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Major Bible Themes
Major Bible Themes
by John F. Walvoord
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $13.99
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read, June 22, 2014
This review is from: Major Bible Themes (Hardcover)
MAJOR BIBLE THEMES: 52 Vital Doctrines of the Scriptures Simplified and Explained by Lewis Sperry Chafer is a must read for any student of theology. With Chafer being the founder of Dallas Theological Seminary, this was required reading at DTS. Recently I picked up the revised copy which includes work by John Walvoord who replaced Dr. Chafer at DTS upon his retirement.

In Chafer’s original 1926 introduction, he explains, “This book is in no way a treatise on systematic theology. In its preparation, a limited number of the most vital and practical doctrinal themes have been chosen, and an attempt has been made to adapt these brief discussions to the needs of the untrained Christian.” To that end, Chafer has been extraordinarily successful with this wonderful book.

Although not specifically structured as such, the chapters are in somewhat of a sequential order and may be divided into five main topics: The Bible, God – with specific chapters on each member of the Trinity, the fall and salvation of man, the Church Age and the period of post-rapture.

Each chapter follows a similar pattern and for the sake of this review I will detail Chapter 15, GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT: HIS ADVENT. In the chapter introduction, Chafer explains that the coming of the Spirit into the world on the day of Pentecost must be seen in relationship to His work in previous dispensations. He then expands his doctrinal teachings with subchapters:

A. The Holy Spirit in the Old Testament.
B. The Holy Spirit During the Life of Christ of Earth.
C. The Coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.

The chapter concludes, as do all chapters, with a list of questions (in this case 16 questions) to help ensure the reader has sufficiently grasped the concepts being taught. Corresponding scripture and verse is also cross referenced for each point of doctrine.

I have not yet cross referenced this reprint to my original book from Dr. Chafer, but apart from the addition of numerous scriptural passages and a few chapters combined from the original as well as a few new chapters, it seems clear that Walvoord’s primary contributions come in the later, post-rapture chapter. Walvoord has authored several books in this area including Every Prophecy of the Bible, The Millennial Kingdom, and Revelation commentary.

The book concludes with an Index of Subjects and Scripture Index. This is a book you will reference again and again, as I have for the past forty years.


The Noticer Returns: Sometimes You Find Perspective, and Sometimes Perspective Finds You
The Noticer Returns: Sometimes You Find Perspective, and Sometimes Perspective Finds You
by Andy Andrews
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $13.73
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Gem by Andrews, December 20, 2013
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Usually I read anything new by Andy Andrews as soon as it comes out, but my work schedule has been brutal of late so I’m just now getting this new one. THE NOTICER RETURNS is a follow up of sorts to Andy’s extraordinary book, The Noticer where he first introduced the character none simply as Jones. Here Jones reappears into the lives of several south Alabama residents to help them find a different perspective.

Where The Noticer was all about having a different perspective, The Noticer Returns is about perspective and a whole lot more. Here Andy delves into some sage wisdom on many other aspects of life, primarily parenting. I’ll come back to that in a moment. Not everything here however, has to do with parenting, but rather with life in general and working our way through the difficulties. As always with Andy’s work, the reader will come away with a handful of nuggets that will leave you thinking, “Why didn’t I think about that before?” For example, we’ve all heard the expression, “Don’t sweat the small stuff”, when in reality, it is the small stuff that really has major impact on our lives. Those tiny, seemingly inconsequential, decisions that have a huge impact over time. Life is filled with these “small stuff” decisions like choosing to eat a piece of pie instead of an apple. Maybe you choose to watch some mindless TV show rather than read a book that might hold valuable information for you, or perhaps our most critical “small stuff” decision, doing something other than studying the Bible.

There’s one line in the book I simply have to mention and it goes like this: If you’re doing what everyone else is doing, you’re doing something wrong. Why? Because most people are not obtaining results that are considered extraordinary. How true is that! Think about that the next time you find yourself “doing what everyone else is doing”.

Towards the end of the book Andy talks about how our reputation is determined by our thinking. It is excellent how Andy explains this; our reputation I determined by the kind of results we produce, our results are determined by the actions we take, our actions are determined by the decisions we make, our decisions are determined by what we think. The only thing I would add is that our thinking is determined by our vocabulary. We think in terms of words and if we have a limited vocabulary, we obviously have limited thinking, limited choices, limited actions, limited results and a limited reputation. If you want to change how you think, you need to expand your vocabulary.

As I mentioned already, an underlying premise of the book is about how to be a better parent. I’m not going to go into the multitude of lessons contained on that subject. For that, you just need to read this wonderful new release by Andy Andrews. You can thank me later.


Yes!: 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive
Yes!: 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive
by Robert B. Cialdini
Edition: Paperback
Price: $9.23
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Should have been only 40 scientifically proven ways to be persuasive., July 6, 2013
As a follow-up to his wonderful book, Influence, Robert Cialdini co-authored YES!: 50 SCIENTIFICALLY PROVEN WAYS TO BE PERSUASIVE with Noah J. Goldstein and Steve J. Martin. I only have one issue with this book; they should have stopped at 40 scientifically proven ways to be persuasive. I say that because the last ten "scientifically proven ways" included what I thought were some pretty lame examples such as not being sad, drinking coffee to increase alertness and not letting calls go to voicemail.

Now that I have that one negative aside, let me say anyone that has anything to do with negotiations (and don't we all to one degree or another) should put this on their must read list. When you put aside the few chapters that might be duds, the rest of the book has some fantastic ideas that are sure to improve negotiations that I am certain - unless you've already read this book - you may have overlooked.

Since I led this review off with the one low point of the point, I should mention some of the high-points. There were a couple of chapter that really illustrated how to turn an agreement into a commitment. These were very valuable. There was a wonderful chapter that illustrated why restaurants are making a huge mistake by placing mints by the hosts' counter. Did I mention every person who works in the food service industry would greatly increase their tips by reading this book? There is a good chapter also about how companies make a mistake by giving away a free gift without emphasizing the value of the gift. In the storage business, many companies often give a free lock with rentals, but I've never seen one mention the actual value of the lock.

The book is barely over 200 pages and each of the 50 ideas have their own chapter so each chapter is bite-sized, making this a great read for on the go. One of the things I really enjoyed about the book was in the appendix where list a handful of feedback letters from where some of the specific techniques have been tried and how they impacted the results. The real life practical applications really do well to illustrate the examples.


The Screwtape Letters
The Screwtape Letters
by C. S. Lewis
Edition: Paperback
Price: $8.46
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3.0 out of 5 stars Dissappointing, June 27, 2013
This review is from: The Screwtape Letters (Paperback)
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Having read and thoroughly enjoying Lewis' Mere Christianity, I finally got around to reading THE SCREWTAPE LETTERS and it pains me to tell you I was very disappointed. I like the idea of the book, and there were some good one liners, but for some reason, the actual content and format just didn't do it for me.

The book is written as a bunch of letters from a tempter, Uncle Screwtape, to his nephew, a tempter in training, named Wormwoood. Screwtape tutors Wormwood on how to tempt the "patient" he is assigned. Through the letters, you are constantly reminded and made to think about how the adversary tempts us. What I think throws a lot of readers off as that, contrary to popular teachings from the Church, Lewis accurately identifies mental attitude sins as the worst of all sins. This flies in the face of popular religious thinking which would classify overt sins or sins of the tongue as the most damaging. But despite Lewis' theological accuracy, I found the book actually quite boring at times and a struggle to stay engaged with.


High-Tech, High-Touch Customer Service: Inspire Timeless Loyalty in the Demanding New World of Social Commerce
High-Tech, High-Touch Customer Service: Inspire Timeless Loyalty in the Demanding New World of Social Commerce
by Micah Solomon
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $16.85
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Avoid the ptifalls of technology., June 23, 2013
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HIGH TECH, HIGH TOUCH CUSTOMER SERVICE by Micah Solomon takes the reader on a road map of customer service in the digital age. Just as technology is changing at lightning-fast speed, so too must successful businesses be quick to adopt new ways to interact and satisfy the digital customer. Gone are the days when the mantra was, "If you want to be successful in business today, you must have an internet presence." While truer today than ever before, unfortunately many companies have no idea how to manage that internet presence.

Learning to treat individual customers as individuals, honoring individual preferences unique to that customer, is the key to business success. While this statement, found in Chapter 1 of the book, has always been accurate, learning to treat the virtual customer as an individual is more challenging. The challenge is compounded by the `activist' mentality whereby customers now demand an alignment of company values with their own and they express this sentiment with their buying choices. These are the types of issues that are addressed here by the author.

Solomon examines both positive and negative examples of how companies have responded to customer issues in the new era. As an example, let's take a close look at Chapter 4; The Art of Anticipation. To introduce the concept of `anticipatory' service, Solomon utilizes Ritz-Carlton, whose credo includes, "The Ritz-Carlton ... fulfils even the unexpressed wishes and needs of our guests". To expand on the anticipatory experience, Solomon examines a typical trip into an Apple store and how Apple has mastered the art of anticipatory service. For effect, Solomon discloses the experience he had years ago when he ordered his first Macintosh and compares it to the experience he had recently when ordering his last Mac. The contrasts are start and clearly delineate the advances the company has made in anticipatory service. The chapter goes on to include other hit and miss examples of anticipatory service. Most, but not all, of the chapters conclude with a "your point is" section which recaps the crucial points to remember.

Along the journey, there is good information here about creating and maintaining corporate culture, hiring people with the right attitude, social media and how to position yourself correctly, principles of successful self-service, providing for disabled customers, and avoiding what is perhaps the common mistake in the digital age many companies make, using technology to complicate the customer experience into something more harmful than it is useful. Haven't we all experience having to spend countless time jumping through hoops before we can ever get the opportunity to speak to an actual human, only to find out they speak very limited or broken English and really can't answer our questions?

That last point is really what this book is all about. While technology has advanced business like nothing else, one aspect of business - customer service - is often made much more difficult by the very technology that assures business success in today's world. If not used correctly, that technology brings with it many pitfalls that must be avoided. Solomon's book will help you avoid those pitfalls and utilize the technology to the best of your ability.


Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action [Hardcover] [2009] First Edition Ed. Simon Sinek
Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action [Hardcover] [2009] First Edition Ed. Simon Sinek
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Start With WHY!, May 30, 2013
Sooner or later, anyone who is in a position of managing people will be faced with introducing a new policy or procedure. Most people fight change and you will be met with opposition to the new policy or procedure if not introduced correctly. One of the first things I learned as a leader is the importance of getting employee buy-in when introducing changes. You do this by explaining what's in it for them. First answer the question, "How will they benefit from this change?"

Let me give you an example. Suppose you manage a company that operates from 9 to 5 and the decision has been made to extend operating hours from 7 to 7 to give better access to their customers. Work schedule will be changing from 9-5 to an array of options such as 7-3, 8-4, 9-5, 10-6 or 11-7. One approach is to simply inform employees of the changes and let them know their work hours will be changing. This approach will surely be met with a high degree of push-back. Another approach is to roll out the changes with a list of benefits, such as, the new work schedules will allow employees to work a schedule that will allow them more family time, less time stuck in rush hour traffic and more flexibility to take care of personal business without having to schedule a day off. Then you would go on to say how this change will also make the company more efficient and allow for better customer service and reduced overtime due to someone having to work late with late arriving customers. This approach is more likely to be readily accepted by most employees.

Businesses need to use this same principle in everything else they do, not just for making policy changes. IN other words, businesses should always START WITH WHY. This is the title of the book by Simon Sinek, START WITH WHY: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action. The book goes a long way in explaining why some companies with seemingly lesser resources such as Apple, Southwest Airlines, or Starbuck's, not only compete against, but outperform much stronger competitors.

Most companies, especially the well-established behemoths, know very well WHAT they do and HOW to do it, but according to Sinek, they lose sight along the way of WHY they do what they do. Along the way, Sinek gives many great examples of companies who have conquered their giant competitors because they had a solid understanding of WHY they were in business. He also gives examples of businesses that have lost their WHY. A perfect example of this is Walmart. Under the leadership of San Walton, the company thrived because he made sure they kept their WHY as a priority. Once Walton passed away, a succession of CEO who were very capable of knowing WHAT Walmart did and they knew HOW to run a business, they allowed the WHY Sam Walton had created to be forgotten. They stopped putting their employees first and soon came under a plethora of employment lawsuits. What was once an enviable business reputation is now forever tarnished.

Counter this example with that of Southwest Airlines. Herb Kelleher not established a WHY, but he made certain the WHY of Southwest Airlines was permanently embedded before he left the helm. On a recent business trip I was on the plane with current CEO of Southwest Airlines, Gary Kelly. Before Mr. Kelly de-planed, he took the time to actually hug the flight attendants and shook the hands of the pilot and co-pilot. Then when he reached the terminal, I noticed him also take time to say hello to the employees working the counter. It is still obviously important that the culture of the Southwest "family" remain strong.

Sinek goes into very good detail on how establishing your WHY and using in all aspects of business including employee hiring, marketing and customer service. This was a wonderful read that I highly recommend.


Hundred Percenters:  Challenge Your Employees to Give It Their All, and They'll Give You Even More
Hundred Percenters: Challenge Your Employees to Give It Their All, and They'll Give You Even More
by Mark A. Murphy
Edition: Hardcover
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5.0 out of 5 stars Are Your Employees Giving 100 Percent?, May 4, 2013
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The first thing I read by Mark Murphy was called Hiring For Attitude and I really learned a lot from his book and wanted to read more of what he has to say. So my second Mark Murphy book was this one - HUNDRED PERCENTERS: Challenge Your Employees to Give it Their All and They'll Give You Even More. Yes, I know it's a long subtitle, but aptly describes the subject matter. This book was designed to help get the very best performance out of your employees.

This book begins with an extensive 21-page introduction which begins with a trickle-down effect of leadership - to get 100% performance requires 100% leadership. This is followed by an easy to use tool to determine exactly what type of leader you are and what kind of corrections and adjustments you may need to make in order to develop 100 percenters. Then the introduction goes to give a brief summary of the chapters that await. Even the introduction contains several pearls of wisdom.

The 1st Chapter introduces the concept of HARD goal setting. We're all familiar with the SMART goal concept. Here Murphy discusses the flaws associated with Setting SMART goals and recommends instead that goals must be Heartfelt (they exist to serve a purpose greater than ourselves), Animated (they're so vividly described and presented that to not reach them would leave us wanting), Required (they're critical to our existence to the point we must examine the repercussions of NOT pursuing this goal) and Difficult (they must test our limits - we can achieve more when challenged to do so - think of a sports team that performs at its best when facing its strongest opponent).

For me personally, chapter 2 was the most valuable portion of the book. Here Murphy introduces the IDEALS script for delivering constructive feedback:
I. Invite them to partner - "Would you be willing to have a conversation with me about ____?
D. Disarm yourself - "No weapons of communication will be used against you in this conversation."
E. Eliminate blame - "If we find we have different perspectives we can discuss those and develop a plan to move forward.
A. Affirm their control - "Does that sound okay?"
L. List correct feedback - Feedback must make sense, hold up to scrutiny, be understandable and sufficiently teach.
S. Synchronize your understanding - "Tell me how you think we can work together to improve on this situation?"
Now of course, Murphy goes into much greater detail than what I have covered in a paragraph here, but you get the idea behind the IDEALS script.

The next chapter begins by pointing out why some employees are hesitant to become 100%ers. They see the star performers in your organization as always being the one extra work falls upon. The top performers get all of the difficult tasks, are asked to work the longer hours and are often dramatically underpaid for what they do. So why would anyone aspire to become a 100%er? This chapter exposes how most exacerbate the situation by failing to recognize the difference between a 50% performer and a 100% performer.

Stop Demotivating and Start Motivating. That's the title and subject matter of chapter 4. It is a crash course in servant leadership, but it goes beyond that by examining what Murphy refers to as "Shoves and Tugs". These are the things that push employees down and the things that pull them up. Murphy defines 7 different types of employee personalities and the shoves and tugs or motivators and demotivators for each personality.

We've all experienced employees who were very good at their craft; very highly skilled, but all a royal pain for their bosses and co-workers. Don't you just love trying to deal with those people? Murphy has penned an entire chapter on how to deal with what he term "talented terrors". These are people that are possess the skillsets of a superstar, but an attitude that is like a cancer in the workforce. They destroy morale, reduce leadership effectiveness and even get good leaders fired. They must either change or be removed and Murphy walks the reader through the entire process.

This is followed by the book's Conclusion where Murphy recaps ten of the best take-a-ways from the book, then an in-depth appendix that will have you re-thinking your company evaluation forms.

Simply stated, if you are in a position of leadership, you need to read this book. And all I've done here is skim the surface of the book, I haven't even mentioned the vast wealth of leadership resources you will find on Murphy's website. Are you employees giving 100 percent?


The Customer Rules: The 39 Essential Rules for Delivering Sensational Service
The Customer Rules: The 39 Essential Rules for Delivering Sensational Service
by Lee Cockerell
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $15.05
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I Found Some Good Take-aways, April 7, 2013
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Lee Cockerell spent over forty years in the hospitality business including being and executive vice president at Disney and executive positions with Hilton and Marriott. This book, THE CUSTOMER RULES: The 39 Essential Rules for Delivering Sensational Service is a compilation of things he learned in those forty plus years.

I thought the book was very well and presented in bite-sized pieces; each "rule" being presented, though out and explained in the course of only 3 - 5 pages, so this is a great little book for when you are travelling or in between meetings. These are all pretty much "common sense" rules that readers are likely already familiar with in one form or another, but Cockerell applies the logic to customer service and presents it in a way that can easily be adapted to other industries.

I like that Cockerell is willing to buck popular trend. For example, "innovation" seems to be the word of the day and is certainly an important aspect of business. Cockerell goes against the grain when he correctly points out, you don't have to be the first, you just have to be the best. Overall, I like the way Cockerell approaches giving outstanding customer service. If a company will follow the rules presented and do it well, you will have more and more repeat customers.

In the end, I picked up several good training ideas for my team. That's what makes this book well worth reading. If a book has some good take-aways, it is worth the money, and this book has several. If you're in the customer service business (and most people are they just don't realize it) or if you lead a customer service team, I think you will enjoy this one.


Fred 2.0: New Ideas on How to Keep Delivering Extraordinary Results
Fred 2.0: New Ideas on How to Keep Delivering Extraordinary Results
by Mark Sanborn
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $11.48
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Expand Your Fred-ness, April 3, 2013
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There really aren't a lot of books that should be on everyone's "must read" list when you consider how varied our interests are. Sure, if you like biographies you simply can't miss Carl Van Doren's 1938 Pulitzer winner on Benjamin Franklin. If great literature is your thing, Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird ranks right up there, and if your desire is to learn how to budget your money, George Classen's The Richest Man In Babylon tops the list, but even these great books would not fit on everyone's "must read" list. Great literature may bore you to death and you may have no desire whatsoever to save money. Of the few books that do belong on everyone's list, the Bible comes to mind. Whether you are a believer in Christ or not, the Bible is simply full of great words to live by. And if you are a citizen of this universe, and I believe most people reading this are, you should add The Fred Factor by Mark Sanborn. It's just one of those rare books that would benefit everyone is some way.

FRED 2.0: New Ideas on How to Keep Delivering Extraordinary Results, is a continuation of The Fred Factor. Here Sanborn expands on Fred-ness and as the subtitle suggests - presents fresh ideas to continue on your Fred journey. The story of Fred Shea the postman has become a staple in business, but being a Fred isn't about just business, it's about everything we do in our lives to help others and this book is chalk full of examples, anecdotes and ideas on how to increase your Fred-ness.

There were many pearls of wisdom I found and I just want to touch on a few. The first one was about employees found in the opening pages when Sanborn writes, "Employees who offer nothing different from other employees are interchangeable." The same philosophy applies to business. If there is nothing unique or extraordinary about your business, you may have loyal customers but they won't be advocates for your business.

Next I found this, "A commitment without a goal is like a trip without a road map; odds are you won't get to where you want to be." How true is this? People often confuse the two and because they feel a strong commitment, they fail to clearly define goals. Then on page 63 I found this gem, "What kind of difference did you make today?" I've made this my new email tagline. If we consistently keep that question in mind, we can't help but make a huge impact on others.

I found this keepsake rule of customer service, "a problem is an opportunity to increase loyalty". We tend to view customer issues as something we have to deal with instead of viewing it an opportunity to build a better relationship with that customer. It's all in how you approach it. This was part of an entire chapter of gems on improving customer service and I'm only scratching the surface here. There's even a chapter of "Freducation" that discusses promoting Fred-ness in schools and other areas of child rearing.

If I have any knock at all on this book it is that you should read The Fred Factor first, but I don't see that as a knock at all. If you haven't read The Fred Factor by now, what are you waiting on? Reading it first will just give the reader a better overall understanding of Fred-ness. In the first book, Sanborn does, I think, a better job of explaining what being a Fred is all about. Don't worry though, I'm sure some marketing genius is already presenting the idea of packaging the two books together.


The Supermanager: A Short Story About the Secrets of an Extremely Successful Manager
The Supermanager: A Short Story About the Secrets of an Extremely Successful Manager
by Greg Blencoe
Edition: Paperback
Price: $6.30
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Quick & Easy Read., March 8, 2013
Mentoring allegories have long been a favorite of mine. I believe writers are able to convey great points using this technique and make a story interesting, even if not always totally believable. I also believe some of the great lessons of the power of mentoring have been displayed through allegories in recent years. Patrick Lencioni's famed Death By Meeting taught us how to make meetings more productive and enjoyable. Sprout! Everything I Need to Know About Sales I Learned From My Garden, gave a simple and logical approach to sales to thousands who struggled with their career choice. Jon Gordon has made a career out of writing some great business allegories such as Soup and The Seed. Then there is one of my all-time favorite books by Andy Andrews, The Noticer, which puts everything in our lives into the right perspective.

THE SUPERMANAGER by Greg Blencoe is one of the latest of business allegories which focuses on team building and first time leadership roles. In this book, Andrew Hernandez reflects back on the lessons his mentor, Leon Cook had taught him years earlier that helped him build a successful career in management. At the age of 22, fresh out of college, Andrew found himself thrown into a management role with no idea how to build and maintain a successful team. A chance meeting with a successful restaurant owner would be a turning point in Andrew's career and life. Andrew reaches out to the restaurant owner for guidance and Leon Cook is happy to mentor the young manager. The story takes us through the seven management lessons Leon lived by.

This is a diminutive book of under 100 pages and is a quick read. I read it during a 2 hour flight. That is my only knock on this book. I would have liked to have seen the seven principles discussed developed much deeper than they were. The author gets his points across, but only on a base level. But, you may be looking for a quick and easy read to jump start you with some new management ideas and if so, this is a good choice for you.


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