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Good People: The Only Leadership Decision That Really Matters Hardcover – April 25, 2017
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About the Author
Anthony Tjan is an entrepreneur, strategic advisor, and venture investor. He is coauthor of the New York Times bestseller Heart, Smarts, Guts, and Luck and CEO of the Cue Ball Group, a private investment and venture capital firm based in Boston. He is also the chairman and cofounder of the retail service brand MiniLuxe. Prior to joining Cue Ball, he served as senior advisor to the CEO of the Thomson Corporation (now Thomson Reuters) and founded the pioneering Internet advisory group ZEFER. He began his career at McKinsey & Company and served as vice chairman of the Parthenon Group for nearly fifteen years. Tjan holds degrees from Harvard College and Harvard Business School, where he contributes to the Harvard Business Review. He serves on several boards and is a member of the Advisory Council for the MIT Media Lab.
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For some reason I thought of "Girls" the Lena Dunham show. Now, wait, before you dismiss me as a crank - all I mean is that for years everyone has known about 20-somethings in Brooklyn and it's been obvious to people - but Girls was the only show to DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. Meaning, people talk about things that are right in front of them but what do they do about them? Lena Dunham did a show - Anthony Tjan wrote a book! Tjan's idea may be obvious to people in a kind of well, yeah! of course! way - we all KNOW in some ways that at the end of the day we want to surround ourselves with good people - but this is the first book to DO SOMETHING about it - and to reveal truths that are right before our eyes in an actionable way that in the end is also kind of moving.
The book is very entertaining - I read it in two sittings - and filled with great examples of people who carry out what Tjan calls "the good people principles." I don't know about you but I think it's pretty courageous for a very successful businessman like Tjan in a he-man corporate world to write about what he calls "the hard truth behind soft matters." In fact, I wish Tjan would take this space to himself - the kind of thoughtful-slash-spiritual category of business - because he could basically own the whole category. When I put the book down I was reminded that we all have about half a dozen masks and identities we wear in our lives, but that's what they are - ROLES - as in "All the world's a stage" (and that's the only Shakespeare I know). Under that are the 97 percent of things we have in common with other human beings, and depending on our level of security-insecurity, do we have the guts - as Tjan does by writing this book- to reveal our humanity and not, say, believe for one tiny second in our "achievements" or our "titles" and all the rest of the bogus tin life awards some people?
As the book closes out, Tjan asks: Can we change just 10 people around us by helping them become better, fuller versions of themselves? I got a shiver down my back when I read that. So can we? I don't know about you but I can't get that idea out of my head. If you read "Good People" you won't be able to, either. How will your 10 people be?
I found the book to be a little preachy. And I found it to be very idealistic, but the author reminds us of the influences the real world imposes on the idealistic paradigm he tries to outline. I think the book could have been much better if Part II had been organized more in line with Part I. Instead of moving from Truth, Compassion, and Wholeness described in Part I to the 5 chapter titles of Part II, I think the author should have stuck with truth, compassion, and wholeness to organize his discussion in Part II.
A large part of this book is an effort on the part of the author to codify his life experiences, and to pass along what he considers valuable lessons learned. He's one of those guys who believes you've been helped along the way during your life, obtained success, and now you have an obligation to take your own success and pay it forward. While this may be true for some people, it is not universally true in my not so humble opinion. But if you can ignore his preachiness, then the book is a worthwhile read since the underlying points are definitely good things for a parent, mentor, friend, or business leader to consider. 4 stars!
Most recent customer reviews
The first four chapters can be summarized as follows:
Chapter 1: Good is good
Chapter 2: It's good to be good...Read more