Don Young. Profile Books €18.99
The focus of business today is on short-term financial returns rather than on providing meaning to employees, satisfaction to customers and a net contribution to society. However, the businesses that can provide these things are the ones that will prosper in the longer term. That’s the central message in this book by Young, a former Unilever executive and later founder of business psychology practice.
Drawing on experiences and examples such as the Quaker tradition, Young looks at the values that have underpinned enduring high achievement and pinpoints the essential qualities demonstrated by effective leaders. The top managers most likely to support sustained achievement, he says, are those who bond with their organisations, listen to the wisdom of other people and are sensitive to detect strong and weak signals, denoting changes, problems and opportunities.
There is much evidence, he adds, that the best managers regard strategy as something that they work at all the time. They believe in experimentation and in many small initiatives, rather than grand plans.
Having diagnosed the problems associated with traditional business models, Young goes on to provide a five-stage process for how managers can add value to their own organisations.
Paul Boross. CWG Publishing.€9.99
Boross is the self-styled pitch doctor and author of the Pitching Bible, a guide to how to make successful presentations and clinch business deals. In this volume he turns his attention to how to land a job.
In the open transparent world we now live in, how do you stand out and prove that you are the right candidate for the career that you want, he asks. The answer, he says, is your ability to stand up, make a real and genuine connection with another human being and create a lasting impression.
Drawing comparisons with the fate of candidates in the TV programme Dragons’ Den, Boross says it is a question of whether you are investable or not, and you need to make sure the answer is yes.
He has plenty of practical advice on subjects ranging from managing your personal brand, including your social media profile, to how to prepare for a telephone interview. Apart from the more obvious advice, he has a few unusual tips.
For example, he suggests that when attending an interview or important meeting, you should never sit down in a reception area – you’ll never embarrass yourself getting up from the low chairs and you’ll be able to walk across the room and greet the interviewer.
Pithy and breezy, anyone applying for a job should find one or two useful nuggets here.
In the Name of the People
Ivo Mosley. Societas. €18.99
Debt and the current financial crisis are the inevitable consequence of electoral representation. That’s among the key arguments in this book which ranges over economics as well as politics and social history. The author, the grandson of the fascist leader Oswald Mosley, pulls no punches here in this polemic.
Of all of the betrayals of the people by elected representatives, allowing banks to create the money supply ranks as the greatest, he says. The magic trick of banking is to lend the same money over and over again, and this trick depends on several special privileges given to banks, he argues.
As far back as ancient Mesopotamia, systems of law have wrestled with two especially risky banking habits: the tendency of bankers to speculate with money they hold in safe keeping and the practice of issuing claims on more money than they have in store. Modern banking is the legal accommodation, development and management of these ancient habits, he argues.
Elsewhere the book chronicles the rise of representative democracy in the US, France and UK and how it has spread worldwide over 300 years. Mosley argues that representative government, far from giving power to people, has instead powered elites who have exploited, indebted and impoverished the world.