American Consequences - January 2019

Then there’s the question of whether we want – or need – more leaders. Most people don’t know where they’re going and don’t know how to get there. Should we be following them around? Furthermore, there’s an aspect of “leadership” that Brown and Goodwin completely neglect. The Boston Irish (no strangers to the ins and outs of primacy) tell a story about it: A politician is sitting in a bar. Suddenly a furious mob comes marching

The Book Grump likes reading business books – if they provide solid information, explanation, and analysis. If not, not. Thus, Reminiscences of a Stock Operator by Edwin Lefevre (written in 1923!), yes. The Zen of Middle Management: Getting In Touch With Your Inner Cubicle Farm by Ted Talksalot, no. The Book Grump also likes reading the New York Times Business Book best-seller list. When we read business

It seems one thing that everybody is thinking is “I’d like to be a leader.”

down the street shouting slogans and exhortations. “What’s all that about?” says the bartender. “No clue,” says the politician. “Where are they marching to?” says the bartender.

books, we sometimes learn things. When we read the best-seller list we always learn things. We learn “what everybody is thinking.” This is valuable knowledge. And if “what everybody is thinking” is nonsense – all the more valuable. As of this review’s writing, the top three books on the NYT Business best-seller list are

“Haven’t the faintest,” says the politician as he jumps down from his bar stool and runs to the door. “Where are you going?” says the bartender. “ They’ll need somebody to lead them! ” If you want to be that somebody, read Dare to Lead by Brené Brown. Or don’t read it. In the Grump’s opinion, the outcome will be the same. Most of what Brown says is obvious – exercise responsibility, treat others with respect, listen attentively. These nostrums can be, and are,

No. 1 Dare to Lead by Brené Brown, No. 2 Leadership in Turbulent Times by Doris Kearns Goodwin, and No. 3 Atomic Habits by James Clear. It seems one thing that everybody is thinking is “I’d like to be a leader.” Considering the situations currently facing America’s business, political, and military leaders – wild market volatility, vicious partisan stalemate, and bogged-down wars in quagmire places – the Grump may be excused for asking, “Why?”


January 2019

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