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Howard's Gift: Uncommon Wisdom to Inspire Your Life's Work Hardcover – October 2, 2012

4.4 out of 5 stars 65 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“Filled with common-sense insights--on business and life--for future generations.” ―USA Today

“Thought-provoking...engaging...Think of it as Tuesdays with Morrie for MBAs.” ―Fortune

“The conversational tone is so casual that only after readers put the book down will they realize they just received a bucketload of valuable information and advice.” ―Publishers Weekly Review

“This work offers wonderful wisdom for navigating the inflection points in our lives.” ―Mehmet Oz, MD Professor and Vice Chair, Surgery, New York Presbyterian/ Columbia University

“This book is truly a gift for all those seeking fulfilling careers.” ―Wendy Kopp, Founder & CEO, Teach For America

“Beautifully written. Compelling. The books should be read - and re-read - by women and men of all ages!” ―Henry Rosovsky, Former Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Harvard University

“This is a book of head and heart, of wisdom and emotion. It is Tuesday's with Morrie meets What Color is Your Parachute? Howard's Gift is a timeless classic.” ―Mindy Grossman, Chief Executive Officer, HSN, Inc.

“Howard will go down in business history as the primary promoter of entrepreneurship. He is both wise and smart.” ―Arthur Rock, Venture Capitalist, Arthur Rock & Company

“From a student interested in philosophy to the one pursuing pre-med, from the future attorney to the aspiring executive, Howard's Gift is a priceless guide for the incoming freshman charting his or her homework - of the graduating student contemplating professional options. Every freshman should buy it; every graduating student should read it.” ―Don Bishop, Chief Administrator for Undergraduate Admissions and Financial Aid Scholarships at the University of Notre Dame

“Just as thousands of Harvard Business School students and countless others from around the world have benefitted from Howard Stevenson's wisdom, insight, and example, so will the readers of this very remarkable book.” ―John McArthur, Dean Emeritus & George F. Baker Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School

About the Author

ERIC SINOWAY is an entrepreneur and seasoned executive with experience in for-profit, academic, and non-profit organizations. He is the cofounder and president of Axcess Worldwide, a New York-based partnership development company that creates inspired ideas and connects extraordinary brands and people. Axcess works with companies ranging from Rolls Royce and InterContinental Hotels & Resorts to Target and Delta Air Lines. Eric lives in New Jersey with his wife and two children.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; 1 edition (October 2, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1250004241
  • ISBN-13: 978-1250004246
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #525,263 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By David Wineberg TOP 500 REVIEWER on October 3, 2012
Format: Hardcover
The shelf of management guru books is sagging and overburdened with repetitive dross, but room should definitely be made for Howard's Gift, a definite cut above. It's the informally collected thoughts of a Harvard Business School professor who is well respected, well loved, and who walks the walk as well as talking the talk.
The book is structured as a series of life lessons, usually beginning with a quote from Howard, and ending with a profile of a former student or successful executive who exhibits that point. As such, it is filled with pithy quotables and the only way to review it is to highlight some of them that appeal most.
-From his wealth of experience, he tells us that focusing on our own weaknesses is a losing proposition - focus on what works. That will get you farther faster, and be much more satisfying to you and your game plan (if you can afford one).
-Similarly, there's the Hard Work Fallacy - that "determined effort will always overcome an enduring shortcoming". It's what all parents instill in their children. And it's wrong.
-And watch out for the "Magnifiers: folks who shoot arrows at a blank target then draw a bull's eye around the spots they hit". Companies are filled with them. And Howard nails them.
Howard Stevenson lives in a parallel universe of super bright Harvard students who are pretty much all destined to become captains of industry and multimillionaires. So his theses are not tested on a control group of mere mortals. Nonetheless, there are clear lessons for all to be gleaned from passages throughout the book.
I was particularly enamored of the section on corporate culture and how to evaluate it.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Maybe I just wasn't ready for another self help/structure your life for success book? This book comes with excellent credentials and was inspired by the author's mentor, Howard Stevenson, "a towering figure at Harvard Business School" where he'd been teaching the art of entrepreneurship for more than 40 years. So, yes there is wisdom and good advice in this book, but this does come with a caveat. How do you find a mentor if you're out of the loop? How do you network, if you have no network? Everybody in this book seems well connected to people working at top corporations. Let's face it, a good many people are just positioned for success. Success is often predetermined by being born to well established families, going to top schools and using family contacts to pave career paths. I wasn't too fond of the layout of the book. It's presented expositionally, and perhaps making major points more prominent or highlighting important concepts would have created greater impact? Simply stated, something about this book made me resist it. Or maybe it just smacks of top of the food chain corporate culture (which I can't stand)? Actually, this book was a poor fit for me, and it's all my fault for choosing it.

Although it's all very practical, I didn't find anything that jumped out at me or offered any particular enlightenment. So, while this book describes itself as offering "uncommon wisdom," I fail to see what's so special about it. While I understand that Howard Stevenson casted a wide arc of positive influence, this book didn't move me.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
It's right on the back cover of Howard's Gift: Uncommon Wisdom to Inspire Your Life's Work, exploiting the inflection points in your life. That's what made me take a further look at this interesting book by entrepreneur and author Eric Sinoway.

So what is an inflection point? Author Sinoway points to Intel's founder and former CEO as calling an inflection point as "an event that fundamentally changes the way that we think and act," and that's about as good and simple a definition as this reader can imagine. Early on the author reviews how as a country, a society, we've experienced a series of fiscal and political events that caused out futures to look a bit different than we had imagined. He points out that for college grads, investment banking was viewed as the surefire pathway to becoming a "master of the universe," and in technology of becoming a multimillionaire visionary such as those who lead Google, Microsoft and Facebook.

But getting a handle on innovation means recognizing, pinpointing or even creating inflection points that will drive you toward success in either your personal or business life. Latch onto or create a positive inflection point, and you can use it as a stepping-stone to a better future. Get hung up in a negative inflection point and your business or even your personal life plummet like jumping off of a cliff without a parachute. These inflection points can make a change for the good in your work or your life if they're positive. If you follow or create negative Inflection points, then your organization, be it small or large, can tank and take you with it.
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