I am enjoying Bill O’Reilly’s epic based upon a Fox News series, entitled Legends and Lies: The Patriots (Henry Holt, 2016). But, wait – Bill O’Reilly didn’t write the book! His name is featured on the book so it sells.
The author is actually David Fisher. He has a small line on the front cover, and an even smaller one on the spine. There is no pretense. The cover reads, “Written by David Fisher.”
Fisher is no novice to publishing. He is the author and coauthor of more than twenty New York Times bestsellers including another with O’Reilly, Legends and Lies: The Real West. His work has also appeared in most major magazines and many newspapers. The inside cover of the book claims that he is the only reporter ever given complete access to the FBI’s forensic library.
I find the book very readable, and one of the most interesting and detailed accounts of the events surrounding our nation’s early days and our fight for independence from Britain. I also believe it is refreshing when presumptions and possibilities are labeled for what they are, and not facts. There are detailed chapters on practically all of the nation’s first and finest, including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and so forth.
Surely, this attention to detail is Fisher’s doing. I’ve never seen a commentator have to make so many retractions, clarifications, and admitted mistakes than O’Reilly, and still keep his job. You can go to Wikipedia to read a short list of them. Remember that CBS fired Dan Rather for misstating information about President Bush’s National Guard Service, following a lifetime of service. And O’Reilly gets how many chances? Of course, Fox News is not CBS.
Regardless, I think anyone with even passing interest in this era of our nation would find this a fun and educational read. I know that I have.
A new blockbuster book for women in business rocketed all the way to # 3 in the Wall Street Journal business best-selling list (January 28-29, p. C-10). It may well undercut the popularity of the famous Lean-In best-seller by Sheryl Sandberg.
The book is called Own It: The Power of Women at Work (Crown Books, 2017). authored by Sallie Krawcheck. The book is a certain future selection for us at the First Friday Book Synopsis in Dallas.
Released for sale only on January 17, the book has also found its way into the top 100 of three of the book categories on Amazon.com. She was recently featured in an issue of Fast Company magazine. You can read the feature story about her at this link:
What is this one about? Here is how it is summarized on Amazon.com:
” [This is] a new kind of career playbook for a new era of feminism, offering women a new set of rules for professional success: one that plays to their strengths and builds on the power they already have.
“Weren’t women supposed to have “arrived”? Perhaps with the nation’s first female President, equal pay on the horizon, true diversity in the workplace to come thereafter? Or, at least the end of “fat-shaming” and “locker room talk”?
“Well, we aren’t quite there yet. But does that mean that progress for women in business has come to a screeching halt? It’s true that the old rules didn’t get us as far as we hoped. But we can go the distance, and we can close the gaps that still exist. We just need a new way.
“In fact, there are many reasons to be optimistic about the future, says former Wall Street powerhouse-turned-entrepreneur Sallie Krawcheck. That’s because the business world is changing fast –driven largely by technology – and it’s changing in ways that give us more power and opportunities than ever…and even more than we yet realize.
“Success for professional women will no longer be about trying to compete at the men’s version of the game, she says. And it will no longer be about contorting ourselves to men’s expectations of how powerful people behave. Instead, it’s about embracing and investing in our innate strengths as women – and bringing them proudly and unapologetically, to work.
“When we do, she says, we gain the power to advance in our careers in more natural ways. We gain the power to initiate courageous conversations in the workplace. We gain the power to forge non-traditional career paths; to leave companies that don’t respect our worth, and instead, go start our own. And we gain the power to invest our economic muscle in making our lives, and the world, better.
“Here Krawcheck draws on her experiences at the highest levels of business, both as one of the few women at the top rungs of the biggest boy’s club in the world, and as an entrepreneur, to show women how to seize this seismic shift in power to take their careers to the next level.
“This change is real, and it’s coming fast. It’s time to own it.”
Follow our website to see the exact month that we will present this book at the First Friday Book Synopsis in Dallas. My feeling is that many working women will find this to be a fresh approach to what seems like to have become a perpetual issue.
Finally, who is Sallie Krawcheck? She may be one of the best-kept secrets in business. This is her biography, as published by the newsroom of Bank of America.com.
“Sallie L. Krawcheck is the former president of Global Wealth & Investment Management for Bank of America, one of the largest wealth management businesses in the world with more than 20,000 financial advisors across the entire wealth spectrum and $2 trillion in total client assets. Global Wealth & Investment Management provides comprehensive wealth management to affluent, mass affluent, high net worth and ultra high net worth clients, individual and institutional retirement plans, philanthropic management and asset management.
“Before joining Bank of America, Krawcheck was the chief executive officer and chairman for Citi Global Wealth Management, responsible for the Citi Private Bank, Citi Smith Barney and Citi Investment Research. During her time as CEO, she was also a member of Citi’s senior leadership committee and executive committee.
“Krawcheck joined Citi in October 2002 as chairman and chief executive officer of Smith Barney, where she oversaw the global management of the Smith Barney and Citi Investment Research businesses. In 2004, Sallie was appointed chief financial officer and head of Strategy for Citigroup Inc. Prior to joining Citi, Krawcheck was chairman and chief executive officer of Sanford C. Bernstein & Company, where she became one of the most influential voices for research quality and integrity.
“For six straight years, from 2002 to 2007, Fortune recognized Krawcheck as one of the “Most Powerful Women” in business. Forbes magazine, in 2006, listed her as #6 in the rank of the “World’s 100 Most Powerful Women.” She was also the recipient of CNBC’s “Business Leader of the Future Award” in 2007. In 2002, she was recognized as one of Time magazine’s “Global Business Influentials” and, in 2003, Fortune magazine named her the “Most Influential Person Under the Age of 40.”
“A native of Charleston, South Carolina, Krawcheck attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on the Morehead Scholarship and graduated in 1987 with academic honors and a Bachelor of Arts. In 1992, she received a Master of Business Administration from Columbia University.
“An active participant in the affairs of her alma maters, Krawcheck has endowed her former secondary school, The Porter Gaud School, with the Krawcheck Scholarship, a needs-based scholarship awarding full tuition to students of exceptional aptitude. She is a member of the board of directors of Dell Inc., The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Foundations, Inc., and Carnegie Hall; the board of overseers of Columbia Business School; and the board of trustees for The Economic Club of New York.”
As always, we are interested in where this book lands on the New York Times business best-selling list. It is my guess that it will appear and stay on that list for quite some time.
One of the most popular and best-selling devotional books of all time is Jesus Calling by Sarah Young.
Her newest book, Jesus Always: Embracing Joy in His Presence (Thomas Nelson, 2016), has climbed as high as # 4 on the Wall Street Journal non-fiction best-seller list, and has also made appearances on the New York Times best-seller list. At this writing, the book is still in the top 200 selling books on the Amazon.com list.
Like its predecessor, this is also a 365-day devotional book.
Here is how the book is described on Amazon.com:
“Life today is full of difficulties—loss, sadness, fear. In the midst of these challenges, joy often feels impossible or out of reach. But Jesus has more for His followers than a life of striving, pain, and discontent. He offers life abundant, life to the fullest, life brimming with joy! Jesus Always, the new 365-day devotional from bestselling author Sarah Young, was written as part of Sarah Young’s exploration of the promises of joy in scripture. Written as if Jesus Himself is speaking directly to the reader, Jesus Always invites you into a new way of living—a life of joy.
Reaching out with joy-filled reminders from the Word of God, these devotions will intimately and gently connect you with Jesus—the One who meets you where you are. Draw near to Him in Jesus Always.”
Do you know about Sarah Young? First, do not confuse her with an pornographic movie star of the same name. Far from it. According to the cbn.com site, “she was born in Nashville, Tennessee, and grew up in the South. After graduating from college she made four trips to Europe in less than five years. During her fourth trip, she became a Christian at L’Abri Fellowship in a tiny Alphine village in France. With a degree in philosophy from Wellesley College, Sarah also holds graduate degrees in psychology/counseling from Tufts University, Covenant Theological Seminary, and Georgia State University.
She met her husband Steve at Covenant Seminary. They are employed by Mission to the World and have worked in various sites in Japan and Australia, planting Japanese churches and counseling. Steve and Sarah currently minister to Japanese people living in Perth, Western Australia.“
I have not yet bought this book of devotionals, although I have owned and given away copies of her first one. That will likely change this week.
I am often asked at this time of year, what I consider the BEST business book published in the past twelve months.
We presented my selection for 2016 in August. You can buy the synopsis at 15MinuteBusinessBooks.com.
My choice is The Seventh Sense: Power, Fortune, and Survival in the Age of Networks by Joshua Cooper Ramo (New York: Little, Brown, and Company, 2016). Perhaps I am biased, since I have taught courses in “Communication Networks in Small Groups and Organizations” in MBA classes. However, I did so without this book.
Even today, the book is in the top 10 in three business categories on Amazon.com.
Ramo is a very eclectic guy. He is the author of the bestseller, The Age of the Unthinkable. He is co-chief executive officer and vice chairman of Kissinger Associates and a member of the board of directors of FedEx and Starbucks. His first book, No Visible Horizon, chronicled his experiences as a competitive aerobatic pilot.
The book is amazing. It’s real focus is on encouraging the reader to see the world in a different way. The book includes references and stories to many contemporary successful leaders perceive in their environment. The emphasis is on using networks, but not just from the Internet. He introduces DNA networks, political networks, and financial networks. The book is not simply descriptive, it also has many practical and implementable elements.
This post is not the book’s first critical acclaim. It has received high marks from reviewers at respected sources such as Financial Times, The New York Times, New Yorker, and San Francisco Chronicle.
A book that just won’t go away is Ryan Holiday’s The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living (Portfolio, 2016). For the past two months, it has made numerous appearances on the Wall Street Journal business book best-selling list. The co-author is Stephen Hanselman.
As of this writing, the book is # 5 in two Amazon.com categories of Business Motivation and Leadership.
The book includes “insights and exercises, featuring all-new translations from the Emperor Marcus Aurelius, the playwright Seneca, or slave-turned-philosopher Epictetus, as well as lesser-known luminaries like Zeno, Cleanthes, and Musonius Rufus. Every day of the year you’ll find one of their pithy, powerful quotations, as well as historical anecdotes, provocative commentary, and a helpful glossary of Greek terms. By following these teachings over the course of a year (and, indeed, for years to come) you’ll find the serenity, self-knowledge, and resilience you need to live well.” (Taken from Amazon.com).
From his own website, here is what we learn about the author:
“Ryan Holiday is a media strategist and prominent writer on strategy and business. After dropping out of college at nineteen to apprentice under Robert Greene, author of The 48 Laws of Power, he went on to advise many bestselling authors and multiplatinum musicians. He served as director of marketing at American Apparel for many years, where his campaigns have been used as case studies by Twitter, YouTube, and Google and written about in AdAge, the New York Times, and Fast Company.
“His first book, Trust Me I’m Lying—which the Financial Times called an “astonishing, disturbing book”—was a debut bestseller and is taught in colleges around the world. He is the author of two other books and is now published in 16 languages. He currently lives in Austin, Texas.”
This book doesn’t fit our criteria for presentation at the First Friday Book Synopsis. But, it sure will capture a lot of attention from our attendees.
You may remember that two years ago, I presented a synopsis of Simon Sinek‘s best-seller, Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t (New York: Portfolio, 2014) . He is described as an optimist, and touts inspiration as his key deliverable in business. Sinek’s TED talk, “How Great Leaders Inspire Action,” is the third most-watched of all time, with nearly 29 million views. You can watch it by clicking HERE.
So, this weekend, his newest book released on September 13, has already cracked the business best-seller list. The book debuted at # 5, published by the Wall Street Journal (October 1-2, p. C16). It is entitled Together is Better: A Little Book of Inspiration (New York: Portfolio, 2016).
The book is already in the top 20 in three different business book categories according to Amazon.com. Here is how that site describes the book:
“Life is a series of choices. Do we go left or right? Jump forward or hold back?
“Sometimes our choices work out for the better…and sometimes they don’t. But there is one choice, regardless of every other decision, that profoundly affects how we feel about our journey: Do we go alone or do we go together?
“It is the courageous few who ask for help. It is the giving few willing to help others. We can all find the courage we need and know the joy of service – the minute we learn that together is better.
“Filled with inspiring quotes, this richly illustrated fable tells a delightful story of three kids who go on a journey to a new playground and take a stand for what they believe. The story is a metaphor for anyone looking to make a change or wondering how to pursue their dreams. And the message is simple: relationships – real, human relationships – really, really matter. The stronger our relationships, the stronger the bonds of trust and cooperation, the more we can accomplish and the more joy and fulfillment we get from our work and personal lives.
“The three heroes are archetypes who represent us all at various points in our lives. Their main challenge is the same one we face every day: How can we find the things we’re looking for? According to Sinek, if we each do our part to help advance a shared vision, we can build the world we imagine.
“In addition to the story itself, Sinek shares such profound lessons as:
· A team is not a group of people that work together. A team is a group of people that trust each other.
· Fight against something and we focus on the thing we hate. Fight for something and we focus on the thing we love.
· Working hard for something we don’t care about is called stress. Working hard for something we love is called passion.
· A star wants to see himself rise to the top. A leader wants to see those around him become stars.
“This book was designed to be given as a gift to someone you want to inspire, or to say thank you to someone who inspires you.”
We will wait and see if this becomes a book that we present at our First Friday Book Synopsis. As of this writing, it is not yet on the New York Times business best-seller list. And, I don’t like books that are based upon fables.