intuition, self-awareness, and interpersonal agility required to prosper?

Here’s what we’ve lost track of: organizations are run by people, and people run on emotions. Strong relationships are the bedrock of lasting success, meaning, and joy at work. In this life-changing guide, Dr. Melanie Katzman shows you an impactful approach to connect first as fellow humans, then as coworkers and colleagues, to forge the deep bonds that make a significant difference. Learn how to:

• Establish respect and make others feel valued
• Engage all of your senses to create a truly inclusive culture
• Become popular and be the person everyone wants to work with
• Grow loyalty by making it about them-your coworkers
• Resolve conflicts by remaining curious and open with others
• Fight fear (and prepare for the future) by stepping outside your comfort zone and experimenting with new ideas
• Have a big impact by leveraging your platform, living your values, and leading the change

Dr. Katzman presents 52 actions you can take immediately to create a deeply rewarding work life by connecting to yourself, your organization, and the world at large. These are the same powerful techniques she has used with leaders and employees at the world’s top companies to enhance productivity and foster fulfillment and joy at work-the hallmarks of true success.

Chaim Hilton's AUGUST 2019 SELECTION

[book] Inconspicuous Consumption:
The Environmental Impact
You Don't Know You Have
by Tatiana Schlossberg
August 2019
Grand Central Publishing

From a former New York Times science writer, this urgent call to action will empower you to stand up to climate change and environmental pollution by making simple but impactful everyday choices.

With urgency and wit, Tatiana Schlossberg explains that far from being only a distant problem of the natural world created by the fossil fuel industry, climate change is all around us, all the time, lurking everywhere in our convenience-driven society, all without our realizing it.

By examining the unseen and unconscious environmental impacts in four areas-the Internet and technology, food, fashion, and fuel - Schlossberg helps readers better understand why climate change is such a complicated issue, and how it connects all of us: How streaming a movie on Netflix in New York burns coal in Virginia; how eating a hamburger in California might contribute to pollution in the Gulf of Mexico; how buying an inexpensive cashmere sweater in Chicago expands the Mongolian desert; how destroying forests from North Carolina is necessary to generate electricity in England.

Cataloging the complexities and frustrations of our carbon-intensive society with a dry sense of humor, Schlossberg makes the climate crisis and its solutions interesting and relevant to everyone who cares, even a little, about the planet. She empowers readers to think about their stuff and the environment in a new way, helping them make more informed choices when it comes to the future of our world.

Most importantly, this is a book about the power we have as voters and consumers to make sure that the fight against climate change includes all of us and all of our stuff, not just industry groups and politicians. If we have any hope of solving the problem, we all have to do it together.

Chaim Hilton's JUNE 2019 SELECTION

[book] Secrets of Sand Hill Road:
Venture Capital and How to Get It
by Scott Kupor
June 2019

What are venture capitalists saying about your startup behind closed doors? And what can you do to influence that conversation?

If Silicon Valley is the greatest wealth-generating machine in the world, Sand Hill Road is its humming engine. That's where you'll find the biggest names in venture capital, including famed VC firm Andreessen Horowitz, where lawyer-turned-entrepreneur-turned-VC Scott Kupor serves as managing partner.

Whether you're trying to get a new company off the ground or scale an existing business to the next level, you need to understand how VCs think. In Secrets of Sand Hill Road, Kupor explains exactly how VCs decide where and how much to invest, and how entrepreneurs can get the best possible deal and make the most of their relationships with VCs. Kupor explains, for instance:

• Why most VCs typically invest in only one startup in a given business category.
• Why the skill you need most when raising venture capital is the ability to tell a compelling story.
• How to handle a "down round," when startups have to raise funds at a lower valuation than in the previous round.
• What to do when VCs get too entangled in the day-to-day operations of the business.
• Why you need to build relationships with potential acquirers long before you decide to sell.

Filled with Kupor's firsthand experiences, insider advice, and practical takeaways, Secrets of Sand Hill Road is the guide every entrepreneur needs to turn their startup into the next unicorn.

Chaim Hilton's MAY 2019 SELECTION

[book] Range:
Why Generalists Triumph
in a Specialized World
by David Epstein
MAY 28, 2019

“As David Epstein shows us, cultivating range prepares us for the wickedly unanticipated… a well-supported and smoothly written case on behalf of breadth and late starts.” —Wall Street Journal

Plenty of experts argue that anyone who wants to develop a skill, play an instrument, or lead their field should start early, focus intensely, and rack up as many hours of deliberate practice as possible. If you dabble or delay, you’ll never catch up to the people who got a head start. But a closer look at research on the world’s top performers, from professional athletes to Nobel laureates, shows that early specialization is the exception, not the rule.

David Epstein examined the world’s most successful athletes, artists, musicians, inventors, forecasters and scientists. He discovered that in most fields—especially those that are complex and unpredictable—generalists, not specialists, are primed to excel. Generalists often find their path late, and they juggle many interests rather than focusing on one. They’re also more creative, more agile, and able to make connections their more specialized peers can’t see.

Provocative, rigorous, and engrossing, Range makes a compelling case for actively cultivating inefficiency. Failing a test is the best way to learn. Frequent quitters end up with the most fulfilling careers. The most impactful inventors cross domains rather than deepening their knowledge in a single area. As experts silo themselves further while computers master more of the skills once reserved for highly focused humans, people who think broadly and embrace diverse experiences and perspectives will increasingly thrive.

Chaim Hilton's MARCH 2017 SELECTION

[book] Gen Z @ Work:
How the Next Generation
Is Transforming the Workplace
by David Stillman and
his teenage GenZ son, Jonah Stillman
March 21, 2017

If being a good student and snowboarder in MN doesn’t get you into a good college, then authoring a book and getting on Squawk Box should.

David Stillman specializes in consulting and authoring ideas on the differences (in general terms) on generations of American youth. He wrote “When Generations Collide” and “The M-Factor.”  Now he has teamed up with his 17 year old son, Jonah, to write about “Generation Z” – the Americans who were born between 1995 and 2012.

At 72.8 million strong, Gen Z is about to make its presence known in the workplace in a major way — and employers need to understand the differences that set them apart. The authors assert that they are radically different from the Millennials. They do not feel as entitled, they are not as group/team focused, they are more into individual achievement, and they need to be managed, motivated, and incented differently in the workforce.

The book is based on national studies of Gen Z’s workplace attitudes (note, the oldest are 22 and – in general – are about to graduate from college, if they attended. They are shaped by the 2008 recession, Malala, and The Hunger Games); and on interviews with hundreds of CEOs, celebrities, celebutantes, and thought leaders on generational issues; cutting-edge case studies; and insights from Gen Zers themselves. Gen Z, Jonah Stillman said, is both aware and wary.. .Think more snapchat (which disappears) than Facebook, which lingers forever.

This generation has a unique perspective on careers and how to succeed in the workforce, and Gen Z @ Work introduces these seven distinguishing traits:
• Phigital—The line between the physical and digital worlds for Gen Z hasn’t just been blurred; it’s been completely eliminated. Ninety-one percent of Gen Zers say that a company’s technological sophistication would influence their decision to accept a position with a firm.
• Hyper-Custom—Gen Zers have always worked hard at identifying and tailoring their brands for the world to know. From job titles to career paths, the pressure to customize has been turned up! Fifty-six percent of Gen Zers want to write their own job descriptions.
• Realistic—Growing up with skeptical Gen X parents in the aftermath of 9/11 and the Great Recession has created in Gen Z a very pragmatic mind-set when it comes to preparing for the future.
• FOMO—Gen Zers suffer from an intense fear of missing out on anything. The good news is that they will stay on top of all trends; the bad news is that they will worry they’re not moving ahead fast enough.
• Weconomists—From Uber to Airbnb, Gen Zers have only known a world with a shared economy. They will push to break down internal and external silos like never before.
• DIY—Gen Z is the do-it-yourself generation. Its fierce, independent nature will collide head-on with so many of the collaborative cultures that Millennials have fought for.
• Driven—With parents who drilled into them that there are winners and there are losers, this demographic is one motivated group. Seventy-two percent of Gen Zers say they are competitive with people doing the same job.
Based on the first national studies of Gen Z’s workplace attitudes; interviews with hundreds of CEOs, celebrities, and thought leaders on generational issues; cutting-edge case studies; and insights from Gen Zers themselves, Gen Z @ Work is the first serious, comprehensive examination of what the next generation of workers looks like, and what that means for the rest of us. Gen Z @ Work offers the knowledge today’s leaders need to get ahead of the next gaps in the workplace and how best to recruit, retain, motivate, and manage Gen Zers. Ahead of the curve, Gen Z @ Work is the first comprehensive, serious look at what the next generation of workers looks like, and what that means for the rest of us.
Also.. did I mention that David served on the board of the Minneapolis Jewish Day School? And Jonah, a Senior at Minnetonka HS, and BBYO enthusiast,, is ranked 6th in the US in snowboarding, and has served as an ambassador for the international non-profit Free the Children, traveling to Kenya and Ecuador to build schools.

Chaim Hilton's JANUARY 2017 SELECTION

[book] Superbosses:
How Exceptional Leaders
Master the Flow of Talent
by Sydney Finkelstein
Tuck Business School / Dartmouth
(Phd, Columbia Business School)
Who are the leaders who others follow. Who set the standard?
So many leaders in fashion worked for Ralph Lauren. So many leaders worked for Larry Ellison. Over a hundred of chefs worked for Alice Waters.

A fascinating exploration of the world’s most effective bosses—and how they motivate, inspire, and enable others to advance their companies and shape entire industries, by the author of How Smart Executives Fail. A must-read for anyone interested in leadership and building an enduring pipeline of talent.

What do football coach Bill Walsh, restauranteur Alice Waters, television executive Lorne Michaels, technology CEO Larry Ellison, and fashion pioneer Ralph Lauren have in common? On the surface, not much, other than consistent success in their fields. But below the surface, they share a common approach to finding, nurturing, leading, and even letting go of great people. The way they deal with talent makes them not merely success stories, not merely organization builders, but what Sydney Finkelstein calls superbosses.

After ten years of research and more than two hundred interviews, Finkelstein—an acclaimed professor at Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business, speaker, and executive coach and consultant—discovered that superbosses exist in nearly every industry. If you study the top fifty leaders in any field, as many as one-third will have once worked for a superboss.

While superbosses differ in their personal styles, they all focus on identifying promising newcomers, inspiring their best work, and launching them into highly successful careers—while also expanding their own networks and building stronger companies. Among the practices that distinguish superbosses:

They Create Master-Apprentice Relationships.
Superbosses customize their coaching to what each protégé really needs, and also are constant founts of practical wisdom. Advertising legend Jay Chiat not only worked closely with each of his employees but would sometimes extend their discussions into the night.

They Rely on the Cohort Effect.
Superbosses strongly encourage collegiality even as they simultaneously drive internal competition. At Lorne Michaels’s Saturday Night Live, writers and performers are judged by how much of their material actually gets on the air, but they can’t get anything on the air without the support of their coworkers.

They Say Good-Bye on Good Terms.
Nobody likes it when great employees quit, but superbosses don’t respond with anger or resentment. They know that former direct reports can become highly valuable members of their network, especially as they rise to major new roles elsewhere. Julian Robertson, the billionaire hedge fund manager, continued to work with and invest in his former employees who started their own funds.

By sharing the fascinating stories of superbosses and their protégés, Finkelstein explores a phenomenon that never had a name before. And he shows how each of us can emulate the best tactics of superbosses to create our own powerful networks of extraordinary talent.

Chaim Hilton's DECEMBER 2016 SELECTION

[book] The Undoing Project:
A Friendship That
Changed Our Minds
by Michael Lewis
December 2016
Oxford University Press
How a Nobel Prize–winning theory of the mind altered our perception of reality.

Forty years ago, Israeli psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky wrote a series of breathtakingly original studies undoing our assumptions about the decision-making process. Their papers showed the ways in which the human mind erred, systematically, when forced to make judgments in uncertain situations. Their work created the field of behavioral economics, revolutionized Big Data studies, advanced evidence-based medicine, led to a new approach to government regulation, and made much of Michael Lewis’s own work possible. Kahneman and Tversky are more responsible than anybody for the powerful trend to mistrust human intuition and defer to algorithms.

The Undoing Project is about a compelling collaboration between two men who have the dimensions of great literary figures. They became heroes in the university and on the battlefield?both had important careers in the Israeli military?and their research was deeply linked to their extraordinary life experiences. Amos Tversky was a brilliant, self-confident warrior and extrovert, the center of rapt attention in any room; Kahneman, a fugitive from the Nazis in his childhood, was an introvert whose questing self-doubt was the seedbed of his ideas. They became one of the greatest partnerships in the history of science, working together so closely that they couldn’t remember whose brain originated which ideas, or who should claim credit. They flipped a coin to decide the lead authorship on the first paper they wrote, and simply alternated thereafter.

This story about the workings of the human mind is explored through the personalities of two fascinating individuals so fundamentally different from each other that they seem unlikely friends or colleagues. In the process they may well have changed, for good, mankind’s view of its own mind.

Chaim Hilton's NOVEMBER 2016 SELECTION

[book] Payoff:
The Hidden Logic That
Shapes Our Motivations
by Dan Ariely
November 15, 2016
TED Books
People are committed to work and want to achieve and contribute to a mission. And salaries are a very large expense. Yet many companies end up DE-Motivating their workers through rules and regulations and unnecessary procedures.

What is important is the connection between the person and the company. Ariely says that big cash bonuses are a distraction and block “flow.”

In Payoff: The Hidden Logic That Shapes Our Motivations, Ariely recounts an experiment involving employees at a semiconductor factory at Intel in Israel. Workers got one of those three messages at the start of their workweek (a pizza voucher, a message from the CEO, a $30 bonus), though about a quarter of them got no message and no promise of a bonus (the control group). Ariely measured their output in chips produced.

After the first day, pizza proved to be the top motivator, increasing productivity by 6.7% over the control group, thereby just barely edging out the promise of a compliment (in the form of a text message from the boss that said “Well done!”). Those in the compliment condition increased their productivity by 6.6 percent as compared to the control group. But the worst motivator, much to the company’s surprise, was the cash bonus, which increased productivity by just 4.9 percent as compared to the control group.

Even so, what happened over the next several days was surprising: On the second day of the workweek, those in the money condition performed 13.2 percent worse than those in the control group. This leveled out over the next several days, but for the week overall, the cash bonus ended up costing the company more and resulted in a 6.5 percent drop in productivity. From the employer’s perspective, a cash bonus is worse than offering no incentive at all. As for pizza and compliments… over the course of the workweek, the output of the workers in these conditions slowed a little, becoming by the end of the week closer to the productivity level of the control group (but still better than no incentive). All told, the compliment proved to be the very best motivator, though Ariely thinks that if the experiment had gone the way he wanted, pizza would’ve fared best. (His initial suggestion was to deliver a pizza to the home of any employee who hit their target. “This way … we not only would give them a gift, but we would also make them heroes in the eyes of their families,” he writes.)

It’s a funny, clever little study. But it’s also a rather effective way of looking at what truly motivates people, as the results indicate that people are not moved to work by money alone. Social factors such as gratitude also play a substantial role in happiness and motivation at work; a 2011 review of 50 studies on workplace motivation, for instance, found that people tend to work harder when they felt like their work was being appreciated; performance-based pay incentives, on the other hand, tended to backfire.
Bestselling author Dan Ariely reveals fascinating new insights into motivation—showing that the subject is far more complex than we ever imagined.
Every day we work hard to motivate ourselves, the people we live with, the people who work for and do business with us. In this way, much of what we do can be defined as being “motivators.” From the boardroom to the living room, our role as motivators is complex, and the more we try to motivate partners and children, friends and coworkers, the clearer it becomes that the story of motivation is far more intricate and fascinating than we’ve assumed.
Payoff investigates the true nature of motivation, our partial blindness to the way it works, and how we can bridge this gap. With studies that range from Intel to a kindergarten classroom, Ariely digs deep to find the root of motivation—how it works and how we can use this knowledge to approach important choices in our own lives. Along the way, he explores intriguing questions such as: Can giving employees bonuses harm productivity? Why is trust so crucial for successful motivation? What are our misconceptions about how to value our work? How does your sense of your mortality impact your motivation?

Chaim Hilton's OCTOBER 2016 SELECTION

[book] Earning It:
Hard-Won Lessons from
Trailblazing Women at the
Top of the Business World
by Joann S. Lublin
October 2016

More than fifty trailblazing executive women who broke the corporate glass ceiling offer inspiring and surprising insights and lessons in this essential, in-the-trenches career guide from Joann S. Lublin, a Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist and management news editor for The Wall Street Journal.

One of the first female reporters at the Wall Street Journal, Ms. Lublin created its first career column more than 20 years ago. “Your Executive Career,’’ the advice column she writes now, appears every month. She also writes about issues such as executive compensation, corporate governance, recruiting, and management succession.

Her new book, which includes several chapters of her own stories and grew out of an essay she wrote for an earlier WSJ blog, contains many “funny stories.” Some, however, are more serious, dealing with such issues as sexual harassment. The book is broken down by various topics with stories about many different women and the different ways they cope, whether with sexual harassment, or managing men well, or in facing the ‘career couple conundrum.’ Each chapter ends with leadership lessons drawn from the chapter or from women whose stories have not been included. One lesson, dealing with the career couple conundrum, suggests taking a “tag team approach in deciding whose career takes priority,” with one partner pursuing a professional surge for five years before deferring to the other

Lublin combines her fascinating story of breaking into the WSJ with insightful tales from more than fifty women who reached the highest rungs of the corporate ladder—most of whom became chief executives of public companies —in industries as diverse as retailing, manufacturing, finance, high technology, publishing, advertising, automobiles, and pharmaceuticals. Leaders like Carly Fiorina, former CEO of Hewlett-Packard, as well as Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors, and Brenda Barnes, former CEO of Sara Lee, were the first women to run their huge employers. Earning It reveals obstacles such women faced as they fought to make their mark, choices they made, and battles they won—and lost. She cited “the wonderful Abbe Raven, who wanted to break into the TV business and knew nothing.” Wanting to get a job interview at the startup company that ultimately became A&E, she learned the name of the man she had to talk to “and called the guy five times a day for 10 days. On the tenth day, she did the old trick of calling at 6:30 or 7 at night.” He answered. She later became the CEO at A&E.

Lublin chronicles the major milestones and dilemmas of the work world unique to women, providing candid advice and practical inspiration for women of all ages and at every stage of their careers. The extraordinary women we meet in the pages of Earning It and the hard-won lessons they share provide a compelling career compass that will help all women reach their highest potential without losing a meaningful personal life.

[book] Competing Against Luck:
The Story of Innovation
and Customer Choice
by Clayton M. Christensen (HBS)
and Karen Dillon, Taddy Hall,
and David S. Duncan
October 4, 2016
A HORRIBLE TITLE. It would sell more if they let me change the title
The foremost authority on innovation and growth presents a path-breaking book every company needs to transform innovation from a game of chance to one in which they develop products and services customers not only want to buy, but are willing to pay PREMIUM prices for.

How do companies (or charities, or JCC’s and synagogues) know how to grow?
How can they create products that they are sure customers want to buy?
Can innovation be more than a game of hit and miss? (Do you know how many new products fail, because we think of them competing against other products IN THE PRODUCT CLASS?

Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen has the answer. A generation ago, Christensen revolutionized business with his groundbreaking theory of disruptive innovation. Now, he goes further, offering powerful new insights. After years of research, Christensen and his co-authors have come to one critical conclusion: our long held maxim -- that understanding the customer is the crux of innovation -- is wrong. Customers don't buy products or services; they "HIRE" them to do a job.
YOU DON’T BUY SHAKE at McDONALDS… You HIRE the SHAKE to do a job for you
Do you join NYC’s Temple Emanuel to pray? Or are you HIRING the synagogue and affiliating with it for much deeper needs. And what other things would that compete with?

Understanding customers does not drive innovation success, he argues. Understanding customer jobs does. The "Jobs to Be Done" approach can be seen in some of the world's most respected companies and fast-growing startups, including Amazon, Intuit, Uber, Airbnb, and Chobani yogurt, to name just a few. But this book is not about celebrating these successes--it's about predicting new ones.
Christensen, Hall, Dillon, and Duncan contend that by understanding what causes customers to "hire" a product or service, any business can improve its innovation track record, creating products that customers not only want to hire, but that they'll pay premium prices to bring into their lives. Jobs theory offers new hope for growth to companies frustrated by their hit and miss efforts. This book carefully lays down the authors' provocative framework, providing a comprehensive explanation of the theory and why it is predictive, how to use it in the real world--and, most importantly, how not to squander the insights it provides.

The book is best understood by a project for McDonald’s that was in a Harvard B School working paper in 2011. About 95 percent of new products fail. The problem often is that their creators are using an ineffective market segmentation mechanism. When they should be looking at products the way customers do: as a way to GET A JOB DONE. Why do commuters HIRE A MILK SHAKE? They found that they bought milkshakes not for the taste, but the thickness, since they were cold and last 20 minutes or more during a car commute. When planning new products, companies often start by segmenting their markets and positioning their merchandise accordingly. This segmentation involves either dividing the market into product categories, such as function or price, or dividing the customer base into target demographics, such as age, gender, education, or income level. Unfortunately, neither way works very well. “THE JOBS-TO-BE-DONE POINT OF VIEW CAUSES YOU TO CRAWL INTO THE SKIN OF YOUR CUSTOMER AND GO WITH HER AS SHE GOES ABOUT HER DAY, ALWAYS ASKING THE QUESTION AS SHE DOES SOMETHING: WHY DID SHE DO IT THAT WAY?” The problem is that consumers usually don't go about their shopping by conforming to particular segments. Rather, they take life as it comes. And when faced with a job that needs doing, they essentially "hire" a product to do that job. "The fact that you're 18 to 35 years old with a college degree does not cause you to buy a product," Christensen says. "It may be correlated with the decision, but it doesn't cause it. We developed this idea because we wanted to understand what causes us to buy a product, not what's correlated with it. We realized that the causal mechanism behind a purchase is, 'Oh, I've got a job to be done.' And it turns out that it's really effective in allowing a company to build products that people want to buy."
Background: Hiring A Milkshake
In his MBA course, Christensen shares the story of a fast-food restaurant chain that wanted to improve its milkshake sales. The company started by segmenting its market both by product (milkshakes) and by demographics (a marketer's profile of a typical milkshake drinker). Next, the marketing department asked people who fit the demographic to list the characteristics of an ideal milkshake (thick, thin, chunky, smooth, fruity, chocolaty, etc.). The would-be customers answered as honestly as they could, and the company responded to the feedback. But alas, milkshake sales did not improve.
They did win when they learned to "Integrate Around the Job to be Done." The milkshake was hired in lieu of a bagel or doughnut because it was relatively tidy and appetite-quenching, and because trying to suck a thick liquid through a thin straw gave customers something to do with their boring commute. Understanding the job to be done, the company could then respond by creating a morning milkshake that was even thicker (to last through a long commute) and more interesting (with chunks of fruit) than its predecessor. Christensen also cites the importance of "purpose branding"—building an entire brand around a particular job-to-be-done. Quite simply, purpose branding involves naming the product after the purpose it serves. Kodak, for example, has seen great success with its FunSaver brand of single-use cameras, which performs the job of preserving fun memories. Milwaukee Electric Tool Corp. has cornered the market on reciprocating saws with its trademarked Sawzall, which does the job of helping consumers safely saw through pretty much anything. Its Hole-Hawg drills, which make big holes between studs and joists, are also quite popular. Furthermore, it's difficult for product developers to break the mold when many of their customers organize their store shelves around traditional marketing metrics. Christensen gives the example of a company that developed a novel tool designed to help carpenters with the daunting task of installing a door in a doorframe, a job that usually took several tools to do. But a major home goods store refused to sell the tool because its shelves were organized by product category—and there was no shelf in the store dedicated to the singular job of hanging a door. "Most organizations are already organized around product categories or customer categories," Christensen says, "and therefore people only see opportunities within this little frame that they've stuck you in. So you have to think inside of a category as opposed to getting out. You've just got to make the decision to divorce yourself from the constraints that are arbitrarily created by the design of the old org chart."

Chaim Hilton's JUNE 2016 SELECTION

[book] Chaos Monkeys
Obscene Fortune and Random
Failure in Silicon Valley
by Antonio Garcia Martinez
June 2016
Life in the Silicon Valley for a high flyer
Antonio García Martínez, a former Twitter advisor, Facebook product manager and startup founder/CEO.
Marketing is like sex: only losers pay for it.
Imagine a chimpanzee rampaging through a datacenter powering everything from Google to Facebook. Infrastructure engineers use a software version of this “chaos monkey” to test online services’ robustness—their ability to survive random failure and correct mistakes before they actually occur. Tech entrepreneurs are society’s chaos monkeys, disruptors testing and transforming every aspect of our lives, from transportation (Uber) and lodging (AirBnB) to television (Netflix) and dating (Tinder). One of Silicon Valley’s most audacious chaos monkeys is Antonio García Martínez.
After stints on Wall Street and as CEO of his own startup, García Martínez joined Facebook’s nascent advertising team, turning its users’ data into profit for COO Sheryl Sandberg and chairman and CEO Mark “Zuck” Zuckerberg. Forced out in the wake of an internal product war over the future of the company’s monetization strategy, García Martínez eventually landed at rival Twitter. He also fathered two children with a woman he barely knew, committed lewd acts and brewed illegal beer on the Facebook campus (accidentally flooding Zuckerberg's desk), lived on a sailboat, raced sport cars on the 101, and enthusiastically pursued the life of an overpaid Silicon Valley wastrel.
Now, this smug contrarian unravels the chaotic evolution of social media and online marketing and reveals how it is invading our lives and shaping our future. Weighing in on everything from startups and credit derivatives to Big Brother and data tracking, social media monetization and digital “privacy,” García Martínez shares his scathing observations and outrageous antics, taking us on a humorous, subversive tour of the fascinatingly insular tech industry. Chaos Monkeys lays bare the hijinks, trade secrets, and power plays of the visionaries, grunts, sociopaths, opportunists, accidental tourists, and money cowboys who are revolutionizing our world.

Chaim Hilton's MAY 2016 SELECTION

Chaim Hilton's APRIL 2016 SELECTION

Chaim Hilton's JUNE 2015 SELECTION

Chaim Hilton's JUNE 2015 SELECTION

Chaim Hilton's JUNE 2015 SELECTION

Chaim Hilton's JUNE 2015 SELECTION

Chaim Hilton's JUNE 2015 SELECTION

[book] Misbehaving:
The Making of Behavioral Economics
by Richard H. Thaler
(Univ of Chicago)
May 2015
Get ready to change the way you think about economics.
Richard H. Thaler has spent his career studying the radical notion that the central agents in the economy are humans-predictable, error-prone individuals. Misbehaving is his arresting, frequently hilarious account of the struggle to bring an academic discipline back down to earth-and change the way we think about economics, ourselves, and our world.
Traditional economics assumes rational actors. Early in his research, Thaler realized these Spock-like automatons were nothing like real people. Whether buying a clock radio, selling basketball tickets, or applying for a mortgage, we all succumb to biases and make decisions that deviate from the standards of rationality assumed by economists. In other words, we misbehave. More importantly, our misbehavior has serious consequences. Dismissed at first by economists as an amusing sideshow, the study of human miscalculations and their effects on markets now drives efforts to make better decisions in our lives, our businesses, and our governments.
Coupling recent discoveries in human psychology with a practical understanding of incentives and market behavior, Thaler enlightens readers about how to make smarter decisions in an increasingly mystifying world. He reveals how behavioral economic analysis opens up new ways to look at everything from household finance to assigning faculty offices in a new building, to TV game shows, the NFL draft, and businesses like Uber.
Laced with antic stories of Thaler’s spirited battles with the bastions of traditional economic thinking, Misbehaving is a singular look into profound human foibles. When economics meets psychology, the implications for individuals, managers, and policy makers are both profound and entertaining.

Chaim Hilton's MAY 2015 SELECTION

[book] Triggers:
Creating Behavior That Lasts –
Becoming the Person You Want to Be
by Marshall Goldsmith and Mark Reiter
May 2015
Crown Business
In his powerful new book, bestselling author and world-renowned executive coach Marshall Goldsmith examines the environmental and psychological triggers that can derail us at work and in life.
Do you ever find that you are not the patient, compassionate problem solver you believe yourself to be? Are you surprised at how irritated or flustered the normally unflappable you becomes in the presence of a specific colleague at work? Have you ever felt your temper accelerate from zero to sixty when another driver cuts you off in traffic?
As Marshall Goldsmith points out, our reactions don’t occur in a vacuum. They are usually the result of unappreciated triggers in our environment—the people and situations that lure us into behaving in a manner diametrically opposed to the colleague, partner, parent, or friend we imagine ourselves to be. These triggers are constant and relentless and omnipresent. The smell of bacon wafts up from the kitchen, and we forget our doctor’s advice on lowering our cholesterol. Our phone chirps, and we glance instinctively at the glaring screen instead of looking into the eyes of the person we are with. So often the environment seems to be outside our control. Even if that is true, as Goldsmith points out, we have a choice in how we respond.
In Triggers, his most powerful and insightful book yet, Goldsmith shows how we can overcome the trigger points in our lives, and enact meaningful and lasting change.
Change, no matter how urgent and clear the need, is hard. Knowing what to do does not ensure that we will actually do it. We are superior planners, says Goldsmith, but become inferior doers as our environment exerts its influence through the course of our day. We forget our intentions. We become tired, even depleted, and allow our discipline to drain down like water in a leaky bucket. In Triggers, Goldsmith offers a simple “magic bullet” solution in the form of daily self-monitoring, hinging around what he calls “active” questions. These are questions that measure our effort, not our results. There’s a difference between achieving and trying; we can’t always achieve a desired result, but anyone can try. In the course of Triggers, Goldsmith details the six “engaging questions” that can help us take responsibility for our efforts to improve and help us recognize when we fall short.
Filled with revealing and illuminating stories from his work with some of the most successful chief executives and power brokers in the business world, Goldsmith offers a personal playbook on how to achieve change in our lives, make it stick, and become the person we want to be.
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Chaim Hilton's MARCH 2015 SELECTION

[book] Leadership is Half the Story:
A Fresh Look at Followership,
Leadership, and Collaboration
(Rotman-UTP Publishing)
by Marc Hurwitz and Samantha Hurwitz
University of Toronto Press
Can you imagine a choreographer only training one dancer to lead while his or her partner sits in the lobby staring at the wall? Yet we do this all the time in organizations. Half the partnership is missing.
Leadership is Half the Story introduces the first model to seamlessly integrate leadership, followership, and partnerships. This research-backed, field-tested book contributes many new ideas and practical advice for everyone in an organization – from CEO to HR director to front-line manager to consultant.
All of us lead, not just those with the formal title. All of us follow, not just front-line staff. In great collaborations, one moment we are leading and then we flip to following; in other words, the relationship between leadership and followership is dynamic, context-specific, and ever-evolving. This empowering perspective opens up leadership to everyone, normalizes followership, and enables more productive and innovative collaborations. Candid discussions about both roles allow for better coaching, mentoring, skill development, and interpersonal agility, and result in stronger teams.
Marc and Samantha Hurwitz give us a category-busting book that “practically glows with energy and vision,” according to Marshall Goldsmith, executive coach and best-selling author of What Got You Here Won’t Get You There.
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[book] Wonder Women
Sex, Power, and the Quest for Perfection
by Debora L. Spar
(President of Barnard University)
September 2014
S. Crichton
President Spar – she might not be Jewish, but she grew up in Rye, and Rye is a Jewish bread. So there. (Plus she went to Edmund A. Walsh)
Spar wrote the Abramson Effect, about women who are placed in very high positions, but fired quickly afterwards

Fifty years after the Equal Pay Act, why are women still living in a man’s world? Debora L. Spar never thought of herself as a feminist. Raised after the tumult of the 1960s, she presumed the gender war was over. As one of the youngest female professors to be tenured at Harvard Business School and a mother of three, she swore to young women that they could have it all. “We thought we could just glide into the new era of equality, with babies, board seats, and husbands in tow,” she writes. “We were wrong.”
Now she is the president of Barnard College, arguably the most important all-women’s college in the United States. And in Wonder Women: Sex, Power, and the Quest for Perfection—a fresh, wise, original book— she asks why do women still feel stuck. She explores how American women’s lives have—and have not—changed over the past fifty years. Armed with reams of new research, she details how women struggled for power and instead got stuck in an endless quest for perfection. The challenges confronting women are more complex than ever, and they are challenges that come inherently and inevitably from being female. Spar is acutely aware that it’s time to change course
PW said, “Barnard College president Spar skillfully addresses the state of feminism and suggests that, despite historic gains in education, the workforce, and equal rights, American women suffer under ‘an excruciating set of mutually exclusive expectations’ resulting, paradoxically, from the proliferation of options that feminism made possible. Drawing on her experiences as well as extensive research, Spar lucidly traces how the movement's ‘expansive and revolutionary’ political goals have evolved into a set of ‘vast and towering expectations’ that trouble women at every stage of their lives. Wisely forgoing hostility or blame, Spar finds women struggling, if anything, with the fantasy of ‘having it all.’ ‘We're doing this to ourselves,’ she writes, addressing, among other topics: the explosion of toddler princesses; eating disorders and hyperachievement among adolescents; the hookup habits of young adults; the ‘adoration of pregnancy’; competitive mothering; and the lucrative wedding, diet, and plastic surgery industries. Her solutions call for sanity and simplicity: to kill ‘the myths of female perfection’ and recommit to the goals of early feminism, abandoning the ‘individualized quest’ in favor of organizational and collective change. Tactfully navigating heated debates and effectively contextualizing historical trends and contemporary problems, Spar's book will be welcomed by readers who envision a world ‘driven by women's skills and interests and passions as much as by men's.’”
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Chaim Hilton's AUGUST 2014 SELECTION

[book] The Organized Mind
Thinking Straight in the Age of
Information Overload
by Daniel J. Levitin
August 2014
New York Times bestselling author and neuroscientist Daniel J. Levitin shifts his keen insights from your brain on music to your brain in a sea of details.
Levitan grew up in the SF Bay Area and attended Berklee in Boston. He left school to work with many music bands, including Blue Oyster Club and Steeley Dan. He returned to school and graduated at the top of his class, and now teaches in Montreal
Music is data, as are numbers, ideas, ands words. The information age is drowning us with an unprecedented deluge of data. At the same time, we’re expected to make more—and faster—decisions about our lives than ever before. No wonder, then, that the average American reports frequently losing car keys or reading glasses, missing appointments, and feeling worn out by the effort required just to keep up.
But somehow some people become quite accomplished at managing information flow.
In The Organized Mind, Daniel J. Levitin, PhD, uses the latest brain science to demonstrate how those people excel—and how readers can use their methods to regain a sense of mastery over the way they organize their homes, workplaces, and time.
With lively, entertaining chapters on everything from the kitchen junk drawer to health care to executive office workflow, Levitin reveals how new research into the cognitive neuroscience of attention and memory can be applied to the challenges of our daily lives. This Is Your Brain on Music showed how to better play and appreciate music through an understanding of how the brain works. The Organized Mind shows how to navigate the churning flood of information in the twenty-first century with the same neuroscientific perspective.

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Chaim Hilton's JULY 2014 SELECTION

[book] Start with Why
How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone
to Take Action
by Simon Sinek
It is an old idea. But most ideas are old
It is redundant and repackaged, but just read the beginning
WHY – Why does your group exist, purpose. People buy WHY you do it

Simon Sinek – who teaches strategic communication at Columbia – says that successful people have a common trait of they all think, act, and communicate in the exact same way - and that this way is to be the complete opposite of what everyone else does. People like Martin Luther King Jr., Steve Jobs, and the Wright Brothers might have little in common, but they all started with WHY. But isnt this a tautology? That they are successful because they became successful with a new idea? What about the millions of people who think differently who never succeed and are just seen as crazy
Drawing on a wide range of real-life stories, Sinek weaves together a clear vision of what it truly takes to lead and inspire (if you are clear and have a good idea).
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Chaim Hilton's JUNE 2014 SELECTION

Peacetime CEO's have a contingency plan.
Wartime CEO's knows that sometimes you gotta roll a hard six.
The success equation is easy: the hard thing is execution.
Peacetime CEO knows that proper protocol leads to winning. Wartime CEO violates protocol in order to win.
Peacetime CEO focuses on the big picture and empowers her people to make detailed decisions. Wartime CEO cares about a speck of dust on a gnat’s ass if it interferes with the prime directive.
Peacetime CEO builds scalable, high volume recruiting machines. Wartime CEO does that, but also builds HR organizations that can execute layoffs.
Peacetime CEO spends time defining the culture. Wartime CEO lets the war define the culture.
Peacetime CEO always has a contingency plan. Wartime CEO knows that sometimes you gotta roll a hard six.
Peacetime CEO knows what to do with a big advantage. Wartime CEO is paranoid.
Peacetime CEO strives not to use profanity. Wartime CEO sometimes uses profanity purposefully.
Peacetime CEO thinks of the competition as other ships in a big ocean that may never engage. Wartime CEO thinks the competition is sneaking into her house and trying to kidnap her children.
Peacetime CEO aims to expand the market. Wartime CEO aims to win the market.
Peacetime CEO strives to tolerate deviations from the plan when coupled with effort and creativity. Wartime CEO is completely intolerant.
Peacetime CEO does not raise her voice. Wartime CEO rarely speaks in a normal tone.
Peacetime CEO works to minimize conflict. Wartime CEO heightens the contradictions.
Peacetime CEO strives for broad based buy in. Wartime CEO neither indulges consensus-building nor tolerates disagreements.
[book] The Hard Thing About Hard Things:
Building a Business When There Are
No Easy Answers
By Ben Horowitz of Andreesen Horowitz
Harper Business


Ben Horowitz, cofounder of Andreessen Horowitz and one of Silicon Valley's most respected and experienced entrepreneurs, offers essential advice on building and running a startup—practical wisdom for managing the toughest problems business school doesn’t cover, based on his popular ben’s blog.
Every entrepreneur wold love to get advice from Ben.
This is your chance to get his advice for just a few bucks

While many people talk about how great it is to start a business, very few are honest about how difficult it is to run one. Ben Horowitz analyzes the problems that confront leaders every day, sharing the insights he’s gained developing, managing, selling, buying, investing in, and supervising technology companies. A lifelong rap fanatic, he amplifies business lessons with lyrics from his favorite songs, telling it straight about everything from firing friends to poaching competitors, cultivating and sustaining a CEO mentality to knowing the right time to cash in.
Filled with his trademark humor and straight talk, The Hard Thing About Hard Things is invaluable for veteran entrepreneurs as well as those aspiring to their own new ventures, drawing from Horowitz's personal and often humbling experiences.
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Chaim Hilton's MAY 2014 SELECTION

Maybe brands are diminishing. Maybe you are wasting your money to build brand loyalty. You should focus on the product and the features and not the brand image. According to these professors, the influencers and online reviews are more powerful than the brand preference. This is reality. You need to study what the reviewers are saying and who the most valuable reviewers are:

[book] Absolute Value
What Really Influences Customers
in the Age of (Nearly) Perfect Information
by Itamar Simonson and Emanuel Rosen
Harper Business
Going against conventional marketing wisdom, Absolute Value reveals what really influences customers today and offers a new framework—the Influence Mix, a totally new way of thinking about consumer decision making and marketing, and about developing more effective business strategies.
How people buy things has changed profoundly—yet the fundamental thinking about consumer decision-making and marketing has not. Most marketers still believe that they can shape consumers’ perception and drive their behavior. In this provocative book, Stanford professor Itamar Simonson and bestselling author Emanuel Rosen show why current mantras are losing their relevance. When consumers base their decisions on reviews from other users, easily accessed expert opinions, price comparison apps, and other emerging technologies, everything changes.
Absolute Value answers the pressing questions of how to influence customers in this new age. Simonson and Rosen point out the old-school marketing concepts that need to change and explain how a company should design its communication strategy, market research program, and segmentation strategy in the new environment. Filled with deep analysis, case studies, and cutting-edge research, this forward-looking book provides a totally new way of thinking about marketing.
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Chaim Hilton's APRIL 2014 SELECTION

[book] How to Succeed in Business
Without Really Crying
Lessons from a life in Comedy
by Carol Leifer (A)
April 2014
Quirk Books
A lot of college graduates get a copy of Dr. Seuss’s Oh The Place You’ll Go. It is about as helpful as saying “plastics.” This is the book for every college grad entering the workforce, whether it be as a writer, banker, admin assistant, proctologist, artist, or whatever. How should you network. How should you not screw over people; How to be nice to waiters, since one day they might be writers, producers, actors, or fans; How to go up to celebrities that you know, even if they can’t remember how you spent a night drinking together; How to interview and ask questions, dress appropriately, write personalized thank-you notes, be reasonable, and be willing to offer assistance on scripts for free, since it might lead to a paying gig.

For many years, television comedy was an exclusive all boys’ club — until a brilliant comedian named Carol Leifer came along, blazing a trail for funny women everywhere. (a little hyperbole, since there was Joan Rivers, Totie Fields, Lucille Ball, and a few others, but they were not really doing stand-up that way Carol started out in the 1970s/80s)
Carol Leifer (rhymes with Reefer) grew up on Long Island. Her parents played all the important comedy record albums of the time: from Mel Brooks to Mickey Katz. They let Carol stay up late to watch the great comics on Ed Sullivan. They drove her into Manhattan to eat at the same West Village bistro as her idol – Soupy Sales (what kind of parents did that sort of stuff? Great ones.)
When she went to what is now called SUNY Binghamton for college, her dormitory floor-mate was a guy named Paul Reiser. He became a friend and boyfriend. They both did acting and stand-up, and came down to NYC on Route 80 for gigs. There they met two up and coming comics: Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld. Carol’s father supported her decision to drop out of college to pursue stand-up, striking while the iron was hot.
From gigs at brick-walled comedy shops and campuses, where being a woman was a novelty, but also – as Carol explains - a strength, (but also flypaper for the heckling of drunk college guys), Leifer worked her way up the stand-up comedy ladder. She also landed writing spots. From Late Night with David Letterman and Saturday Night Live to Seinfeld and Larry Sanders, from co-creating The Ellen Show to writing for seven Oscar’s and Modern Family, Carol has written for and/or performed on some of the best TV comedies. She even got her own situation comedy which was well reviewed, but hey, it was on the WB channel, and most Americans did not even know that channel existed
In very short chapters, Carol shares her experiences and anecdotes and teaches important career lessons. She shares successes and also the errors that led to temporary downfalls. Can you ever rest? Unlikely. Even though she has written for The Oscars more than half a dozen times, she still needs to audition. Should you burn a bridge after getting rejected by the Larry Sanders Show? No way. Her graciousness ended up landing her a writing gig after the other finalist candidate didn’t work out.
Carol shares how her first interview in Manhattan was a failure and the silly errors she made. She scored a writing job on Saturday Night Live and was loved by her direct bosses, but she was invisible to the Captain of the ship, Lorne Michaels. Big career error. I wish I had read this book decades ago, so I would not have made the same errors.
Part memoir, part guide to life, and all incredibly funny, HTSIB-WR-Crying offers tips and tricks for getting ahead, finding your way, and opening doors — even if you have to use a sledgehammer.
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Chaim Hilton's MARCH 2014 SELECTION

[book] Things a Little Bird Told Me
Confessions of the Creative Mind
by Biz Stone
April 1, 2014
Grand Central
I can be snarky or just plain envious.
Why is the publication date April Fool’s Day?
Why would a guy who dropped out of school to be a book cover designer for Little Brown in Boston have this as his book cover?
If – as a child – the adult neighbor really built the alarm-mat, why does Biz Stone still think in his mind that HE made it himself as a kid?
Why would you move to SF and live in a 6 floor walk DOWN and not think it is possible to break a lease and move to a more convenient apartment?

The guy obviously thinks differently and doesn’t easily fit in

But yet maybe it is these people who succeed and can teach us

Nevertheless why be snarky. Enjoy the ride, enjoy the book.
The stories are great and enlightening. If I was ever able to interview at Google, I would use Biz Stone’s style in a heartbeat
Biz Stone is a co-founder of Twitter. IN this memoir he discusses the power of his creativity and how he harnessed his and how you could do the same. I must admit that in the beginning of the book, I hardly believed he was a Twitter co-founded and thought it was a boast
In Biz Stone's world:

-Opportunity can be manufactured. Ask for the job you want. Act like you already have the job
-Great work comes from abandoning a linear way of thinking. People who don’t think like the norm or as schools taught have the chance to succeed by leveraging their difference
-Creativity never runs out
-Asking questions is free
-Empathy is core to personal and global success (although at times he doesn’t seem too empathetic

In this book, Biz also addresses failure, the value of vulnerability, ambition, and corporate culture. Whether seeking behind-the-scenes stories, advice, or wisdom and principles from one of the most successful businessmen of the new century, THINGS A LITTLE BIRD TOLD ME satisfies.
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Chaim Hilton's FEBRUARY 2014 SELECTION

[book] Absolute Value
What Really Influences Customers in
the Age of (Nearly) Perfect Information
by Itamar Simonson and Emanuel Rosen
February 2014
Harper Business
In the past, you made decisions in relative terms. If marketers showed you three items, you chose the middle item, relational values.
Now custimers use many variables. Reviews matter. Honest authentic influencers matter on the product. Celebrities matter. Past experience matter. Do BRANDS matter? LOYALTY BRANDS AND PERSUASION is diminishing. Who are the most influential reviewers? Who are the opinion leaders and taste makers?
What can a marketer do? Study ABSOLUTE VALUE

Going against conventional marketing wisdom, Absolute Value reveals what really influences customers today and offers a new framework—the Influence Mix, a totally new way of thinking about consumer decision making and marketing, and about developing more effective business strategies.
How people buy things has changed profoundly—yet the fundamental thinking about consumer decision-making and marketing has not. Most marketers still believe that they can shape consumers’ perception and drive their behavior. In this provocative book, Stanford professor Itamar Simonson and bestselling author Emanuel Rosen show why current mantras are losing their relevance. When consumers base their decisions on reviews from other users, easily accessed expert opinions, price comparison apps, and other emerging technologies, everything changes.

In a study, participants were asked which of three Canon cameras they’d like to buy. Before deciding, they were allowed to spend a few minutes reading user reviews and other information about these and other cameras on The researchers found that when study subjects had only two choices, most chose the less expensive camera with fewer features. But when given three choices, most chose the middle one. Dr. Simonson called it the “COMPROMISE EFFECT” — the idea that consumers will gravitate to the middle of the options presented to them. The study showed how marketers could manipulate consumers. Just by presenting three differently priced options, they could get consumers to gravitate to a midprice one from a less expensive one (That is how I bought the medium SodaStream that is made in Israel.
This finding further led Dr. Simonson to describe widespread “irrational” behavior by consumers who made decisions not based on a product’s actual value but on how the item was presented relative to other products. In the new experiment consumers could have a glimpse at Amazon. That made a huge difference. When given three camera options, consumers didn’t gravitate en masse to the midprice version. Rather, the least expensive one kept its share and the middle one lost more to the most expensive one. The compromise effect was gone when faced with REVIEWS. Today, products are being evaluated more on their “absolute value” and not the relative value. Brand names mean less. But consumer can be manipulated through reviews.
Absolute Value answers the pressing questions of how to influence customers in this new age.
Simonson and Rosen point out the old-school marketing concepts that need to change and explain how a company should design its communication strategy, market research program, and segmentation strategy in the new environment. Filled with deep analysis, case studies, and cutting-edge research, this forward-looking book provides a totally new way of thinking about marketing.

Itamar Simonson is the Sebastian S. Kresge Professor of Marketing at the Graduate School of Business, Stanford University. He received his first degree from Hebrew University I n1976 and an MBA from UCLA. He worked for Motorola in marketing for a few years. You are probably familiar with his study on the preference for medium pillows. He argued that that much of the evidence for preference construction reflects people's difficulty in evaluating absolute attribute values and tradeoffs and their tendency to gravitate to available relative evaluations. He suggests that it is often meaningful and useful to assume that people are non/receptive to certain aspects and object configurations, including those that may not yet exist. Inherent preferences are more influential when reference points and forces of construction are less salient, most notably, when objects are experienced.
Emanuel Rosen is the author of “The Anatomy of Buzz” (Doubleday, 2000) and “The Anatomy of Buzz Revisited” (Doubleday, 2009). Prior to writing these books, he was VP Marketing at Niles Software where he was responsible for launching and marketing the company’s flagship product EndNote. He started his career as a copywriter in Israel. He received an MBA from the University of San Francisco and lives in Menlo Park, California.
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Chaim Hilton's JANUARY 2014 SELECTION

[book] ON THE EDGE
January 2014
Grand Central
On the Edge is an engaging leadership manual that provides concrete insights garnered from various extreme environments ranging from Mt Everest to the South Pole. By reflecting on the lessons learned from her various expeditions, author Alison Levine makes the case that the leadership principles that apply in extreme adventure sport also apply in today's extreme business environments. Both settings require you to be able to make crucial decisions on the spot when the conditions around you are far from perfect. Your survival - and the survival of your team-depend on it. On the Edge provides a framework to help people scale whatever big peaks they aspire to climb-be they literal or figurative-by offering practical, humorous, and often unorthodox advice about how to grow as a leader.
Alison Levine has climbed the highest peak on each of the seven continents.  She has skied to both the North and South Poles.  Levine is a former Associate at Goldman Sachs; and she is the team captain of the first American Women’s Everest Expedition. She is an adjunct lecturer at the US Military Academy at West Point, and has an MBA from Duke.
Levine hails from Phoenix. Born in 1966, her father was an FBI agent but was shunned after he spoke out against J. Edgar Hoover. She has achieved the educational, career, and physical stamina highlights even though she suffered from a congenital heart illness and Raynaud’s Disease.
Funny story: Levine was a restaurant hostess in college in Arizona and convinced some Mattel exec who were dining there to give her an internship. To help finance her college education, Levine founded a start-up to source and sell logoed items to various groups and associations on multiple college campuses. After college, Levine worked for Allergan and then Iridex. For three years, she worked as a deputy finance director for Arnold Schwarzenegger campaign to be governor of California

An account of her visit to the Jewish Federation of Washington DC: When first asked to be the team captain of the first American Women’s Everest Expedition, Levine originally said, “no.” But after 9/11/2001, Levine realized, you can’t let fear keep you from doing what you want to do and accepted the role as team captain. However, the hard part was just beginning. She needed to find the funds to buy the needed equipment to make it to the top of Everest. It just so happened that her expedition coincided with the launch of the Ford Expedition, providing perfect marketing for the full-size SUV. Levine jokes that she is glad it worked out with Ford because she was also in talks with Chevy whose full-size SUV was named the Avalanche… Much better to go with the Expedition than the Avalanche when climbing a mountain. With her team and funding secured, it came time to climb the mountain. Climbing Mt. Everest typically takes two months. Starting at the base camp, a team will climb to Camp I and spend a night there. After that night, they will climb back down to base camp and let their bodies recover. Next, they will climb up to Camp II and then, after spending some time there, climb back down to base camp again. They then repeat this process with Camp III. The repeated trips are necessary because the body starts to degenerate after 18,000 ft. above sea level and the back and forth between the camps allows the body to adjust to the air pressure. Levine admits that this process, constantly having to go backwards, can be mentally frustrating. The important thing, she continues, is to remember that even when you are going backwards, you are still making progress- sometimes you have to go backwards to get where you want to be.
At the Khumbu Icefall (located between Base Camp and Camp I at the head of the Khumbu glacier), Levine learned that “Fear is okay, complacency is what will kill you.” The fear keeps you on the edge of your game, aware of your surroundings. The fear gets you across the icefall alive.
At Camp IV, her team reached the death zone. Altitudes above 26,000 ft. are considered to be in the death zone, the height at which the body begins to die. At this point, the climbers must take ten to fifteen breaths for every step they take. Ten to fifteen breaths. For one step. Insane. This is also the point at which Levine began to freak out. She told herself, “I just need to make it to that piece of ice.” Then, when she had reached that piece of ice, “I just need to make it to that rock.” When she was ready to give up, she told herself, “Just make it to the next landmark.” The task ahead can seem overwhelming if you look at it as a whole, but breaking it into smaller parts makes it manageable, and that is how Levine moved through the death zone.
About 500 ft. from the summit, the situation began to change. Storm clouds appeared, and the weather conditions quickly worsened. Levine’s team had to choose between moving forward and risking their lives in the storm, or turning around and abandoning their summit attempt. A team only gets one chance at the summit because they only bring enough supplies to make it through the death zone once-turning back meant losing the chance to reach the top. Making the decision to turn back was harder than continuing on for Levine, but she had to think of the members of her team. You can’t always stick to the plan and action must be taken based on the situation at the time. Levine’s teamed turned around, and in the end they made it back down the mountain with their lives. (Levine made it to the summit 8 years later)
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Chaim Hilton's DECEMBER 2013 SELECTION

[book] Mandela's Way
Lessons on Life, Love, and Courage
by Richard Stengel
Preface by Nelson Mandela
Michael Gould, the retiring CEO and Chief Merchandiser of Bloomingdale’s recommended that I read this book. He picked it up a few years ago at a bookstore while waiting for his son, and read it, felt inspired, gave it to some colleagues, who gave it to more.. etc etc.. and now all senior manager and junior managers read it. He has probably purchased 3000 copies, but not from me, of course.
A compact, profoundly inspiring book that captures the spirit of Nelson Mandela, distilling the South African leader’s wisdom into 15 vital life lessons. We long for heroes and have too few. Nelson Mandela, who died in 2013 at the age of ninety-five, is the closest thing the world has to a secular saint. He liberated a country from a system of violent prejudice and helped unite oppressor and oppressed in a way that had never been done before.
Richard Stengel has distilled countless hours of intimate conversations with Mandela into fifteen essential life lessons. For nearly three years, including the critical period when Mandela moved South Africa toward the first democratic elections in its history, Stengel collaborated with Mandela on his autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom, and traveled with him everywhere. Eating with him, watching him campaign, hearing him think out loud, Stengel came to know all the different sides of this complex man and became a cherished friend and colleague.
In Mandela’s Way, Stengel recounts the moments in which “the grandfather of South Africa” was tested and shares the wisdom he learned: why courage is more than the absence of fear, why we should keep our rivals close, why the answer is not always either/or but often “both,” how important it is for each of us to find something away from the world that gives us pleasure and satisfaction—our own garden. Woven into these life lessons are remarkable stories—of Mandela’s childhood as the protégé of a tribal king, of his early days as a freedom fighter, of the twenty-seven-year imprisonment that could not break him, and of his fulfilling remarriage at the age of eighty. This uplifting book captures the spirit of this extraordinary man—warrior, martyr, husband, statesman, and moral leader—and spurs us to look within ourselves, reconsider the things we take for granted, and contemplate the legacy we’ll leave behind.

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Chaim Hilton's APRIL 2013 SELECTION

[book] SIMPLE
Conquering the Crisis of Complexity
By Alan Siegel and Irene Etzkorn
April 2013
What is simple?
the cover art.
NYC's introduction of 311 instead of hundreds of phone numbers
For decades, Alan Siegel and Irene Etzkorn have championed simplicity as a competitive advantage and a consumer right. Consulting with businesses and organizations around the world to streamline products, services, processes and communications, they have achieved dramatic results.
Siegelvision's clients were the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation, the new NYC Tech campus of Cornell, the John Jay College of Criminal Justice at the City University of New York, the Legal Aid Society, the Lupus Foundation of America, New York University and Phoenix House. Siegel, 74, worked for MasterCard, USX and Xerox as well as for efforts to simplify the way corporations and government agencies communicate with consumers through initiatives like its annual Global Brand Simplicity Index survey.
In SIMPLE, the culmination of their work together, Siegel and Etzkorn show us how having empathy, striving for clarity, and distilling your message can reduce the distance between company and customer, hospital and patient, government and citizen-and increase your bottom line. Examining the best and worst practices of an array of organizations big and small-including the IRS, Google, Philips, Trader Joe's, Chubb Insurance, and ING Direct, and many more - Siegel and Etzkorn recast simplicity as a mindset, a design aesthetic, and a writing technique.
Their examples? Why did the Flip lose to the iPhone? How did the Cleveland Clinic succeed, improve care and generate increased revenue? How OXO designed a measuring cup that sold a million units in its first 18 months on the market? Where Target got the idea for their "ClearRX" prescription system?
By exposing the overly complex things we encounter every day, SIMPLE reveals the reasons we allow confusion to persist, inspires us to seek clarity, and explores how social media is empowering consumers to demand simplicity. The next big idea in business is SIMPLE.

Chaim Hilton's AUGUST 2012 SELECTION

[book] Oy Vey! Isn't A Strategy
25 Solutions for Personal and Professional Success
A Paperback from
Deborah Grayson Riegel, MSW
2012, Behrman House
A book with practical advice.
Even if you get two ideas from the book for your career, it is worth the purchase
What if you had a personal coach in your back pocket, ready to help you navigate the inevitable oy veys that pop up in work and life? Now you do. In her book, Oy Vey! Isn't a Strategy: 25 Solutions for Personal and Professional Success, professional coach, speaker and writer Deborah Grayson Riegel offers practical, insightful and applicable tips and tools - along with a generous sprinkling of Jewish wisdom - to use at work and at home.

A few years ago, the author started sending e-mail newsletters to the people she had met over the years who had participated in workshops of mine – just to keep in touch. These newsletters started to circulate and she got even wider exposure when she became a columnist at NY Jewish Week. She wanted to be able to help people who really needed new perspectives, outlooks or strategies on real problems, plus her mother was nudging her, "So, when are you going to write a book?" SO she did.

Deborah Grayson Riegel, MSW, is a certified coach. One of her companies is She has coached managers at American Express, Discover Financial,, Pfizer, and several Jewish federations and synagogues. She was a visiting Professor of Executive Communication for the Beijing International MBA Program at Peking University, where she teaches senior leaders from multinational corporations how to present themselves and their ideas with polish, passion and professionalism in the growing global marketplace. Deborah is also the former Director of Education and Training for the Mandel Center for Leadership Excellence at the Jewish Federations of North America, where she designed and developed a full roster of training programs for Jewish professional and volunteer leaders.

Chaim Hilton's JULY 2012 SELECTION

[book] The Hour Between Dog and Wolf
Risk Taking, Gut Feelings and the Biology of Boom and Bust
By John Coates, PhD (Cambridge)
Summer 2012, Penguin
I think this book has implications for the Jewish community
The thesis is that top brokers and Wall Street professionals, movers and shakers, money men (and women) have risky behaviors in order to get highs and make money.
These people create great wealth, and now let me take this a step further
they then contribute funds to Jewish institutions and get seats on their boards.
Will they make risky choices in these leadership positions the same way they do in their business careers? It is worth a look? And therefore, this book is of interest to me, and perhaps you.

Dr. Coates was a successful Wall Street trader at Deutsche Bank and had a PhD in Economics. Now he is a Cambridge neuroscientist who reveals the biology of boom and bust and how risk taking transforms our body chemistry, driving us to extremes of euphoria and risky behavior or stress and depression.
The laws of financial boom and bust, it turns out, have more than a little to do with male hormones. In a series of groundbreaking experiments, Dr. John Coates identified a feedback loop between testosterone and success that dramatically lowers the fear of risk in men, especially younger men—significantly, the fear of risk is not reduced in women. Similarly, intense failure leads to a rise in levels of cortisol, the antitestosterone hormone that lowers the appetite for risk across an entire spectrum of decisions.
Coates had set out to prove what was already a strong intuition from his previous life: Before he became a world-class neuroscientist, Coates ran a derivatives desk in New York. As a successful trader on Wall Street, "the hour between dog and wolf" was the moment traders transformed-they would become revved up, exuberant risk takers, when flying high, or tentative, risk-averse creatures, when cowering from their losses. Coates understood instinctively that these dispositions were driven by body chemistry-and then he proved it.
The Hour Between Dog and Wolf expands on Coates's own research to offer lessons from the entire exploding new field-the biology of risk. Risk concentrates the mind-and the body-like nothing else, altering our physiology in ways that have profound and lasting effects. What's more, biology shifts investors' risk preferences across the business cycle and can precipitate great change in the marketplace. Though Coates's research concentrates on traders, his conclusions shed light on all types of high-pressure decision making-from the sports field to the battlefield. The Hour Between Dog and Wolf leaves us with a powerful recognition: To handle risk in a "highly evolved" way isn't a matter of mind over body; it's a matter of mind and body working together. We all have it in us to be transformed from dog into wolf; the only question is whether we can understand the causes and the consequences.

Chaim Hilton's JUNE 2012 SELECTION

[book] For Better or For Work
A Survival Guide for Entrepreneurs and Their Families
By Meg Cadoux Hirshberg, Stonyfield Farms
March 2012, Inc.
People celebrate business leaders
but what about their families?
What toll is paid by spouses and kids?

People see Stonyfield products on their shelves and think it was a success from day one. It took nearly a decade to get on its feet, and that caused a lot of stress

Read this to discover how to build a successful business and follow your passions without sacrificing healthy family relationships to the financial and emotional rollercoaster that is entrepreneurship.
How does someone who is obsessed live peacefully with others who are not? That question summarizes the quandary faced by company founders and their families. To answer it, author Meg Cadoux Hirshberg examines the impact for better and for worse of entrepreneurial businesses on families and relationships, and vice versa.
Practically, this is a vital guide to navigating the emotional and logistical terrain of business-building while simultaneously enjoying a fulfilling family life. From the trials of co-habiting with a home-based business to the queasy necessity of borrowing money from family and friends to the complexities of intergenerational succession, no topic is taboo.
Psychologically, this book is a reminder that no entrepreneurial family trudges the hard trail of company-building alone. If you have embarked on such an enterprise, you and your spouse will find comfort and guidance in the experiences of others like you. Meg draws on the struggles and triumphs she and husband Gary Hirshberg experienced as he built Stonyfield Yogurt, and also shares powerful stories and insights from other families, gathered through hundreds of interviews.
For Better or For Work will remind you that the long hours and late nights spent on the business or with the family are worth the effort and will give you tools for making both endeavors successful.

Chaim Hilton's MAY 2012 SELECTION

[book] The End of Leadership
By Barbara Kellerman, Harvard Business School
Spring 2012, Harper Business
One of our foremost leadership experts dismantles obsolete assumptions and stimulates a new conversation about leadership in the twenty-first century.
Becoming a leader has become a mantra. The explosive growth of the "leadership industry" is based on the belief that leading is a path to power and money, a medium for achievement, and a mechanism for creating change. But there are other, parallel truths: that leaders of every stripe are in disrepute; that the tireless and often superficial teaching of leadership has brought us no closer to nirvana; and that followers nearly everywhere have become, on the one hand, disappointed and disillusioned, and, on the other, entitled and emboldened.
The End of Leadership tells two tales. The first is about change—about how and why leadership and followership have changed over time, especially in the last forty years. As a result of cultural evolution and technological revolution, the balance of power between leaders and followers has shifted—with leaders becoming weaker and followers stronger.
The second narrative is about the leadership industry itself. In this provocative and critical volume, Barbara Kellerman raises questions about leadership as both a scholarly pursuit and a set of practical skills: Does the industry do what it claims to do—grow leaders? Does the research justify the undertaking? Do we adequately measure the results of our efforts? Are leaders as all-important as we think they are? What about followers? Isn't teaching good followership as important now as teaching good leadership? Finally, Kellerman asks: Given the precipitous decline of leaders in the estimation of their followers, are there alternatives to the existing models—ways of teaching leadership that take into account the vicissitudes of the twenty-first century?
The End of Leadership takes on all these questions and then some—making it necessary reading for business, political, and community leaders alike.
Kellerman's books have used by the Wexner Foundation and many Jewish communal groups to teach good and bad leadership
Click to explore it more

Chaim Hilton's APRIL 2012 SELECTION

[book] The Founder's Dilemmas
Anticipating and Avoiding the Pitfalls That Can Sink a Startup
Kauffman Foundation Series on Innovation and Entrepreneurship
By Noam Wasserman, Harvard Business School
Spring 2012, Princeton University Press
Often downplayed in the excitement of starting up a new business venture is one of the most important decisions entrepreneurs will face: should they go it alone, or bring in cofounders, hires, and investors to help build the business? More than just financial rewards are at stake. Friendships and relationships can suffer. Bad decisions at the inception of a promising venture lay the foundations for its eventual ruin. The Founder's Dilemmas is the first book to examine the early decisions by entrepreneurs that can make or break a startup and its team.
Drawing on a decade of research, Professor Noam Wasserman reveals the common pitfalls founders face and how to avoid them. He looks at whether it is a good idea to co-found with friends or relatives, how and when to split the equity within the founding team, and how to recognize when a successful founder-CEO should exit or be fired. Wasserman explains how to anticipate, avoid, or recover from disastrous mistakes that can splinter a founding team, strip founders of control, and leave founders without a financial payoff for their hard work and innovative ideas. He highlights the need at each step to strike a careful balance between controlling the startup and attracting the best resources to grow it, and demonstrates why the easy short-term choice is often the most perilous in the long term.
The Founder's Dilemmas draws on the inside stories of founders like Evan Williams of Twitter and Tim Westergren of Pandora, while mining quantitative data on almost ten thousand founders. People problems are the leading cause of failure in startups. This book offers solutions.

Noam was a '92 grad of Wharton and Moore at Penn undergrad. After working for American Management for several years, he received his PhD from Harvard University in 2002, and received an MBA (with High Distinction) from Harvard Business School in 1999, graduating as a Baker Scholar. Despite being voted “Most Likely to Become a CEO” by his MBA section, Noam decided to pursue academia as a career and to enter the PhD program (thereby giving up on ever becoming a CEO!). Before coming to Harvard, he was a Principal and Practice Manager at a management-consulting firm near Washington, D.C., where he founded and led the Groupware Practice. He also worked as a venture capitalist at a firm in Boston. He received a BSE (magna cum laude) in Computer Science and Engineering from Penn, and a BSEcon (magna cum laude) in Corporate Finance and Strategic Management from Wharton. He lives in Brookline, MA, with his wife and seven children, loves coaching Little League, and completed Shas in 1997-2005 with the 11th Daf Yomi cycle.
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Chaim Hilton's MARCH 2012 SELECTION

[book] Search Inside Yourself
The Unexpected Path to Achieving Success,
Happiness (and World Peace)
By Chade-Meng Tan (Google Inc)
Spring 2012, HarperOne
Early Google engineer (employee number 107) and personal growth pioneer Chade-Meng Tan first designed “SIY - Search Inside Yourself” as a popular course at Google’s GooglePlex in the Silicon Valley intended to transform the work and lives of the best and brightest behind one of the most innovative, successful, and profitable businesses in the world . . . and now it can do the same for you. Meng has distilled emotional intelligence into a set of practical and proven tools and skills that anyone can learn and develop.
Created in collaboration with a Zen master, a CEO, a Stanford University scientist, and Daniel Goleman (the guy who literally wrote the book on emotional intelligence), this program is grounded in science and expressed in a way that even a skeptical, compulsively pragmatic, engineering-oriented brain like Meng's can process. Whether your intention is to reduce stress and increase well-being, heighten focus and creativity, become more optimistic and resilient, build fulfilling relationships, or just be successful, the skills provided by Search Inside Yourself will prove invaluable for you. This is your guide to enhancing productivity and creativity, finding meaning and fulfillment in your work and life, and experiencing profound peace, compassion, and happiness while doing so.
Born and raised in Singapore, Mr. Tan describes his childhood as “very unhappy.”
“It was the geek thing,” he says. He taught himself how to write software code at the age of 12. And by 15, he had won his first national academic award. At 17, he was one of four members of the national software championship team. But public attention and external rewards brought him no satisfaction. “It wasn’t making a difference,” he says. “I wasn’t any happier. There was a compulsion to be the best.”
Search Inside Yourself reveals how to calm your mind (MINDFULNESS) on demand and return it to a natural state of happiness, deepen self-awareness in a way that fosters self-confidence, harness empathy and compassion into outstanding leadership, and build highly productive collaborations based on trust and transparent communication. In other words, Search Inside Yourself shows you how to grow inner joy while succeeding at your work. Meng writes: "Some people buy books that teach them to be liked; others buy books that teach them to be successful. This book teaches you both. You are so lucky."
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Chaim Hilton's FEBRUARY 2012 SELECTION

[book] The Money Class
How to Stand in Your Truth and Create the Future You Deserve
Suze Orman
2012, Spiegel and Grau
How to find the courage to stand in your truth and why it is a place of power. What daily actions will restore the word “hope” to your vocabulary.
Everything you need to know about taking care of your family, your home, your career, and planning for retirement—no matter where you are in your life or where the economy is heading.
In nine electrifying, empowering classes, Suze Orman teaches us how to navigate these unprecedented financial times. With her trademark directness, she shows us how to tackle the complicated mix of money and family, how to avoid making costly mistakes in real estate, and how to get traction in your career or rebuild after a professional setback. And in what is the most comprehensive retirement resource available today, Suze presents an attainable strategy, for every reader, at every age. The Money Class is filled with tools and advice that can take you from a place of financial fear to a place of financial security. In The Money Class you will learn what you need to know in order to feel hopeful, once again, about your future.
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Chaim Hilton's JANUARY 2012 SELECTION

[book] Money and Power
How Goldman Sachs Came to Rule the World
By William D. Cohan
January 2012, Anchor paperback
The bestselling author of the acclaimed House of Cards and The Last Tycoons turns his spotlight on to Goldman Sachs and the controversy behind its success. From the outside, Goldman Sachs is a perfect company. The Goldman PR machine loudly declares it to be smarter, more ethical, and more profitable than all of its competitors. Behind closed doors, however, the firm constantly straddles the line between conflict of interest and legitimate deal making, wields significant influence over all levels of government, and upholds a culture of power struggles and toxic paranoia. And its clever bet against the mortgage market in 2007—unknown to its clients—may have made the financial ruin of the Great Recession worse. Money and Power reveals the internal schemes that have guided the bank from its founding through its remarkable windfall during the 2008 financial crisis. Through extensive research and interviews with the inside players, including current CEO Lloyd Blankfein, William Cohan constructs a nuanced, timely portrait of Goldman Sachs, the company that was too big—and too ruthless—to fail.

Chaim Hilton's OCTOBER 2011 SELECTION

[book] Best Practices Are Stupid
40 Ways to Out-Innovate the Competition
By Stephen M. Shapiro
October 2011. Portfolio Penguin
What if almost everything you know about creating a culture of innovation is wrong? What if the way you are measuring innovation is choking it? What if your market research is asking all of the wrong questions?
It's time to innovate the way you innovate.
Stephen Shapiro is one of America's foremost innovation advisrrs, whose methods have helped organizations like Staples, GE, Telefónica, NASA, the U.S. Air Force, and USAA. He teaches his clients that innovation isn't just about generating occasional new ideas; it's about staying consistently one step ahead of the competition.
Hire people you don't like. Bring in the right mix of people to unleash your team's full potential.
Stop asking for ideas. Asking for ideas is a bad idea. Define challenges more clearly. If you ask better questions, you will get better answers.
Don't think “outside the box;” find a better box. Instead of giving your employees a blank slate, provide them with well-defined parameters that will increase their creative output.
Stop applauding and recognizing people for doing their jobs. It reinforces that the status quo is good enough. Recognize people for doing the unexpected.
Failure is always an option. Looking at innovation as a series of experiments allows you to redefine failure and learn from your results.
Expertise is the enemy of innovation. Why? The more you know about something, the less likely you are to innovate and change the way you think about it. Bring people together from different disciplines.
Innovation can be idea driven or challenge driven. Albert Einstein said if he had an hour to save the world, he’d spend 59 minutes defining the problem and one minute finding solutions. From his experience, most organizations are spending 60 minutes finding solutions to problems that don’t matter. When you focus on challenges you’re able to create solutions that are relevant to the needs of the organization. By contrast, when you focus on broad ideas you don’t know which ones are going to be useful. This creates a lot of noise in the system and makes innovation much less efficient. An organization’s ability to figure out which problems if solved would have the greatest impact is probably the single greatest measure of whether an organization will be successful. A lot of times companies spend so much time on things that aren’t relevant. You’re not looking for solutions. You’re looking for problems and opportunities. It is about relevancy. If you use the mind-set of focusing on challenges it raises the question of where do you find the key challenges? Obviously you’ll find them in the marketplace, from customers, and also from employees. You don’t ask, “What’s your idea for the next big product?” You ask, “What problems, if solved, would help our customers?” It puts you in the mind-set of challenge-driven innovation, which ultimately becomes customer-driven innovation. It links back to challenges that will help your customers and help you grow your market.
Shapiro shows that nonstop innovation is attainable and vital to building a high-performing team, improving the bottom line, and staying ahead of the pack.
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[book] Brandwashed
Tricks Companies Use to Manipulate Our Minds
and Persuade Us to Buy
By Martin Lindstrom
September 2011. Crown
In his earlier book, Buyology, Lindstrom wrote about how and why people buy. He even mentioned how a basketball star who was not Jewish would draw out the two Hebrew letters of CHAI before an important shot, or how a Jewish man started a business to sell soil from the Holy Land to Americans.
In this new book, Lindstrom looks at how we are manipulated, and also how we behave as consumers.
Did you know that it is not just YOU who grabs for the-second-newspaper-from-the-top of a stack of newspapers? Or are you of those people who walks in small circles while talking on your mobile phone? Marketers know these things about people and they use this information to get you to buy and buy more. Pepperridge Farms plays on your nostalgia; ADP plays on your unfounded fear that a burglar will break in and attack your females; cereals market to kids based on peer pressure. Why do insurance companies use celebrities to market insurance and healthcare items to retired consumers. Sex sells. Just ask Unilever's AXE products.
Marketing visionary Martin Lindstrom has been on the front lines of the branding wars for over twenty years. Here, he turns the spotlight on his own industry, drawing on all he has witnessed behind closed doors, exposing for the first time the full extent of the psychological tricks and traps that companies devise to win our hard-earned dollars. Lindstrom reveals:
New findings that reveal how advertisers and marketers intentionally target children at an alarmingly young age – starting when they are still in the womb!
Shocking results of an fMRI study which uncovered what heterosexual men really think about when they see sexually provocative advertising (hint: it isn’t their girlfriends).
How marketers and retailers stoke the flames of public panic and capitalize on paranoia over global contagions, extreme weather events, and food contamination scares.
The first ever neuroscientific evidence proving how addicted we all are to our iPhones and our Blackberry’s (and the shocking reality of cell phone addiction - it can be harder to shake than addictions to drugs and alcohol).
How companies of all stripes are secretly mining our digital footprints to uncover some of the most intimate details of our private lives, then using that information to target us with ads and offers ‘perfectly tailored’ to our psychological profiles.
How certain companies, like the maker of one popular lip balm, purposely adjust their formulas in order to make their products chemically addictive.
What a 3-month long guerilla marketing experiment, conducted specifically for this book, tells us about the most powerful hidden persuader of them all.

This book introduces a new class of tricks, techniques, and seductions – the Hidden Persuaders of the 21st century- and shows why they are more insidious and pervasive than ever.
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Chaim Hilton's AUGUST 2011 SELECTION

Adam Smith Can Kiss Our Butt (the Scottish one, not the Jewish (Goodman) one with the books and tv show)
[book] The Penguin and the Leviathan
The Triumph of Cooperation over Self-Interest
By Professor Yochai Benkler, Harvard Law School
April 2011. Crown Business
Yochai Benkler is the Jack N. and Lillian R. Berkman Professor for Entrepreneurial Legal Studies at Harvard Law School and the author of The Wealth of Networks and the paper Coase's Penguin which expands of the Coase Theorem. He received his law degree at Tel-Aviv University and a Juris Doctorate from from Harvard Law. He clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen G. Breyer from 1995 to 1996. He coined the term “commons-based peer production” to describe collaborative efforts, such as free and open source software and Wikipedia which are based on sharing of information. His “The Wealth of Networks” examines the ways in which information technology permits extensive forms of collaboration that may potentially have transformative consequences for economy and society, such as Wikipedia and Open Source Software and blogs. Benkler coined the term JALT as a contraction of jealousy and altruism, to describe the dynamic in commons-based peer production where some participants get paid while others do not, and some agents get jealous of the rewards of another.

In this new book, Benkler questions and overturns the centuries-old practice of managing people through incentive structures – both rewards and punishment – based on an assumption of individual selfishness and that self-interest is the root of all behavior. Toyota and Wikipedia use human COOPERATION rather than behavior modification and control to achieve their desired ends. He shows how recent work in human behavioral and brain sciences and in evolutionary theory is helping us better understand how and why these systems work. Most people act more cooperatively and altruistically than academic models predict. ZipCar, Open Source Software, Chicago community policing, and Maine lobster fishermen are used in examples.
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Chaim Hilton's JUNE 2011 SELECTION

[book] LAUNCH
How to Quickly Propel Your Business Beyond the Competition
By Michael A. Stelzner
June 2011. Wiley
San Diego based Michael A. Stelzner was born Jewish, but later bacame an evangelical born again Christian, which he credits for making him successful. He was fired from one of his first jobs after 18 months, accused by a boss of something false, but his firing was liberating and he got a better job and greater confidence. He wrote a book on how to write White Papers, and he is the founder of, an online magazine that helps businesses answer social media questions.
In this new book he takes on the metaphor of FUEL to discuss how to launch a business. In order to propel your business to stellar growth and positive recognition, one needs rocket fuel. Primary fuel maintains your business and nuclear has a big impact and leaves a lasting impression on people
His Elevation Principle is that Great Content (Primary Fuel + Nuclear Fuel) equals attracting people (staff and tapping outside experts) MINUS (yes, minus) marketing messages. His point: do not mix marketing messages into your social media content.
Although I am not keen on the rocket, velocity, fuel metaphorical crap, Stelzner discusses how to develop an outward-focused mindset that inspires the content creation process; and discusses how to identify role models that could become tomorrow's strategic partners; build relationships with outside experts; implement the ten most effective types of content (the fuel);and discover new ways to market that don't repel people.
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Chaim Hilton's MAY 2011 SELECTION

May 2011. Free Press
Mr. Peshawaria has traveled the world and speaks an consults on management. He asks young and old around the world, “How many of your bosses have been great leaders?” The answer is usually '1', not more than '2.' He asks CEO's, their reports, an others, at what percent is your company functioning? Oh, about 65% on average. Is there something not known about management and leadership? Isn't it the same as it has been since antiquity, Pharoah and Moses, David, and Alexander? Yet, over $50 Billion is spent worldwide on management training and books and seminars. Such as this book.
And to what end?
Still, people thin maybe only 1 of their bosses was or is a leader.
Do people just not want to lead? How can they not know how?
Is another book needed?
Peshawaria has trained people at Coca Cola, Goldman Sachs, Amex, Morgan Stanley, and other international corporations. In this book he distills what he has learned and sets out a framework on how to lead.
Is he Jewish? No.
Should it be read by all Jewish visitors to this site? Yes.
How did Alan Mulally––an outsider to the auto industry—lead such a spectacular turnaround at Ford? How did Morgan Stanley CEO John Mack keep his company from imploding even as Lehman Brothers collapsed? What is it that enables such extraordinary leaders to galvanize their talents and energy, as well as the talents and energy of those who work for them, to achieve superior performance no matter what challenges they face? Rajeev Peshawaria has spent more than twenty years working alongside top executives at Fortune 500 companies and training them in leadership, including as Global Director of Leadership Development programs at American Express, as Chief Learning Officer at both Morgan Stanley and Coca-Cola, and as one of the founding members of the renowned Goldman Sachs leadership development program known as Pine Street. He knows precisely what makes the difference between those who are simply bosses and those who are superior leaders, and between those who continue to rise to the top levels and those who get stuck along the way.In this lively and remarkably empowering book, Peshawaria offers readers the opportunity to experience the highest level of leadership training available in the world. Introducing the three core principles he has observed are the foundation of the best leadership––that great leaders clearly define their purpose and values; that nobody can motivate another person because everyone comes premotivated; and that a leader’s job is not to directly produce results but to create the conditions that will harness the energy of others—he details his unique and proven program for achieving leadership excellence. Sharing a wealth of illuminating stories, from those of Mulally’s achievement at Ford and Mack’s at Morgan Stanley, to how Harvey Golub and Ken Chenault successfully restored American Express to long-term sustainable growth, how Neville Isdell turned the Coca-Cola Company around, and the continuing prowess of Jeff Bezos in growing, he first reveals how extraordinary leaders marshal and sustain the level of energy in themselves that is required and how they enlist a core group of proficient co-leaders. He then outlines how to harness the energy and talents of those at all levels of an organization, igniting their motivation by following his RED guidelines for addressing their core needs concerning their Role, their work Environment, and their career Development. Finally, he introduces his unique Brains, Bones, and Nerves framework for: developing a clear strategy for competitive advantage (the Brains); crafting an optimal organizational structure (the Bones); and fostering a highly cooperative and motivated company culture (the Nerves). Filled with specific tips about the vital questions to ask and simple but powerful steps to follow, Too Many Bosses, Too Few Leaders is a manager’s essential tool kit for long-term superior performance.
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[book] Obliquity
Why Our Goals Are Best Achieved Indirectly
By John Kay, LSE
April 2011. Penguin
If you want to go in one direction, the best route may involve going in another. This is the concept of ‘obliquity’: paradoxical as it sounds, many goals are more likely to be achieved when pursued indirectly.
Whether overcoming geographical obstacles, winning decisive battles or meeting sales targets, history shows that oblique approaches are the most successful, especially in difficult terrain.
The Panama Canal, for instance, follows the shortest crossing of America; and yet it starts by following a south-easterly direction. The shortest straight line running from east to west goes through Nicaragua, and this ‘direct’ route is much longer. The people who first found this route weren’t looking west, and they were looking for silver and gold – not oceans. Charles Darwin weighed up scientifically the pros and cons of a happy marriage – but it was Emma Wedgwood who swept him off his feet. Some of the most surprising examples come from the world of business. At one time Boeing’s leaders would ‘eat, breathe, and sleep the world of aeronautics’. The company created the 747 and its fortunes soared. When in 1998 it shifted focus to shareholder return and return on investment the company, well, took a dive.
Obliquity is necessary because we live in an world of uncertainty and complexity; the problems we encounter aren’t always clear – and we often can’t pinpoint what our goals are anyway; circumstances change; people change – and are infuriatingly hard to predict; and direct approaches are often arrogant and unimaginative.
Using dozens of practical examples from the worlds of business, politics, science, sports, literature, even parenting, esteemed economist John Kay proves a notion that feels at once paradoxical and deeply commonsensical: The best way to achieve any complex or broadly defined goal-from happiness to wealth to profit to preventing forest fires-is the indirect way.
As Kay points out, we rarely know enough about the intricacies of important problems to tackle them head-on. And our unpredictable interactions with other people and the world at large mean that the path to our goals-and sometimes the goals themselves-will inevitably change. We can learn about our objectives and how to achieve them only through a gradual process of risk taking and discovery-what Kay calls obliquity.
Kay traces this pathway to satisfaction as it manifests itself in nearly every aspect of life. The wealthiest people-from Andrew Carnegie to Bill Gates-achieved their riches through a passion for their work, not because they set materialistic goals. Research has shown that companies whose goal (as declared in mission statements) is excellent products or service are more profitable than companies whose stated goal is increasing profits. In the personal realm, a large body of evidence shows that parenthood is on a daily basis far more frustrating than happy- making. Yet parents are statistically happier than nonparents. Though their short-term pleasure is often thwarted by the demands of childrearing, the subtle-oblique-rewards of parenthood ultimately make them happier.
Once he establishes the ubiquity of obliquity, Kay offers a wealth of practical guidance for avoiding the traps laid by the direct approach to complex problems. Directness blinds us to new information that contradicts our presumptions, fools us into confusing logic with truth, cuts us off from our intuition (which is the subconscious expression of our experience), shunts us away from alternative solutions that may be better than the one we're set on, and more. Kay also shows us how to acknowledge our limitations, redefine our goals to fit our skills, open our minds to new data and solutions, and otherwise live life with obliquity.
This bracing manifesto will convince readers-or confirm their conviction-that the best route to satisfaction and success does not run through the bottom line.
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Chaim Hilton's MARCH 2011 SELECTION

Connect, Persuade, and Triumph with the Hidden Power of Story
March 2011. Crown
Howard Peter Guber was born on March 1, 1942, 69 years ago, in Boston. His father, Samuel, owned a junk metal business. Peter grew up as the youngest of three boys, in the shadow of Charlie and Mike. A graduate of Syracuse, Guber married Lynda Gellis in 1965 (the daughter of Brooklyn kosher meats magnate Isaac Gellis). With a law degree and MBA, he headed to LA and worked his way up at Columbia for 8 years, until he was fired and started his own music group and then ran Polygram's film unit. In 1982, he set up Guber-Peters at Warner Brothers, where is exec produced Steven Spielberg's 1985 film The Color Purple. He was loved, he was hated, he was screwed up, he was powerful, he was the quintessential Hollywood Jewish leader.
He was Studio Chief at Columbia Pictures; Co-Chairman of Casablanca Records and Filmworks; CEO of Polygram Entertainment; Chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures; and is Chairman and CEO of Mandalay Entertainment Group. He produced (or EP'd) “Midnight Express,” “The Color Purple,” “Gorillas in the Mist,” “Batman,” and “Rain Man.” He co-owns an NBA team. ( See )
What Guber understands is that to be successful, you must tell a story quickly. Today, everyone is in the emotional transportation business. More and more, success is won by creating compelling stories that have the power to move partners, shareholders, customers, and employees to action. Simply put, if you can’t tell it, you can’t sell it. And this book tells you how to do both.
I was once at a G.A., the General Assembly of Jewish federations, and a leader told how she went around her organization and asked employees what the mission of the group was and what their top priorities were. They couldn't. There was no single clear mission statement. She knew she had to change that in order to survive and grow and thrive. She should read this book to help her
Historically, stories have always been igniters of action, moving people to do things. But only recently has it become clear that purposeful stories – those created with a specific mission in mind – are absolutely essential in persuading others to support a vision, dream or cause.
Peter Guber, whose executive and entrepreneurial accomplishments have made him a success in multiple industries, has long relied on purposeful story telling to motivate, win over, shape, engage and sell. Indeed, what began as knack for telling stories as an entertainment industry executive has, through years of perspiration and inspiration, evolved into a set of principles that anyone can use to achieve their goals.
Guber shows how to move beyond soulless Power Point slides, facts, and figures to create purposeful stories that can serve as powerful calls to action. Among his techniques:
Capture your audience’s attention first, fast and foremost
Motivate your listeners by demonstrating “authenticity”
Build your tell around “what’s in it for them”
Change passive listeners into active participants
Use “state-of-the-HEART” technology online and offline to make sure audience commitment remains strong

To validate the power of telling purposeful stories, Guber includes in this book a remarkably diverse number of “voices” – master tellers with whom he’s shared experiences. They include YouTube founder Chad Hurley, NBA champion Pat Riley, clothing designer Normal Kamali, “Mission to Mars” scientist Gentry Lee, Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank, former South African president Nelson Mandela, magician David Copperfield, film director Steven Spielberg, novelist Nora Roberts, rock legend Gene Simmons, and physician and author Deepak Chopra. After listening to this extraordinary mix of voices, you’ll know how to craft, deliver -- and own – a story that is truly compelling, one capable of turning others into viral advocates for your goal.
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Chaim Hilton's FEBRUARY 2011 SELECTION

[book] Tough Calls from the Corner Office
Top Business Leaders Reveal Their Career-Defining Moments
By Harlan Steinbaum
February 2011. Harper
When former CEO Harlan Steinbaum (associated with Sanus, SupeRX, Medicare-Glaser) decided to buy back his retail drug chain with his partners, his life changed dramatically. The personal impact that this one business decision — this “defining moment” — had on Steinbaum made him wonder if others had experienced similar kinds of “moments” in their own careers. To find out, he reached out to over 36 of the most successful people in the country — leaders from companies such as Verizon, Chrysler, ESPN, Ogilvy & Mather, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Wellpoint, and Panera Bread Company — to pinpoint the career-defining decisions that were integral to their success. The result is Tough Calls from the Corner Office, a collection of rich business wisdom, stories of tough decisions and hard victories won, and lessons from a lifetime of achievement in the world of business.
Tough Calls from the Corner Office offers lessons, principles, strategies, ideas, and solutions drawn from every stage in a successful career, from early key choices to the final leave-taking from the world of work. Given access to such visionaries as Union Square’s restauranteur Danny Meyer (who quit law school for the food biz), ESPN’s Bill Rasmussen (who started ESPN after he was fired), Build-A-Bear's Maxine Clark (she quit Payless to start stuffing bears), and Let’s Make a Deal's game show leader Monty Hall, Steinbaum shares their experiences, told in their own words, so that others might learn from them.
In a time when many people are at a professional crossroads, Tough Calls from the Corner Office offers inspiration and the confidence to believe that tough decisions can be the first step to extraordinary success
“Tough Calls from the Corner Office is a unique casebook of management decision making. Each case is incisive, authoritative, original . . . and short. Harlan Steinbaum’s new book can usefully be read by both students and managers. - Murray L. Weidenbaum, Former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury (1969-1971), former Chairman of the President's Council of Economic Advisors (1981-1982)
“This book is wonderful. I enjoyed every story -- every part of it. The stories in this book should inspire and give confidence to the many people looking to make their mark in business, or for that matter life.” - General Richard B. Myers, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff
Steinbaum, a member of St Louis' Temple Israel, is a former CEO of two leading pharmaceutical companies. The essays are intimate, candid, and inspiring. Often deeply revealing, frequently dealing with tough situations like strikes, layoffs, and bankruptcy.
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Chaim Hilton's JANUARY 2011 SELECTION

[book] WHY WE WIN
The Hidden Influences Behind How Sports Are Played and Games Are Won
January 2011. Archetype
In Scorecasting, University of Chicago behavioral economist Tobias Moskowitz teams up with veteran Sports Illustrated writer L. Jon Wertheim to overturn some of the most cherished truisms of sports, and reveal the hidden forces that shape how basketball, baseball, football, and hockey games are played, won and lost.
Drawing from Moskowitz's original research, as well as studies from fellow economists such as bestselling author Richard Thaler, the authors look at: the influence home-field advantage has on the outcomes of games in all sports and why it exists; the surprising truth about the universally accepted axiom that defense wins championships; the subtle biases that umpires exhibit in calling balls and strikes in key situations; the unintended consequences of referees' tendencies in every sport to "swallow the whistle," and more.
Among the insights that Scorecasting reveals:
Why Tiger Woods is prone to the same mistake in high-pressure putting situations that you and I are
Why professional teams routinely overvalue draft picks
The myth of momentum or the "hot hand" in sports, and why so many fans, coaches, and broadcasters fervently subscribe to it
Why NFL coaches rarely go for a first down on fourth-down situations--even when their reluctance to do so reduces their chances of winning.
In an engaging narrative that takes us from the putting greens of Augusta to the grid iron of a small parochial high school in Arkansas, Scorecasting will forever change how you view the game, whatever your favorite sport might be
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Chaim Hilton's DECEMBER 2010 SELECTION

A Woman's Guide to Finding Financial Empowerment and Success
2010. St Martin's Press
A comprehensive and coherent breakdown of basic financial and wealth management information from a J.P. Morgan financial adviser. An increasing number of women are controlling more and more of the wealth in America, but studies suggest that women's financial literacy is not increasing. Hirshman, who counsels investors on their personal finances, uses comparisons with dieting--a framework also used in Alice Wood's excellent Wealth Watchers--and the metaphor holds up well: both dieting and investing require discipline, take time, and yield rewards. Hirshman presents reviewing a net worth statement as "stepping on the financial scales," and investment categories as the basic food groups. Though it's not overtly stated, the advice is aimed at an audience with a fairly old-fashioned view of finances--she speaks passionately about the need for women to be equal partners in their marital finances and admonishes women that "a man is not a financial plan." Hirshman provides all of the information necessary for a solid financial background, and cheers on her readers with a positive message: "The only person responsible for you is you."
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Chaim Hilton's MAY 2010 SELECTION

[book] Showing Up for Life
Thoughts on the Gifts of a Lifetime
Bill Gates Sr. with Mary Ann Mackin
Bill Gates (Jr.) (Foreword)

May 2010, Broadway
Bill Gates Jr., the co founder of Microsoft, grew up in a household that was led a father who was no schlub. He was a leader in the Seattle business and philanthropic and United Way community and discussed issues with his son. Bill Gates, Sr.,, now 83, is an attorney, philanthropist, husband and father. Counting his children-Kristi, Libby, and son Bill--among his proudest achievements, Gates stays close to home and largely abstains from name dropping, though the Gates keep some impressive company. Raising three good kids who are good citizens makes him proud. His own father dropped out of school in Eighth grade to support his own family. He believes in the combined power of men and women who "show up" for the people they love and the causes they believe in. He witnessed the power of public will to take on and surmount great challenges and he believes our society works better when people think less about "me and mine" and more about "us and ours." He’s come to know many wonderful and interesting people -- from his own sister Merridy, who taught him a lasting lesson about generosity and whose own life prospects narrowed considerably because their father dad didn't believe girls needed an education -- to Nelson Mandela and Jimmy Carter, the latter who introduced him and millions of other people to the importance of talking openly about "bare penises" in places where such words were never spoken In order to raise awareness of the importance of condoms in the fight against HIV-AIDS.
But he is discouraged by a public education system where only a third of our children graduate from high school ready for college. (All of my children were college-ready, though it did take his son more than 25 years to finally collect his Harvard degree.)
In short essays that are conversational in tone, Gates enumerates his optimism and tenets for successful life-hard work, generosity and curiosity-along with what he's learned from people like his scoutmaster Dorm Braman, his son Bill, his late wife, Mary, and his current wife, Mimi, as well as friends from the Centers for Disease Control and the U.S. government. .
Click the book cover to read more.

Chaim Hilton's APRIL 2010 SELECTION

Business Education at a Crossroads
By Srikant Datar, David A. Garvin, and Patrick G. Cullen
Do you go to Business School to learn or to earn?
Many think that business education is about skipping classes to network and just interview for two years to get the best, highest paying job
Did MBA cause the economic meltdown?
Is business ethics courses and the MBA OATH just crap and a good PR campaign?
Three Harvard Business School scholars have written this examination of the curriculums that shape many top investment bankers, consultants and chief executives. They write thatschools emphasize quantitative and theoretical analysis too much. Social responsibility and common-sense skepticism is just given lip service in school.
Maybe business school is not the place to find CEOs? Maybe law school is the place. MBA wonks are not engaged with the curriculum and overconfident haughty jerks.
For decades, MBA graduates from top-tier schools set the standard for cutting-edge business knowledge and skills. Now the business world has changed, say the authors of Rethinking the MBA, and MBA programs must change with it. Increasingly, managers and recruiters are questioning conventional business education. Their concerns? Among other things, MBA programs aren't giving students the heightened cultural awareness and global perspectives they need. Newly minted MBAs lack essential leadership skills. Creative and critical thinking demand far more attention. In this compelling and authoritative new book, the authors: It document a rising chorus of concerns about business schools gleaned from extensive interviews with deans and executives, and from a detailed analysis of current curricula and emerging trends in graduate business education; it provides case studies showing how leading MBA programs have begun reinventing themselves for the better; it offers concrete ideas for how business schools can surmount the challenges that come with reinvention, including securing faculty with new skills and experimenting with new pedagogies
Rich with examples and thoroughly researched, Rethinking the MBA reveals why and how business schools must define a better pathway for the future.
Click the book cover to read more.

Chaim Hilton's JANUARY 2010 SELECTION

We emphasize Tikkun Olan and Tzedaka. And we are drawn to supporting aid, and focusing on Maimonides outline for charity. Columbia Business School Dean, Glenn Hubbard, sets out a controversial view on giving aid in Africa. Does it do more harm than help ?
[book] The Aid Trap
Hard Truths About Ending Poverty
By R. Glenn Hubbard and William Duggan

2009, Columbia
Hubbard and Duggan, respectively dean and lecturer at Columbia Business School, make the case that current foreign aid and Third World projects—particularly in Africa—aren't working and that the developed world must rethink how it allots aid money. The authors dissect (and disagree) with the U.N.'s Millennium Goals strategy for attacking poverty, pet project of Jeffrey Sachs and a host of celebrities. They condemn the strategy as a charity trap, that perverts local economies and keeps corrupt leaders rich. The authors contend that poor countries can attain prosperity and self-sufficiency only if aid money goes to cultivating a functioning business sector. Microfinance, they say, is working but stops short; they propose something much more ambitious: a new Marshall Plan, an almost prohibitively daunting task given the vast differences among developing countries, the controls each puts on business and the input required from other developed nations. But the plainly stated thesis and the authors' willingness to confront conventional wisdom and examine and energetically attack the problem are refreshing and necessary.
Click the book cover to read more.

Chaim Hilton's JANUARY 2008 SELECTION

I was drawn into this book by its Acknowledgements. The author was so generous to others and gave so much credit to others, that I was amazed by his openness, and before I knew it, I was deep, into the book. [book] The Opposable Mind
How Successful Leaders Win Through Integrative Thinking
by Roger L. Martin
December 2007, HBS Press
The author is the Dean of University of Toronto's business school and formerly with the Monitor Group. What I like about the book is that it is about thinking and not actually doing. When you read other books, you learn aboutwhat a leader did, how he or she executed a strategy. You don't learn about how they came to a decision. Think of JFK and Cuba/the Bay of Pigs decisions. You know his final decision, but what is more interesting is how he put together a team to help him to decide. Roger Martin writes that each business decision and environment and strategy situation is different. This book teaches you to emulate how leaders think. Successful businesspeople engage in what Martin calls integrative thinking, or allowing two opposing ideas to exist simultaneously in on the mind, and resolving the tension of the OPPOSING models by forming entirely new and superior ones (sounds Marxist dialectic, doesn't it?) Drawing on stories of leaders as diverse as AG Lafley of Procter & Gamble, Meg Whitman of eBay, Victoria Hale of the Institute for One World Health, and Nandan Nilekani of Infosys, Martin shows how integrative thinkers ASK PROBING QUESTIONS and understands the trade-offs. For example, should you outsource your customer service when you trade off costs for service levels? Martin also presents a model for strengthening your integrative thinking skills by drawing on different kinds of knowledge-including conceptual and experiential knowledge.
Martin wirtes that Integrative Thinking involves four steps:
salience (allowing more complex features to be considered),
causality (many dimensions and interactions, and not all interactions are a straight line single cause and effect),
architecture (seeing the whole sum of the parts while developing the parts), and
resolution of the tensions.

But one item in Chapter 5 stands out and it is something most people will forget. You can read so many biz books, but unless you shut off the radio and tv and sit down in silence and write down the answers to these questions, nothing will help you. They are:
STANCE: Who are you in the world. What are you trying to accomplish?
TOOLS: With what tools or models do I organize my thoughts and perceive and understand the world?
EXPERIENCES: What are the expiernces you will use to build your repertoire of sensitivities and skills?
We shape are tools, and later our tools shape us.. and if your tools re not the right toolset, then acquire new ones.

Chaim Hilton's DECEMBER 2007 SELECTION

Oy. Poor Kevin Colvin. He emailed his boss at Allied Irish Bank and said he had to be in the Big Apple for a family urgent issue. He actually went to Worcester for a Halloween party and dressed as a guy with a wand or perhaps a radical fairy. Kevin Colvin posted a pic from the party on his facebook page which was then sent to his boss by a loving co-worker (isn't competition and snitching awful?). Kevin Colvin should have read the book below:

[book] The Sick Day Handbook
Strategies And Techniques for Faking It
by Ellie Bishop
Conari Press
The alarm goes off, and the thought of your morning commute, a buttoned-up shirt, and e-mail makes you want to cry. You don't want to go to work-YOU CAN'T. So what's a 9-to-5er to do? KISS: Keep it Simple, Sickie. "I'm (sniffle) not feeling well, got this scratchy feeling in my throat (cough), think it'd be best for me to sit this one out, boss." Click. Congratulations, you just called in sick and were lying through your down comforter about it. Ahh, the thrill of deceit! Let's be honest-at least briefly. Sometimes you just need a day. The Sick Day Handbook is your guide to freedom. In Ellie's words, "This is a course in manipulation . . . This is about lying." Anyone who reads to "the end" and follows Bishop's creative instructions will have earned their DDD: Doctor of Downright Devious. Filled with symptoms and prescriptions for common illnesses and proper stage-setting techniques to pull off the previously unthinkable Tuesday-after-a-long-weekend call-in (your pregnant friend had the baby!), you'll have a pool of credible excuses just waiting to be used (scripts included). If you thought it couldn't get any better-well, read on. Your boss will think you are such a moral person (what a doll . . . taking care of your elderly neighbor and her 3-legged cat all the while suffering from Vertigo and an IBS flare-up) he'll practically beg you to take a day off! So what are you waiting for, nervous dialers? Get your slippers on-daytime television awaits you. Learn our tricks and no one will ever doubt your "flu" again!

Chaim Hilton's NOVEMBER 2007 SELECTION

My friend Akiva B. turned me on to this book. Thanks Akiva. I do not think I would want to hang out with the author, and he seems a tad too energetic and manic for me. Think of a young version of James Cramer but without the self-knowledge that it is an act. Cuz it isn't. But it is an interesting and informative read.

[book] An American Hedge Fund
How I Made $2 Million as a Stock Operator & Created a Hedge Fund
by Timothy Sykes
September 2007, BullShip Press
Sykes tells the story of how he took $12,415 of gift money he received for his Bar Mitzvah and turned it into a $1.65 million fortune in a few years of frenetic stock trading. Giddy from his rapid ascent but still naive in many ways, Sykes went on to found a hedge fund and, after initial success, was stung by steep losses. Now just 26 years old and a budding media personality, Sykes is deluged by people looking to emulate his early success and says that's why he wrote the brutally honest tale of sudden wealth and hubris. "It's inspirational but also cautionary," he said. There's a bit of James Cramer in Sykes. He is manic and somewhat eccentric self-promoter. I most enjoyed his stories of trying to find investors and whether they needed to be entertained, and his stories of college at Tulane. He decided to take night classes so that he could trade during the day. Realizing that he had few friends, he decided to pledge a frat. But when a frat member called him and asked his to perform a mindless errand, Sykes refused. Sykes was in the middle of a stock position trade and could not leave. Wrong answer. He got dinged, but he made $1500. Click the book cover to read more.

Chaim Hilton's OCTOBER 2007 SELECTION

These two book are not necessarily Jewish, but the highlight the lives of some very interesting Jewish business investors and business leaders.

[book] 100 Minds That Made the Market
(The Fisher Investment Series)
by Kenneth L. Fisher
August 2007, Wiley
When you walk by the New York Stock Exchange and other markets, you take it for granted, and forget all the people who built the markets into what they are today. Ken Fischer, a Forbes columnist and the founder of the firm that bears his name, manages over $40 Billion in assets and OPM (Other People's Money). He is ranked among the 300 richest Americans, and he has an interest in financial history and the lives of the (MOSTLY) men who created the modern market. It is fascinating to read of early day Jim Kramer's, the serious leaders, the flamboyent investors, the sexcapades of Joe Kennedy, the buyers, the sellers, the rogues and the saints. The book is split into 11 sections covering: The Dinosaurs (Astor, J. S. Morgan, Vanderbilt, Girard, the Rothschilds); Journalists and Authors (Dow, Jones, Forbes, Barron, Engel, Graham, Bernhard); Investment Bankers and Brokers (August Belmont, Emanuel Lehman and his son Philip, J. P. Morgan, Jacob Schiff, Charles Merrill, Gerald Loeb, Sidney Weinberg); The Innovators ("Lucky" Baldwin, Russell Sage, Babson, Cabot, T. Rowe Price); Bankers and Central Bankers (Law, Hamilton, Biddle, Paul Warburg, Benjamin Strong, Natalie Schenk Laimbeer); New Deal Reformers (Joseph Kennedy, William O. Douglas); Crooks (Ponzi, Whitney, Meehan, jerry and Gerald Re, Tellier); Technicians (Evangeline Adams, Robert Rhea, Irving Fisher, Keynes, Gann, Gould); Speculators (Jay Gould, Diamond Jim Brady, Fisher Brothers, bernard Baruch); Wheeler Dealers (James Fisk, William Durant, Charles Morse); and Miscellaneous (Hetty Green, Patrick Bologna, Cyrus Eaton). Click to read more


I was at the beach in August, and my favorite activity is sitting and reading the wedding announcements in The Sunday New York Times. And lately I was feeling envious of all the grooms who are financial analysts and hedge fund associates. Which drw me closer to picking up the following book:
[book] How I Became a Quant
Insights from 25 of Wall Street's Elite
Edited by Barry Schachter and Richard R. Lindsey (President of Bear, Stearns Securities Corporation)
July 2007, Wiley
Quants are the backbone of today's investment industry, or so they think. Their mathematical models are the basis for most financial market innovations, such as derivatives, structured investment products, trading strategies, and portfolio selections. But what they actually do, and how they do it? I really do not have the time to enroll in the MS program at Columbia in Financial Mathematics. So I read this instead. In How I Became a Quant, more than 24 quants tell their war stories and detail the unexpected paths. Peter Carr, head of Quantitative Financial Research at Bloomberg, tells of his progression from cornering the local paper delivery market as a boy in Toronto to teaching at Cornell to ultimately helping Bloomberg start up its quant group. Leslie Rahl, President of Capital Market Risk Advisors, describes how she excelled in math and science as a girl, went on to MIT--so as not to be seen as "weird," as she thought might happen at other schools--and joined Citibank at a time when they had only two women VPs in the entire worldwide organization. Andrew Weisman, Managing Director of Merrill Lynch, reveals an academic background that began with study of the classics--Plato to Popper, Beowulf to Virginia Woolf, and oddly enough, swimming lessons. Other contributors are David Leinweber, Ronald N. Kahn (Barclays), Gregg Berman, Evan Schulman, Mark Anson, Thomas Wilson (ING), Neil Chriss, Bjorn Flesaker, Peter Jackel, Andrew Davidson, Clifford Asness, Stephen Kealhofer, Julian Shaw, Mark Kritzman, Bruce I. Jacobs and Kenneth N. Levy, Tanya Beder, Allan Malz, Peter Muller, Andrew Sterge, and Jack Marshall. I especially liked Andrew Davidson of his own firm. He was a Mathlete in high school and went to Harvard, and studied with Myron Scholes at the University of Chicago in grad school, but not before he worked in physics at the Princeton Plasma Physics Lab. He is not into equations, some of which in adds to essay (none of which I understood), but he likes to guess at answers. His theorem: If it May Be True in Theory but it won't work in practice, Get Another Theory; and Lemma 1: If you don't know where you are going, any road will get you there. These are the stories behind their careers. Click to read more

[book] The Goal
by Eliyahu M. Goldratt and Jeff Cox
North River
In a business text disguised as a novel, a remarkable cast of actors dramatizes a fascinating tale of discovery and redemption. In the story, the manager of a troubled plant, Alex Rogo, learns from a mathematician turned consultant, Jonah, that many of his management practices and economic assumptions are faulty. Also, his marriage is on shaky ground due to his long work hours. . When his district manager tells him that profits must increase or the plant will be closed, he retools his thinking, and he convinces everyone else at the factory to get with the new program. The story's flow is slowed by extraneous dialogue and subplots, but it's still a good story and a captivating format for serving up the author's message--that businesses weighed down by archaic habits can be wildly profitable when fresh mathematical methods are implemented with courageous persistence. Click to read more

Chaim Hilton's AUGUST 2007 SELECTION

[book] The New Rules of Marketing and PR
How to Use News Releases, Blogs, Podcasting,
Viral Marketing and Online Media to Reach Buyers Directly
by David Meerman Scott
June 2007, Wiley
Whether you run a business or a Jewish organization, if you want to reach members or customers, you have to be online or have podcasts. The Internet has changed the way people communicate and interact with each other. The New Rules of Marketing and PR shows you how to leverage the potential that Web-based communication. Finally, you can speak directly to customers and buyers, establishing a personal link with those who make your business work. You can reach niche buyers with targeted messages that cost a fraction of your big-budget ad campaign. Rather than bombard them with advertising they'll likely ignore, you can focus on getting the right message to the right people at the right time.
Forget about press releases. David makes the distinction between a press release vs. a "news release." The name of the game is to focus on two objectives before you issue a "news release." Number one, think about the buyers we want to reach, second think about the problems that they have or the problems they are trying to solve. This changes everything in the public relations world as we used to know it. In the case of the old rules, you have to write about your own product and the news surrounding it and in the new rules if you focus on the problems that your buyers have you will have much stronger results and David goes into details on how to make that happen. We even go into a case study. David also gives the example of an online travel agent with different cruises. They did a series of news releases using keywords that their buyers were looking for. For example: Their customers were searching on the following 3 keyword phrases; Thanksgiving cruise, Christmas cruise, and New Years Cruise, this is how their customers were looking for cruise information. They understood what their buyers were looking for by asking their customers. They interviewed their buyers and did their own research. They used Marketwire for their distribution. They inserted anchor text links for the phrases. (The phrases are in blue, and link to their landing pages.) Christmas Cruise for example was one particular landing page. Now they have moved people off of the news release on to their landing page. They went into search engine and they inserted "new years cruise," that is why they created an anchor text link for the phrase to drive the user back to the new years cruise landing page. Click to read more

Chaim Hilton's JULY 2007 SELECTION

[book] A Perfect Mess
The Hidden Benefits of Disorder
How Crammed Closets, Cluttered Offices, and On-the-Fly Planning Make the World a Better Place
by Eric Abrahamson and David H. Freedman
2007, Little Brown
Like Freakonomics, here is a book that combines counterintuitive thinking with stories from everyday life to provide a striking new view of how our world works. Ever since Einstein's study of Brownian Motion, scientists have understood that a little disorder actually makes systems more effective. But most people still shun disorder--or suffer guilt over the mess they can't avoid. No longer! With a spectacular array of anecdotes and case studies of the useful role mess can play, here is an antidote to the accepted wisdom that tight schedules, neatness, and consistency are the keys to success. Drawing on examples from business, parenting, cooking, the war on terrorism, retail, and even the meteoric career of Arnold Schwarzenegger, coauthors Abrahamson and Freedman demonstrate that moderately messy systems use resources more efficiently, yield better solutions, and are harder to break than neat ones. A Perfect Mess will help readers assess what the right amount of disorder is for a given system, and how to apply these ideas onto a large scale--government, society-- and on a small scale--in your attic, kitchen, or office. A Perfect Mess will forever change the way we think about those unruly heaps of paper on our desks.

[book] Pink Ribbons, Inc.
Breast Cancer and the Politics of Philanthropy
by Samantha King
The Jewish community is heavily involved in the pink ribbon and breast cancer cure movements. The pink ribbon is the symbol for the fight for a cure and the fight for early detection. Each year, corporations promote pink shaded products and their core products, from bags to yogurt to cars, to support breast cancer research. Pink Ribbons Inc. explores the Susan G. Komen Foundation's Race for the Cure 5 Kilometer runs and other events with large corporate sponsorships. But does this actually overshadow the efforts for prevention and education? King examines the history of philanthropy and how breast cancer became such a prominent cause, garnering far more support and publicity than other diseases, demonstrating the ability of American women to flex their political and economic muscle on behalf of an important cause

Chaim Hilton's JUNE 2007 SELECTION

[book] Confessions of a Municipal Bond Salesman
by Jim Lebenthal, with Bernice Kanner
and a foreword by Paul A. Volcker
He's Jim Lebenthal, and muni bonds are his babies
He is a showman who went to Andover and Princeton, and worked for Disney, Henry Luce and David Ogilvy before landing on Wall Street.
This book is a year old, but still an enjoyable read. I remember watching Mr. James Avram Lebenthal's unusual commercials promoting triple tax free municipal bonds, and then the ads by his daughter, Alexandra, who took over the business from her father, Jim, and her grandmother. (A friend of mine once sat next to Alexandra on a jet flight. He missed his opportunity to ask her out. Maybe she was his bashert?) In this memoir, Jim Lebenthal journeys from Hollywood reporter to Academy Award winning short filmmaker (for Disney in 1959), to copywriter for Ogilvy & Mather and Young & Rubicam (and Restless), to a famous, media savvy bond salesman. His father suffered several strokes when Jim was a teen, and his mother, Sayra, had to take over Lebenthal and Company, an odd lot bond house, fully. Lebenthal tells us about his successes and setbacks. He explains how to recognize opportunity and how to persevere to overcome obstacles. An excellent salesperson, he imparts a few secrets on how to sell and how to avoid procrastination and roadblocks to success (although effort is no guarantee of success, it's just a license to keep at it).
In the words of Jim:
A good ad makes you say the following: I didn't know that, I'll Bite. Tell me more.
Happy at Work? Would you do that job as a hobby without pay?
Never leave a job without at least one success under you rbelt
Advertising is an investment in your brand

[book] Never Say Never
The Insider's Guide to Risk Management (
by Len Biegel
Brick Tower Books (October 25, 2007)
One-fourth to one-third of all American companies say they are not prepared for a crisis. This concise book on crisis management is by a well-known expert in crisis management whose clients have included Tylenol, American Airlines, and Homeland Security. For example, what if you are the CLAIMS CONFERENCE, and it is discovered that $$ have been misspent...
Issues are best addressed early and head-on - thus avoiding a crisis. That is the essence of effective public affairs.
The best crisis is the one that is prevented. And this can be the result of management commitment to listening to and spotting early warnings; effective management of issues before they become crises; and a culture that fosters a commitment to crisis readiness as part of the corporate structure.
As the Tylenol tamperings of the 1980s set a new paradigm for crisis management, the events of September 11, 2001 and the ongoing war on terrorism have set yet another paradigm, which includes a call for companies to:
Make a full-time commitment to crisis management; Employ communications techniques to maximize crisis prevention; Address crisis preparation as a global commitment; Be sensitive to the communication of risk; and Recognize the Web as both an asset and a threat.
Reputation is crucial. It can be severely damaged if it is not handled with candor and concern.
Preparation pays countless dividends when a crisis has hit. Bad things do happen to good companies and organizations. Those who overcome the bad times most easily are those who have prepared to face the difficulties. Decisions in a crisis must be based on the facts, not instinct alone. And delivering bad news can be painful. The faster and more directly you get it out, the sooner you can move beyond initial confusion and impressions - and the more credible you will be in the long run. * Above all - companies that show they care about the customers, their communities and the public at large fare better than those who don't.

Kinky Sex, professionalism, the saving of NYC, Jewish business history, France, Jewish refugees, Wall Street all mix together in the fascinating tale of a unique investment bank, and how egos clashed as the fight ensued for control of the secretive firm.

Chaim Hilton's APRIL 2007 SELECTION

[book] The Last Tycoons
The Secret History of Lazard Frères & Co.
by William D. Cohan
2007, Doubleday
grand and revelatory portrait of Wall Street's most storied investment bank Wall Street investment banks move trillions of dollars a year, make billions in fees, pay their executives in the tens of millions of dollars. But even among the most powerful firms, Lazard Frères & Co. stood apart. Discretion, secrecy, and subtle strategy were its weapons of choice. For more than a century, the mystique and reputation of the "Great Men" who worked there allowed the firm to garner unimaginable profits, social cachet, and outsized influence in the halls of power. But in the mid-1980s, their titanic egos started getting in the way, and the Great Men of Lazard jeopardized all they had built. William D. Cohan, himself a former high-level Wall Street banker, takes the reader into the mysterious and secretive world of Lazard and presents a compelling portrait of Wall Street through the tumultuous history of this exalted and fascinating company. Cohan deconstructs the explosive feuds between Felix Rohatyn and Steve Rattner, superstar investment bankers and pillars of New York society, and between the man who controlled Lazard, the inscrutable French billionaire Michel David-Weill, and his chosen successor, Bruce Wasserstein. Cohan follows Felix, the consummate adviser, as he reshapes corporate America in the 1970s and 1980s, saves New York City from bankruptcy, and positions himself in New York society and in Washington. Felix's dreams are dashed after the arrival of Steve, a formidable and ambitious former newspaper reporter. By the mid-1990s, as Lazard neared its 150th anniversary, Steve and Felix were feuding openly. The internal strife caused by their arguments could not be solved by the imperious Michel, whose manipulative tendencies served only to exacerbate the trouble within the firm. Increasingly desperate, Michel took the unprecedented step of relinquishing operational control of Lazard to one of the few Great Men still around, Bruce Wasserstein, then fresh from selling his own M&A boutique, for $1.4 billion. Bruce's take: more than $600 million. But it turned out Great Man Bruce had snookered Great Man Michel when the Frenchman was at his most vulnerable.



[book] Why Do Buses Come in Threes?
by Robert Eastaway, and Jeremy Wyndham
and a Foreword by Tim Rice

[book] [book]

Chaim Hilton's MARCH 2007 SELECTION

It's not just a Jewish thing. You run into assholes, bullies, creeps, jerks, tormentors and egomaniacs at work, in life, even at the synagogue or Jewish communal organizations. The suppress dissent. They think that in order to convince people of their opinion that they may not allow open dialogue. There are those among us who make co-workers or other members feel bad about themselves, they act like poison, make good people quit, and act-out to the detriment of the group.
Professor Sutton was told by his father at age 8, that he should avoid jerks. He has tried to follow this rule. And has now created a book on the topic. In opposition to Jim Collins book about being passionate about (on the bus or off the bus), Sutton says that sometimes you need to just not care about certain aspects of work and be dispassionate in order to ignore the bullies.
Take the exam: Are u an Arse hole

Now don't get me wrong. Sutton does not want a company of wimps. He knows the confrontation is useful and necessary. But he writes, "Every organization needs the no asshole rule because mean-spirited people do massive damage to victims, bystanders who suffer the ripple effects, organizational performance, and themselves... The effects of assholes are so devastating because they sap people of their energy and esteem mostly through the accumulated effects of small, demeaning acts, not so much through one or two dramatic episodes." (pages 27-29)
Sutton lists "the dirty dozen" tactics that assholes use: 1. Personal insults; 2. Invading one's "personal territory"; 3. Uninvited physical contact; 4. Threats and intimidation, both verbal and nonverbal; 5. "Sarcastic jokes" and "teasing" used as insult delivery systems; 6. Withering email flames; 7. Status slaps intended to humiliate their victims; 8. Public shaming or "status degradation" rituals; 9. Rude interruptions; 10. Two-faced attacks; 11. Dirty looks; and 12. Treating people as if they are invisible.
Sutton conitnues that a "ONE asshole rule" can complement the NO asshole rule, writing that "Decades of research on how human groups react to 'deviant' members implies that having one or two assholes around may be better than having none at all." A single highly exposed rule-breaker can spur others to do the right thing." For instance, while people are less likely to litter on a clean surface than a messy one, they are even less likely to litter on a surface with a single piece of garbage than on one with no garbage at all. The norm violation sticks out like a sore thumb and reinforces good behavior. "A token asshole reminds everyone how not to behave."
[book] The No Asshole Rule
Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn't
by Robert I. Sutton
2007, Warner Business
Robert I. Sutton is Professor of Management Science and Engineering in the Stanford Engineering School, where he is the former Co-Director of the Center for Work, Technology, and Organization, an active researcher and cofounder in the Stanford Technology Ventures Program, and a cofounder and active member of the new "," a multi-disciplinary program that teaches and spreads "design thinking." Dr. Sutton received his Ph.D. in Organizational Psychology from The University of MichiganHe was named by Business 2.0 as a leading "management guru" in 2002. Sutton studies the links between managerial knowledge and organizational action, innovation, and organizational performance.
There have been many reactions to Sutton's book. A distraught San Francisco police captain who was given the book as a gift was insulted by the book, thinking that it was about his management style. An attorney reported that she was going to display a copy of the book on her office because she thought it might cause clients and colleagues to be nicer to her. HR people held workshops where they used the book. An office assistant had the book on her desk; her boss told her to take it off her desk and bring it home, because it was making people uncomfortable. She suggested that the real reason that her boss wanted her to get rid of it was that he is an asshole -- and didn't want to face the fact....An HR executive told me yesterday that her boss -- a total asshole -- had three copies of the book on his desk. She couldn't figure out if it indicated a complete lack of self-awareness about his effects on others, an admission of his problem, or even the start of a change effort. Perhaps he just bought them for the chapter on "The Virtues of Assholes.".... "If we are nice to each other, we will be nice to customers."

[book] Book cover: Today's deluge of business books exhaustively addresses problems with leadership, corporate strategy, sales, budgeting, incentives, innovation, execution, and on and on. But scant attention is devoted to a problem that plagues every workplace: Assholes. In a landmark Harvard Business Review essay, Stanford Professor Robert Sutton showed how assholes weren't just an office nuisance, but a serious and costly threat to corporate success and employee health. In his new book, Sutton reveals the huge TCA (Total Cost of Assholes) in today's corporations. He shows how to spot an asshole (hint: they are addicted to rude interruptions and subtle putdowns, and enjoy using "sarcastic jokes" and "teasing" as "insult delivery systems"), and provides a "self-test" to determine whether you deserve to be branded as a "certified asshole." And he offers tips that you can use to keep your "inner jerk" from rearing its ugly head. Sutton then uses in-depth research and analysis to show how managers can eliminate mean-spirited and unproductive behavior (while positively channeling some of the virtues of assholes) to generate an asshole free--and newly productive--workplace. Enlightening case studies include an analysis of how Google's "don't be evil" maxim helped launch the company to unprecedented early growth, how JetBlue and Southwest Airlines "fire" passengers who demean their employees, and how a "belligerent" e-mail from Cerner CEO Neal Patterson made his company's stock plunge 22% in three days (and how his graceful apology helped the stock bounce back.

Chaim Hilton's JANUARY 2007 SELECTION

Happy New Year. When Gert Boyle was thirteen, she fled Germany with her family. Her father had a shirt factory in Augsburg, Germany. When Hitler came to power, her father traveled from Germany to Portland Oregon to scope out the environment. That is how Ms. Boyle escaped Nazism and ended up in Oregon. In 1938, her father bought a hat company from the Rosenfeld brothers and chnaged the name to the Columbia Hat Company (named for the Columbia River). Gert loved to sew and made the company's first fishing vest. At the University of Arizona, she met her husband at a drunken frat party, and after graduation, they married and moved back to Portland.
By the 1970's, the firm was generating $800,000 a year. But three months after her husband, Neal, 47, took an SBA loan for $150K, and put up his life insurance and houses as collateral, he died. Gert had to take over the busy, and a year later, sales had dropped 25%.
She was tough. She hired, she fired, she told off creditors and bankers. She faced three union strikes, so she moved production overseas. In the mid 19070's they decided to focus on their core competencies: typical outdoor leisure clothes. In 1986, the developed the Quad parka for hunters, but decided to market it to skiers and call it the Bugaboo coat. Over 5 million have been sold. This helped them to go public in 1988.
This is the story of how she succeeded as a tough Jewish woman in the apparel business.

[book] One Tough Mother
Taking Charge in Life, Business, and Apple Pies
By Gert Boyle, Chairman of Columbia Sportswear
with Kerry Tymchuk
January 2007, Carroll and Graf
How the mother of three, the daughter of a Jewish man who fled Nazi Germany, turned a struggling ski-wear company into a billion dollar industry leader, Columbia Sportswear.
When a heart attack claimed Gert Boyle's husband in 1970, the forty-six-year-old housewife and mother of three found herself at the helm of Columbia Sportswear, a small outerwear manufacturer in Portland, Oregon, that was struggling financially. With no business experience whatsoever, Boyle was faced with the challenge of running Columbia, which had been founded in 1937 by her father - a Jewish immigrant who had fled Hitler's Germany. Boyle and her son Tim persevered, turning a company that in 1970 had forty employees and less than $800,000 in annual sales into the leading seller of skiwear in the United States, with more than 2000 employees and over a billion in annual sales. Along the way, thanks in part to a creative marketing campaign that billed her as "one tough mother," Boyle established herself as an industry icon, and the first woman ever inducted into the International Sporting Goods Hall of Fame. One Tough Mother presents an honest and often irreverent account of Boyle's journey from a childhood in Nazi Germany to incredible success in America. She offers insights into succeeding in business and in life, and shares many of the advertisements and strategies that have made her so recognizable. Click the book cover to read more.

Chaim Hilton's DECEMBER 2006 SELECTION

I was invited to the book party for "The Mystery of the Kaddish: Its Profound Influence on Judaism" by bond-trader, real estate investor, cantor, celebrity-advisor, and lawyer, Leon Charney. He even belted out a prayer at the end of his reading, in a posh dining room of a prestigious international bank. In addition to hob-nobbing with a couple famous rabbis, and a few investors, I stood next to a cashew chomping, Joe Franklin. I felt like asking him whether it was true that he raped comedian Sarah Silverman (as she states in her film, Jesus is Magic), but that would have been silly and inappropriate, I also chatted with author, Dan Kurzman (Fatal Voyage), who told me about his forthcoming book on Hitler's Plot Against Pope Pius.
But the real highlight was when I was standing far in the back of the room, away from the action, and I spied a very fit, older gentleman, also sitting far in the back and looking slightly bored. It looked like "Ace" Greenberg, of Bear Stearns, UJA Card Calling, and bridge fame. After he got up and left the reading, I saw that he had left his nametag on the floor... "Alan C. Greenberg, Esq., it read. ... so, yes, it was the famous investor and author (Memos from the Chairman ).
Which brings me to my book recommendation for December.
[book] The Real Deal
My Life in Business and Philanthropy
by Sandy Weill, with Judah S. Kraushaar
October 2006. Warner
The Sandy Weill story is truly one for the ages. Starting with $30,000 in borrowed cash in 1960, and relying on uncanny entrepreneurial instincts in the corporate world, he made himself a billionaire and became one of the most powerful bankers in the world. After rising to become the president of American Express, Weill saw his empire crash and burn. Undaunted, he started over with a second-tier consumer loan company called Commercial Credit, which eventually led to his position as CEO and then chairman of Citigroup. While at Citigroup, Weill delivered an astounding 2,600% return to investors--better than legendary CEO Jack Welch or investor Warren Buffett during that same period. But success is never an easy path, and Weill shares all the high and low points along the way--warts and all. His ascent to power has been documented by the business media over the years, but never before has Weill gone on the record, revealing his brutally honest and unvarnished side of his astounding life and career trajectory.
Weill started humbly. The fact that he is Jewish put him at a marked disadvantage in starting out on Wall Street in the 1950s. Weill turned his outsider status to advantage by mastering the unglamorous ledger sheet and back-office fundamentals of business and in developing an exquisite feel for the unconventional business opportunity. According to Biz Week, "Weill built the upstart Shearson Loeb Rhoades from the broken pieces of haughty old-line brokerages unable to adapt to the Computer Age. In 1981, Weill sold Shearson to American Express, and many Wall Streeters assumed he soon would dislodge the seemingly soft, patrician Robinson as CEO. Instead, it was Weill who resigned in frustration after belatedly realizing that he would never run AmEx. In 1986, at age 53, he again started from scratch, acquiring a rundown consumer finance company in Baltimore. Over the next decade, Weill transformed Commercial Credit through a series of bold acquisitions into Citigroup, the world's largest and most profitable financial institution."
Weill writes about the time he started his own firm with three partners: Shortly after we set up shop, the four of us and our wives convened at Arthur's home on Long Island to celebrate. It was a festive occasion, and we all openly shared our aspirations. To this day, I remember the others stressing over and over their desire to become wealthy. Given that Joanie and I were raising two toddlers and lived nearly hand to mouth, the talk was certainly seductive. Still, what I remember most from that dinner was my declaration that the money should be secondary-what mattered more to me was to build a great firm: one that would lead the industry, employ lots of people, endure over many years, and importantly, command respect. Over the next forty-three years, I never altered my priorities.
Weill is honest about some flaws. For example, during the negotiations to sell Shearson, Weill told Cohen that he would push hard for his appointment to AmEx's board of directors. When Robinson pushed back, Weill promptly caved but did not inform Cohen until days later at the end of a shared Friday afternoon cab ride home. As Weill got out, he blurted out the bad news and slammed the door in Cohen's face. Yet when Cohen on his own successfully lobbied Robinson for the board appointment, Weill was furious at his protégé's disloyalty. "Now I looked completely foolish," Weill writes. And Weill's quasi-paternal relationship with Dimon, now CEO of JPMorgan Chase, took a decisive turn for the worse, after Citigroup hired Weill's daughter, Jessica Bibliowicz, in 1994. Bibliowicz, a mutual fund marketer several levels down from Dimon, disagreed with him about a marketing initiative. "At some point, I decided to sit in on some of the discussions," Weill writes. "Coincidentally, I adopted a point of view that turned out to resemble Jessica's." Fancy that. When Dimon declined to vault Bibliowicz ahead of others into senior posts, Weill bristled at "a hurtful treatment of my daughter." Weill comes across as a man whose ego is as towering as his ambition. Click the book cover to read more.

Chaim Hilton's NOVEMBER 2006 SELECTION

Why is Andy Grove seen as the business example for this decade? Born to a Jewish family in Hungary in 1936, Andras Istvan Grof survived the Holocaust and survived Soviet occupation. He escaped, studied, and helped build Intel into a top corporation, spreading paranoia through the Silicon Valley (hehe). According to Andy, a company, such as Intel, is always one wrong answer away from disaster, and a closed mind is a trap door to the abyss. You must accept all opinions and weigh and judge them. Andy believes that STRATEGY IS DESTINY. As the author of the book below write, "In business you often don't see the cliff until you've already walked over it. Visibility on the ground is bad, and the roadmap--well, that can't be trusted either. To spot the next cliff, Andy Grove was willing to let go of his instincts--since they could be wrong--and view himself as a student might: from outside, peering down with the wide-angle, disinterested perspective of the observer. Did the man below seem aware of his surroundings? Was he choosing the correct path? Was there a 1,000-foot drop ahead?"
The author asks: What can others learn from Grove's odyssey? As we face a future where change is not only constant but accelerating, reality will transform itself more swiftly than most humans--or most companies--are hard-wired to handle. Even startups that overturn one reality are easily overturned by the next big change. Grove has escaped natural selection by doing the evolving himself. Forcibly adapting himself to a succession of new realities, he has left a trail of discarded assumptions in his wake. When reality has changed, he has found the will to let go and embrace the new. He never lost his Hungarian refugee's apprehension of the risk of imminent failure.
Grove had never been one to rely on others' interpretations of reality. In Hungary, "reality" was shaped by one's position in the government system. At Intel, Grove fostered a culture in which "knowledge power" would trump "position power." Anyone could challenge anyone else's idea, so long as it was about the idea and not the person--and so long as you were ready for the demand "Prove it."
I think the most exciting part of the story is how Grove and Moore brought Intel back from it's losses in the eighties, moved away from memory chips, and overcame the after effects of laying off 8000 employees in 1986 after losing $180 million.

November 2006. Portfolio
The definitive biography of an enigmatic business legend. Andy Grove, the CEO of Intel during its years of explosive growth, is on the shortlist of America's most admired businesspeople, along with Steve Jobs, Warren Buffett, and Bill Gates. Brilliant, brave, and willing to defy conventional wisdom, Grove is, according to Harvard Business School professor Richard S. Tedlow, "the best model we have for leading a business in the twenty-first century." Grove gave Tedlow unprecedented access to his private papers, along with wide-ranging interviews and access to his closest friends and key business associates. Nothing was off limits, and Tedlow was free to draw his own conclusions. The result is not just a gripping life story but a fascinating analysis of how Grove attacks problems. Born a Hungarian Jew in 1936, Andras Istvan Grof survived the Nazis only to face the Soviet invasion of his country. He fled to America at age twenty, studied engineering, and arrived in Silicon Valley just in time for a historic opportunity. He became the third employee of Intel, working for the legendary Gordon Moore and Robert Noyce. As talented as he was as an engineer, Grove became an even better manager, as we learn from exclusive excerpts from his secret management diaries. Tedlow shows us exactly how that penniless immigrant taught himself to lead a major corporation through some of the toughest challenges in the history of business. This is an inspiring biography that will enthrall anyone who cares about technology or leadership. Click the book cover to read more.

Chaim Hilton's OCTOBER 2006 SELECTION

Mazel tov to Yeshiva University. They are the recipient of a $300 million gift from Ronald P. Stanton, 78, who chose business over the rabbinate, and ended up becoming a billionaire. In honor of YU, I recommend the following book:

[book] Moral Issues of the Marketplace in Jewish Law
by Aaron Levine, YU and Young Israel of Avenue J
January 2005, Yashar Books

Rabbi Bleich, Rosh Yeshiva and Rosh Kollel of YU wrote, "Both student and scholar will glean new insights from the erudite analyses presented in this volume." By use of the case study method, this book presents and analyzes moral dilemmas of the marketplace from the perspective of American law, secular business ethics, and Jewish law. The types of moral dilemmas with which are dealt are those that one encounters in everyday life in the roles of market participant and citizen. Economic analysis and public policy considerations are a feature of this work. Through Dr. Levine#s interdisciplinary approach, this book shows that secular scholarship and economic analysis open up vistas, nuances, and subtleties for cases discussed in ancient and modern Jewish law sources. The moral dilemmas in this work are organized topically. The topics include: professional ethics; fair competition; marketing ethics; labor relations; privacy issues; public policy; and ethical issues in the protection of property.
The first chapter deals with professional ethics. In Section 1, the issue of False Goodwill is explored. When must the the opportunity to capture legitimately-earned goodwill be passed up? The cases explore these issues in the setting of a number of moral dilemmas a rabbi faced in the course of going about his professional duties. In Section 2, the issue of truth telling in the context of labor and crisis negotiations is discussed. Can false demands, false promises, false threats, diversionary tactics and insincerity, all common tactics in negotiations, be used? Is the standard of truth telling during negotiations different from the standard of truth telling in other settings? The second chapter deals with the ethics of various competitive tactics in the marketplace.
To what extent does Jewish Law protect an established firm from competitive pressures of new entrants ( I remember when a newstand opened across from an existing newsstand at Columbia University. Should I boycott the new entrant? ) Jewish Law espouses rules of "fair competition" for competitors. Is the maximization of consumer welfare the only criterion? How does American Law differ from Jewish Law on this issue of protecting an established firm from the competitive pressures of new entrants? Also discussed is non compete clauses. Can a "post-employment restrictive covenant" be used on employees who are terminated or leave? How are trade secrets handled? Can I "steal" customers from my old employer if I plan to give them better service? How do you handle commercial relationships when one party has leverage or power over the other? How much leverage can you exert (or exploit) and still be moral? Can the weaker party escape an obligation, claiming insignificance and weakness? Is it okay to ripoff AT&T and ConEd since they are so huge? If it costs $5000 to sue me for non-payment of $50, and I know that the company will just ignore my transgression, may I exploit my weakness to save money and avoid my obligation? If leverage is exercised, does this violate oshek (extortion) and the prohibition of lo tahmod (coveting)? What about the rabbinical extensions of the biblical prohibition of ribbit (the charging and the payment of interest on loans)?
Chapter 3 deals with ethical issues (virtuous dealings, acceptable behavior) in marketing, TELEMARKETING, thwarting telemarketers, pressure tactics (reminds me of the time my friend's car broke, and the Jewish mechanic, whose office was plastered with various Rebbe posters, said it would cost $800 to fix the battery, but then came down to $500 to replace the $85 battery), pricing policies, and salesmanship. Can I obtain information from a salesman, and then purchase the product elsewhere without compensating the original salesperson? Section 3 asks whether an employer can amend the work rules on an employee when these rules were not agreed to by the employee before he signed the contract. Chapter 4 focuses on workplace privacy. Does Jewish Law validate pre-hiring screening for drug, tobacco and alcohol abuse? Can handwriting analysis be used? Can re-testing occur? Can employee e-mail be opened? Chapter 5 takes up ethical issues of the marketplace and public policy. If the government's law regarding "deception" in advertising is less stringent than Jewish Law, what rule may you use. Must we answer to a higher authority? If the government allows whistleblowing and Jewish Law does not... what is a potential whistleblower to do? When is disclosure allowed and may you respect a whistleblower? In Chapter 6, property rights are explored. May a to protect his property against theft? May a student protect herself against cheaters? How safe must you maintain your property? What is liability? The following case is used as an example when comparing American and Jewish law: Lee v. Chicago Transit Authority, in which a drunk man, in a stupor, was electrocuted in 1977, by the third rail of a Chicago elevated train while urinating on the tracks. Was the Chicago T.A. liable?
Click the book cover above to read more.


September, and my thoughts are with what may become America's Tisha-b'Av for the next decade: namely 9/11 and Katrina. Speaking of Katrina, did you know that Tom Oreck of those vacuum cleaner television commercials is not only from New Orleans (Harahan), but Jewish? Tom Oreck is on the board of his local synagogue and has been to Israel several times. His great-grandfather's surname was Oreckovsky, but he thought that didn't sound American enough, so he shortened it to Oreck.
What can Tom teach us? Just before Hurricane Katrina made landfall last Aug. 29, Tom Oreck, president and CEO of cleaning products manufacturer and retailer Oreck Corp., took off from New Orleans on a plane bound for Houston. With him were his wife, his kids, his dog and his company's backup tapes. When he touched down, he FedExed the tapes to the company's backup data center in Boulder, Colorado, and began piecing his company back together. His lesson... First of all, in today's networked environment, when one IT system breaks down, they're all down, for all intents and purposes. Second, the public telecommunications system cannot be counted on. And lastly, although a good business continuity plan is essential, recovery from a disaster depends on what Oreck calls "aggressive improvisation" by employees. "Our business is about three things. It is about marketing. It is about controlled, aligned distribution. And it is about quality, both in the product and in customer service," says Oreck. In the end, everything is - like it or not - linked. And so a breakdown anywhere in the system is a breakdown everywhere in the system.
So it is with the Jewish people.. no?

Speaking of making connections, our book suggestion of the month is below. Jeffrey Gitomer's family also changed their name.. from Zhitomersky. His rule is "(good) advice is useless unless you follow it."

[book] Little Black Book of Connections
6.5 Assets for Networking Your Way to Rich Relationships
by Jeffrey Gitomer
2006, Bard
People in all kinds of jobs, in big and small companies career builders, sales people, and aspiring executives will love this edgy, practical, and fun book. In the spirit, style, and format of the bestselling Little Red Book of Selling, the country's number 1 sales trainer, Jeffrey Gitomer, offers a fresh take on networking and connecting your way to success. The Little Black Book of Connections is based on the power of give value first. It's about how you can climb the ladder without stepping on people's backs. It's about how to earn the respect of a powerful mentor without begging. It's about how to build stronger relationships with customers, bosses, co-workers, vendors, friends, and family. It's about being in the same room with powerful people. It's about how to connect and how to not connect. It's about how to say the right things to the right people in the right circumstances to make the right impression. The book is small. The cover is classic black cloth. The four-color text graphics makes it attractive and easy to read the compelling content is easy to understand and implement Click the book cover above to read more.

Chaim Hilton's SUMMER 2006 SELECTION

I am still struck by a speech I once heard at a UJA dinner in NYC I which Lawrence Zicklin, the former ceo of Neuberger and Berman received an award. The speech by his son was so great that I put my IRA into a fund. (which reminds me, we need to edit a book on raising financially responsible Jewish children... for example, should 25% of their allowance be set aside for tzedaka; should you match dollar for dollar the money they earn at part-time jobs, etc.) ... I haven't found a book by Larry Zicklin to highlight on this site, or a syllabus from his Wharton Legal Studies classes, so instead, I will recommend an oldie but goody. Howard Schultz's autobiography of growing up Jewish in NYC and begging for a job at Starbucks, winning the job, quitting, competing, then, with the help of investors and basketball teammates from Seattle's Jewish community, buying Starbuck's from the men who founded it in 1971, and changing its business model into an international coffee bar chain.

[book] Pour Your Heart into It
How Starbucks Built a Company One Cup at a Time
by Howard Schultz
1999, Hyperion
Kirkus Reviews wrote: "A chatty history of Starbucks by its CEO, who announces that he considers the company to be only in its third chapter (which is nowhere near the eleventh). Schultz first heard of Starbucks in 1981 when he sold to the fledgling business a number of expensive coffeemakers, and he fell in love with the company immediately. He calls the meeting bashert (Yiddish for destiny), and while the Seattle-based group may have had another word for it, Brooklyn-bred Schultz does seem particularly suited to Starbucks. He repeatedly swoons over the coffee and details at length the process that turns a small green bean into a dark brown drink in a green cup. His enthusiasm for his product is palpable when he writes of ``the romance of the coffee experience'' at Starbucks, though his tips about how to run a company are less valuable. Schultz does offer some useful war stories--especially his dinner with the Seattle partners, who found him ``too New York''--and his idea of putting even part-time workers on the company's health-care plan is both admirable and cost-effective, saving money on employee turnover. Schultz, who bought the company for under $4 million, should have more specific points to convey about how he made Starbucks worth over $270 million in a half a decade. And much of the Starbucks story is overly familiar, while elsewhere, the narrative would be better served if the events were discussed chronologically: It's jarring to jump from the 1996 success of Frappuccinos and ice cream to the devastating Brazilian frost of 1994. Though this is unsatisfying as a skim-milk latte in places, Schultz is less a braggart and more a true believer than many CEOs, and (with Business Week staffer Yang) he provides a pleasing read." Click the book cover above to read more.

Chaim Hilton's JUNE 2006 SELECTION

I once met Attorney Ross at a QEFSG party for a former Apprentice. Ross was personable and available. So... of course George Ross is Jewish.. you need that right hand man, Jewish kopf to run a large business, don't you? Such a mensch. He even took off for Yom Kippur during the taping of the Apprentice one season.

[book][book] [book]
Trump Strategies for Real Estate
Billionaire Lessons for the Small Investor
by George Ross
Trump-Style Negotiation
Powerful Strategies and Tactics for Mastering Every Deal
by George H. Ross
Attorney Ross, a real estate attorney and former teacher at NYU, has been featured on "The Apprentice" as a boardroom judge, and his observations play a vital role in influencing Mr. Donald Trump's decisions. His books describe how Mr. Trump identifies potential properties and how he finances, negotiates, and markets his big deals. And how he negotiates deals. Ross advises that prepared investors start small, build slowly, and finance projects with other people's money. "Based on my experience, more fortunes are lost than made [in real estate]. You can and will lose if you don't know what you are doing."


Sometimes you feel like a robot at work. Hopefully these books will help you to focus and work for a higher purpose.

[The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable] [know yourself] [ben mezrich] [us navy]

[House of Hiltron from conrad to paris] [power of nice] [l l bean] [john kotter]

[book] Jewish Business Ethics
The Firm and Its Stakeholder
by Moses L. Pava (Editor), Aaron Levine (Editor)
Jason Aronson; (December 1999)
Derived from the eighth Orthodox Forum Conference sponsored by Yeshiva University which dealt with business ethics and Jewish tradition. Click the book cover above to read more.

[book] What Queen Esther Knew
Business Strategies from a Biblical Sage
By Connie Glaser and Barbara Steinberg Smalley
Rodale 2003
The ancient story of Queen Esther, the impoverished orphan girl who rose to become the Queen of Persia, has inspired and captivated millions over the years. Connie Glaser and Barbara Smalley, authors of Swim with the Dolphins, recognized something remarkable in this biblical tale-it contained a recipe for contemporary women in the business world to achieve their every dream of success, recognition, and financial abundance. Whether readers are familiar with Queen Esther's story or not, her example as a strategist, persuasive speaker, risk-taker, and whistle-blower will inspire and empower women to become the champions of their own careers. Glaser and Smalley take the reader through the life of Queen Esther using her experiences and triumphs as allegories for women's success in business. With their combined knowledge of the business world, the authors open up a world of possibilities with headings such as: -Ascending to Power: Making a Positive First Impression -Find a Mentor to Open Your Eyes and Doors -It Pays to Know the Palace Gossip -Take Calculated Risks -Mapping Out Your Plan of Attack -Free Yourself from Approval Addiction. From Esther's start as a contestant in the ancient world's largest beauty pageant to her triumph over the evil Haman, the authors use her example as a strategist, a risk-taker, and a persuasive speaker to provide a new archetype for contemporary women's success in business. Along the way, they answer questions such as: Do I really need a mentor, and if so, how do I find one? What can I do to be taken more seriously? How can I get the credit and recognition I deserve--without seeming pushy or aggressive? How important is risk-taking to my career success? Smart, savvy, and strategic, Queen Esther provides an impressive role model for women today. Click the book cover above to read more.

[book] Business Ethics
A Jewish Perspective
by Moses L. Pava
In the twenty-first volume of the Yeshiva University/ KTAV Library of Jewish Law and Ethics, a Yeshiva University professor explains the relevance and applicability of Judaism's religious law and moral vision to the realities of the businessperson's practical life. Pava divides the book into three parts. Part 1 discusses why people often fail at business ethics and how they might succeed. Part 2 discusses the goals, substance, and method of Jewish business ethics. Part 3 examines corporate social responsibility and the use of inside information. Pava interprets classical Jewish writings in light of our contemporary business world. In a society where ethics seems to be a concept of the past, businessmen and businesswomen, Jews and non-Jews alike, could benefit from Pava's keen insights and practical approach Click the book cover above to read more.

[book] Managers Not MBAs
A Hard Look at the Soft Practice of Managing and Management Development
by Henry Mintzberg
Berrett-Koehler Pub; (May 15, 2004)
The trouble with "management" education, says author Henry Mintzberg, is that it is business education, and leaves a distorted impression of management. In Managers Not MBAs, he offers a new definition of management as a blend of craft (experience), art (insight), and science (analysis). An education that overemphasizes science encourages a style of managing the author calls "calculating," or if the graduates believe themselves to be artists, the related style "heroic." According to the book, neither heroes nor technocrats in positions of influence are useful - what's really needed are balanced, dedicated people who practice a style that can be called "engaging." Such people believe their purpose is to leave behind stronger organizations, not just higher share prices. Managers Not MBAs explains in detail how to cultivate such managers, and how they can transform the business world and, ultimately, society. Click the book cover above to read more.

[book] The Long Tail
Why the Future of Business Is Selling Less of More
by Chris Anderson
July 2006,
From Publishers Weekly: Wired editor Anderson declares the death of "common culture"-and insists that it's for the best. Why don't we all watch the same TV shows, like we used to? Because not long ago, "we had fewer alternatives to compete for our screen attention," he writes. Smash hits have existed largely because of scarcity: with a finite number of bookstore shelves and theaters and Wal-Mart CD racks, "it's only sensible to fill them with the titles that will sell best." Today, Web sites and online retailers offer seemingly infinite inventory, and the result is the "shattering of the mainstream into a zillion different cultural shards." These "countless niches" are market opportunities for those who cast a wide net and de-emphasize the search for blockbusters. It's a provocative analysis and almost certainly on target-though Anderson's assurances that these principles are equally applicable outside the media and entertainment industries are not entirely convincing. The book overuses its examples from Google, Rhapsody, iTunes, Amazon, Netflix and eBay, and it doesn't help that most of the charts of "Long Tail" curves look the same. But Anderson manages to explain a murky trend in clear language, giving entrepreneurs and the rest of us plenty to think about. Click the book cover above to read more.

[book] Taking Stock
A Spiritual Guide to Rising Above Life's Financial Ups and Downs
by Benjamin Blech
2003, Amacom
What is it about money that not only makes us feel secure but also drives us to measure our true worth by our financial standing? Whether we've experienced unmet monetary goals, job loss, or outright financial crisis, too many of us have let the stress of financial issues obscure our higher priorities. Taking Stock is a revelatory book filled with the wisdom and practical tools to move toward a lifeview in which success is defined by spiritual clarity, not by the promises money seldom delivers. The author has been through his own rags-to-riches-and-back-to-rags saga, through which he learned money's true place and value. Examples from his own experience and from community and business life are sprinkled with teachings from the world's religions -- not to mention a healthy dose of common sense. To the religious and nonobservant alike, Taking Stock reveals: the role money plays in our lives; why we envy others for things we don't need; the difference between failure and failing; and how to "start over" using new definitions of success and happiness. The book closes with Prescriptions for Each Day of the Week, each one an inspiring and beautiful story with a gentle, clear moral. With compassion, humor, and profound wisdom, Taking Stock gives readers not only a way to cope, but also a deep appreciation for what they have -- not what they're missing. Click the book cover above to read more.

[book] The Power of Nice
How to Conquer the Business World With Kindness
by Linda Kaplan Thaler, and Robin Koval
September 2006, Doubleday Currency
Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Koval have moved to the top of the advertising industry by following a simple but powerful philosophy: it pays to be nice. Where so many companies encourage a dog eat dog mentality, the Kaplan Thaler Group has succeeded through chocolate and flowers. In THE POWER OF NICE, through their own experiences and the stories of other people and businesses, they demonstrate why, contrary to conventional wisdom, nice people finish first. Turning the well-known adage of "Nice Guys Finish Last" on its ear, THE POWER OF NICE shows that "nice" companies have lower employee turnover, lower recruitment costs, and higher productivity. Nice people live longer, are healthier, and make more money. In today's interconnected world, companies and people with a reputation for cooperation and fair play forge the kind of relationships that lead to bigger and better opportunities, both in business and in life. But being nice doesn't mean acting wimpy. In fact, nice may be the toughest four-letter word you'll ever encounter. Kaplan Thaler and Koval illustrate the surprising power of nice with an array of real-life examples from the business arena as well as from their personal lives. Most important, they present a plan of action covering everything from creating a positive impression to sweetening the pot to turning enemies into allies. Filled with inspiration and suggestions on how to supercharge your career and expand your reach in the workplace, THE POWER OF NICE will transform how you live and work. Click the book cover above to read more.

[book] Mind Set!
Reset Your Thinking and See the Future
by John Naisbitt
October 2006, Harpercollins
In recent years, as John Naisbitt gave speeches across all continents and advised political and business leaders across the world, he would be asked with greater and greater frequency: "How do you know what you know? How do go about making these insights? How can we learn the process?" In Mind Set!, John Naisbitt reveals how to develop and experience the power of 11 cognitive tools that will allow readers to understand the trends transforming their daily life and the world around them, so they can anticipate and act on the future. In a narrative that is captivating in its scope and reach - ranging from Yao Ming and the NBA to Goethe and Global Domains - Naisbitt liberates readers from the limitations of our routine ways of thinking with a step-by-step program to incorporate these new attitudes of mind and apply them in making decisions. Part One reveals the 11 mindsets that will help readers achieve clarity in today's extremely confusing world, and provides step-by-step instructions on how best to liberate themselves from their rigid perspective. Part Two examines a broader perspective and identifies the five global shifts that will inform every reader's ideas about the future. Click the book cover above to read more.

[book] The Bible on Leadership
From Moses to Matthew-Management Lessons for Contemporary Leaders
by Mr. Lorin Woolfe
Woolfe, a bible student, management consultant and therapist, uses examples from the various bibles to teach management lessons. Click the book cover above to read more.

[book] Case Studies in Jewish Business Ethics
(Library of Jewish Law and Ethics, V. 22)
by Aaron Levine
A rabbi and an economist, Levine draws on his extensive scholarship in both fields to apply American and Jewish law to ethical issues in business. As the title implies, Levine, who teaches courses at Yeshiva University, presents case illustrations and then explores which Jewish laws apply and which principles can be induced. The cases fall into the following categories: advertising and marketing, salesmanship, pricing policies, labor relations, and consumer and social ethics in the marketplace. Levine sets the tone for his book in an early chapter on moral education in which he offers contradictory opinions on telling the truth. He asserts that it is "a sin to lie," but then introduces the concept of "permissible lies." Throughout the book, Levine follows this pattern of presenting contrary views, often taken from the Talmud, but, in each instance, he provides a definitive judgment. He also presents a number of problems for students to solve by applying the principles he has set forth, though the lack of any discussion of these problems reduces their usefulness. Chapter summaries would have been helpful, and the book ends abruptly without a conclusion. Frequent repetition is a further weakness. Careful editing could have improved this impressive contribution to a complex subject. Click the book cover above to read more.

[book] The Kabbalah of Money
Jewish Insights on Giving, Owning, and Receiving
by Rabbi Nilton Bonder
The Courage to Be Happy Sylvia Boorstein Where does happiness come from? How is it possible, in the face of suffering and loss, to remain responsive and compassionate toward all people? On The Courage to Be Happy, bestselling author and meditation teacher Sylvia Boorstein looks into core teachings of Buddhism and Judaism, and emerges with complementary truths about the happiness that is always available to us, despite external circumstances. Boorstein uses her "two vocabularies" - one Buddhist, the other Jewish - to tell how, after years of meditation and prayer, she came to know why the Buddha was called in his time "The Happy One." Fearless and challenging, The Courage to Be Happy is most of all, about the real meaning of this moment. Click the book cover above to read more.

[book] Yiddishe Kop
Creative Problem Solving in Jewish Learning, Lore and Humor
by Rabbi Nilton Bonder
A rabbi and graduate of the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York, Bonder offers an intriguing glimpse into what he views as the Jewish tradition of life: negotiating information, understanding, wisdom, and reverence in order to use both faith in God and daily experience to live life with insight and closeness to God. Bonder's revisitation of the mystical awareness of the Talmud and the teachings of the rabbis should prove popular with spiritual seekers and devout Jews alike. Click the book cover above to read more.

[book] Thou Shall Prosper
Ten Commandments for Making Money
by Rabbi Daniel Lapin
Wiley, 2005
Combining pop psychology, snippets of Jewish lore, homespun homilies and quotations from a daunting variety of sources, Lapin offers a manual on how to make money by succeeding in business. Lapin, a super-conservative Orthodox rabbi and talk show host, insists that everyone is in business "unless you are a Supreme Court judge [sic] or a tenured university professor." (Excluding professors fits with Lapin's devaluation of them, since he believes that higher education doesn't prepare for "real life.") The material is organized into 10 chapters of advice, beginning with the notion that "business is moral, noble and worthy," and ending with the admonition not to retire. Throughout, Lapin urges behavior that will produce more business and, thus, more money. For example, he unabashedly recommends attending synagogue or church services in order to make business contacts. Similarly, he encourages giving charity to an organization that has members who "are in the best position to advance your business objectives." Lapin justifies these dubious actions by interpreting the fifth commandment ("Honor thy father and thy mother") as a mandate to form relationships for business purposes. His struggle to ground his financial advice in Jewish tradition is abandoned as he expounds an anti-environmentalist stance. He digresses still further from both Judaism and wealth-building when he gives tips for public speaking based on what his father taught him (talking without a manuscript or notes and not grasping the rostrum). Lapin's book may appeal to patient readers who share his conservative political and economic views. . Click the book cover above to read more.

[book] Does Measurement Measure Up?
How Numbers Reveal and Conceal the Truth
by John M. Henshaw
Johns Hopkins Press, 2006
There was once a time when we could not measure sound, color, blood pressure, or even time. We now find ourselves in the throes of a measurement revolution, from the laboratory to the sports arena, from the classroom to the courtroom, from a strand of DNA to the far reaches of outer space. Measurement controls our lives at work, at school, at home, and even at play. But does all this measurement really measure up? Here, John Henshaw examines the ways in which measurement makes sense or creates nonsense. Henshaw tells the controversial story of intelligence measurement from Plato to Binet to the early days of the SAT to today's super-quantified world of No Child Left Behind. He clears away the fog on issues of measurement in the environment, such as global warming, hurricanes, and tsunamis, and in the world of computers, from digital photos to MRI to the ballot systems used in Florida during the 2000 presidential election. From cycling and car racing to baseball, tennis, and track-and-field, he chronicles the ever-growing role of measurement in sports, raising important questions about performance and the folly of comparing today's athletes to yesterday's records. We can't quite measure everything, at least not yet. What could be more difficult to quantify than reasonable doubt? However, even our justice system is yielding to the measurement revolution with new forensic technologies such as DNA fingerprinting. As we evolve from unquantified ignorance to an imperfect but everpresent state of measured awareness, Henshaw gives us a critical perspective from which we can "measure up" the measurements that have come to affect our lives so greatly. Click the book cover above to read more.

[book] The Running of the Bulls
Inside the Cutthroat Race from Wharton to Wall Street
by Nicole Ridgway
Gotham Books, 2005
Those profiled in this book make for good copy, but they are not your average Wharton student.
From Publishers Weekly: Wharton, the business school of the University of Pennsylvania, has a glamorous reputation that is fueled in part by illustrious alumni, like Donald Trump and Ronald Perelman, and Forbes reporter Ridgway makes a big deal of its prominence. The institution's distinction, however, does not rub off onto Ridgway's undistinguished account of the 2003-2004 academic year. She follows six seniors as they make their way through the corporate recruitment process while completing their degrees. Though she tries to make everything sound special (it happened at Wharton!), what she lays out is a series of generic experiences-from internships to interviews to job offers-that could have taken place at any business school. The students themselves present a limited range of high-achieving personalities, and since there's never any doubt that they'll be able to find jobs, Ridgway is unable to infuse their stories with any real dramatic tension. What might have made an interesting magazine article proves too thin when stretched to book length. Wharton officials are bound to love it, though-there's barely any acknowledgment that other business schools exist, or any substantial challenge to the school's prestige. Click the book cover above to read more.
Jessica is a former cheerleader from Texas; she is a member of a sorority (but she doesn't put that on her resume). She is highly driven, intense, and doesn't make too many friends. Shrrevar ponders whether to return to India or stay in the USA. Jon comes from a Penn mother and Penn father. Will Jon beomce an entrepreneur? Grace from Cali weighs a marketing offer from NYC or a consulting offer. Shimika is profiled, the first member of the family to attend college. Anthony speaks five langauges, but that does not help him land a job offer. Regi wants to be a banker, but an illness makes him re-evaluate his plans.



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