A clear and informative management manual.



This business book series entry employs a parable to illustrate how a manager can grow a company and maintain a team atmosphere through shared goals.

Hilimire, the CEO of digital marketing company Dragon Army who previously wrote The Crisis Turnaround(2020), adds this third book to his series. Its first installment, The 5 Day Turnaround(2019), introduced the “PVTV” (“Purpose,” “Vision,” “Tenets,” “Values”) management model, which stresses collaboration and team unity to build a purpose-driven business, which provides a contrast to corporate cultures that breed contentiousness. This entry tells a fictional tale that explains how to connect the PVTV model to a management approach that was popularized by the bestselling leadership book, The Great Game of Business(1993) by SRC Holdings CEO Jack Stack with Bo Burlingham. In that work, Stack describes how he built trust by engaging employees with “open book” transparency. Some corporate leaders are uncomfortable with sharing financials with their workers, but Hilimire’s story directly confronts this pushback, offering convincing reasons to provide the “big picture” to one’s employees. The fictional company in these pages uses a new system to improve collaboration and help achieve a company’s desired ends. The storytelling effectively helps translate the principles of the two aforementioned models into simple terms and presents practical methods for implementation. One of the major elements of the work is the “Critical Number,” which a character usefully presents in simple terms, defining it as “the one thing this year that you need to focus on improving beyond anything else. Something that everyone can affect, and something that will help you achieve the big goal if you focus everyone’s attention on it.” The book then lays out how a team chooses a customer retention statistic as this Critical Number. More broadly, the book clarifies why measuring and recognizing team performance is paramount when running a business.

A clear and informative management manual.

Pub Date: Sept. 7, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-73386-895-2

Page Count: 212

Publisher: Ripples Media

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2021

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Occasionally wonky but overall a good case for how the dismal science can make the world less—well, dismal.


“Quality of life means more than just consumption”: Two MIT economists urge that a smarter, more politically aware economics be brought to bear on social issues.

It’s no secret, write Banerjee and Duflo (co-authors: Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way To Fight Global Poverty, 2011), that “we seem to have fallen on hard times.” Immigration, trade, inequality, and taxation problems present themselves daily, and they seem to be intractable. Economics can be put to use in figuring out these big-issue questions. Data can be adduced, for example, to answer the question of whether immigration tends to suppress wages. The answer: “There is no evidence low-skilled migration to rich countries drives wage and employment down for the natives.” In fact, it opens up opportunities for those natives by freeing them to look for better work. The problem becomes thornier when it comes to the matter of free trade; as the authors observe, “left-behind people live in left-behind places,” which explains why regional poverty descended on Appalachia when so many manufacturing jobs left for China in the age of globalism, leaving behind not just left-behind people but also people ripe for exploitation by nationalist politicians. The authors add, interestingly, that the same thing occurred in parts of Germany, Spain, and Norway that fell victim to the “China shock.” In what they call a “slightly technical aside,” they build a case for addressing trade issues not with trade wars but with consumption taxes: “It makes no sense to ask agricultural workers to lose their jobs just so steelworkers can keep theirs, which is what tariffs accomplish.” Policymakers might want to consider such counsel, especially when it is coupled with the observation that free trade benefits workers in poor countries but punishes workers in rich ones.

Occasionally wonky but overall a good case for how the dismal science can make the world less—well, dismal.

Pub Date: Nov. 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-61039-950-0

Page Count: 432

Publisher: PublicAffairs

Review Posted Online: Aug. 29, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2019

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A declaration worth hearing out in a time of growing inequality—and indignity.


Noted number cruncher Sperling delivers an economist’s rejoinder to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Former director of the National Economic Council in the administrations of Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, the author has long taken a view of the dismal science that takes economic justice fully into account. Alongside all the metrics and estimates and reckonings of GDP, inflation, and the supply curve, he holds the great goal of economic policy to be the advancement of human dignity, a concept intangible enough to chase the econometricians away. Growth, the sacred mantra of most economic policy, “should never be considered an appropriate ultimate end goal” for it, he counsels. Though 4% is the magic number for annual growth to be considered healthy, it is healthy only if everyone is getting the benefits and not just the ultrawealthy who are making away with the spoils today. Defining dignity, admits Sperling, can be a kind of “I know it when I see it” problem, but it does not exist where people are a paycheck away from homelessness; the fact, however, that people widely share a view of indignity suggests the “intuitive universality” of its opposite. That said, the author identifies three qualifications, one of them the “ability to meaningfully participate in the economy with respect, not domination and humiliation.” Though these latter terms are also essentially unquantifiable, Sperling holds that this respect—lack of abuse, in another phrasing—can be obtained through a tight labor market and monetary and fiscal policy that pushes for full employment. In other words, where management needs to come looking for workers, workers are likely to be better treated than when the opposite holds. In still other words, writes the author, dignity is in part a function of “ ‘take this job and shove it’ power,” which is a power worth fighting for.

A declaration worth hearing out in a time of growing inequality—and indignity.

Pub Date: May 5, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-7987-5

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Penguin Press

Review Posted Online: Feb. 26, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2020

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