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on September 29, 2007
Today's management style has become overwhelming to say the least. In The Age of Speed, Vince Poscente teaches you the value of speeding up while eliminating unnecessary activities and busy work. I truly understand now why I was feeling so overwhelmed yet appeared to be getting busier while accomplishing very little.

This is a must read for every executive who is feeling the bite of globalization and technological inundation. It helped me understand my own dilemmas as well as those with whom I manage. I not only recommend this book, I recommend all of Vince's books. He gets it!
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on August 20, 2009
I was hoping this brief volume would provide some insight into the psychological underpinnings of today's instant-gratification, hyper-connected world (Cell Phones, SMS, RIM Blackberry's, iPhones etc.) and ramifications for the future. What I got instead were some commentary and observations that were so obvious, they could easily pass for a high school term paper. Any adult reading this book and finding the author's common-sense observations to be a revelation might instead want to consider remedial life skills training.

This book is much more hype/marketing than substance, and unless you want an unhealthy rise in blood pressure from the growing anger you'll feel with every page turn (at how you've been duped into spending your hard earned money on this garbage), my advice is to look elsewhere.

I decided to resign this book to where it would have the most impact and do the most good. After removing the hard cover, the remaining pages were placed in the mixed paper recycling bin.
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on September 27, 2007
Sure most of it has been covered before and in depth by other authors, but none quite as simply and refreshingly as Poscente has done in The Age of Speed. For the detractors my advice "lighten up!"
Poscente does not offer dry, professorial content pregnant with obfuscation but rather snap-quick anecdotal insights that despite appearances to the contrary are well-researched and attributed.
If a reader longs for the grad school stuff there is plenty of that out there but for those who want practical ideas with immediate application and understanding then read The Age of Speed. As one reviewer observed...the concepts as simple as there are, keep popping back up in my head weeks after I finished the book.

If there was one book I would recommend reading on the subject or the increasingly fast pace of our professional and personal lives this would definitely be it.
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on October 24, 2014
Heard him speak and the book just reinforced his message
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on January 26, 2015
excellent service and book
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on June 21, 2008
About two chapters into this book I realized that the build up that I was hoping for was not going to come. I buckled down and kept an open mind that I might be able to grab some substance in the following chapters. This never quite happened.

The play on scientific studies and company examples barely scratched the surface. I don't recall more than one given example of any single point.
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on September 6, 2010
The book is redundant and a very slow read.
Nothing but common sense - set a goal and go for it
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VINE VOICEon September 1, 2007
Strengths: 1) the book reads fast. 2) author uses terrific analogies. 3) subject matter is current and relevant. Shortcomings: 1) Book falls short on developing the work-life balance and crushing workload issues. Little substance. (2) Many of the presented solutions (delegating, take next actions, don't multi-task, etc) have been covered far more effectively by David Allen in his 2 books (Getting Things Done / Ready for Anything). Read the Publishers Weekly Review above for a review that nails it.
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VINE VOICEon November 3, 2008
Years ago, I traveled and spoke on time management. I stopped doing that after I realized that there was something inconsistent about wasting several hours in airport lines while presenting myself as an expert on time management. Vince Poscente had all kinds of options for what kind of book he'd write on the subject of speed. He chose to write a book that's a quick read. That seems fitting.

The book has 36 short chapters, with four pages probably the average length. Nearly every chapter serves to make only one point. The book is in eight sections, each of which is about the length of a normal book chapter. To me, those are the actual chapters.

But it's more useful to see this book as consisting of four parts:

In part one, Poscente describes our age of speed and gives his take on how we got to where we are. Then, he shows that speed isn't good or bad in itself. It's what you do with it that counts.

In part two, he looks at how people cope (or not) with speed. He presents four profiles:

1. Zeppelins are slow-moving folks who have a tough time maneuvering or changing course quickly. They are dangerous and potentially explosive.
2. Balloons just happily float along. They don't seek speed and don't need to. They interact with our fast culture only from a distance.
3. Bottle rockets embrace speed, but do so without a real purpose. They can blow up in your face.
4. Jets move very fast, but have outstanding records for reaching their destinations safe and intact.

In part three, he presents three "A" characteristics that really matter in our age of speed: agility, aerodynamics (reducing drag), and alignment. This is modern time management material, and his spin on it is personalized but accurate.

Part four consists of a final titled section and one untitled section. The final titled section is titled, "Harnessing the Power of Speed" and it consists of three chapters. Unfortunately, Poscente seems winded by the time he gets here and this part is a little too lean. It should provide answers to the challenges described earlier in the book but it doesn't quite fill the bill.

This section is followed by three chapters "Conclusion," "Applications" and "Tips and Tricks from the Age of Speed." While useful, these are also overly lean.

Does it deliver?

Being a book on speed, it doesn't have cumbersome analysis. But there is some light analysis and there is some insight. Given the smallish size and the subject matter, this seems about right to me.

However, I suspect Poscente went a little too fast in writing this book. Remember the old saw, "I wrote real slow, 'cause I know you can't read fast?" Kind of the opposite applies here. As a reader, I felt the author wrote too fast--as if he made a connection between how fast he wrote and how fast the reader would read.

The execution could have been thought out a little better to make the book come across as a unique work rather than a compilation of existing material. What do I mean by that? Maybe it isn't the case, but it seems to me that Poscente wrote much of this book by using PowerPoint slides for the core material and just expanding a little on each one. Especially in certain places (such as "Tips and Tricks" and "Four Profiles"), I got this impression. For people who want a quick read about speed and some ideas to think about, the results are probably fine.

Some readers will be disappointed because the book doesn't get very deep, and it doesn't provide a structured game plan for the reader to consider implementing. But then, the book doesn't claim to provide any such thing. It's not a "how to" manual. The subtitle is "Learning to thrive...." and that means an attitude adjustment, not a procedural adjustment. On this score, the book delivers.

I think it makes a good addition to a library on related topics such as productivity, time management, and work/life balance. On that last topic, Poscente provides a viewpoint that would be of immense benefit to probably 80% of readers. I'm keeping a copy in my own library.

There's also a layout aspect of the book that might set some people off. I can't recall seeing any other book that wastes so much paper. It's a small book, but probably 20% of the pages are either blank or nearly blank. You don't get "thud factor" with a small paperback to begin with, so I'm not sure of the purpose in doing that. Perhaps it is to help give the reader a feeling of fast progress through the book.

The drawbacks (perceived or real) of this book don't cancel out its benefits. I think anyone who hasn't absolutely mastered time management will find some benefit in this book and anybody who feels exhausted or overwhelmed by the demands of today will benefit immensely.
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on March 3, 2009
In today's atmosphere of hurry, hurry, get things done, make a list, manage your time, stress, stress, stress, Vince Poscente is a soft voice of reason and calm. He helps you put the global need for speed into a philosophical, acceptable, non-threatening context so you can embrace speed without allowing it to engulf you. So that you can leverage speed to give yourself a less hurried, more fulfilling life -- at work and at home.

Hurrying is not speed. Speed is not about you trying to do more and do it faster. It is about doing things with more natural efficiency so they get done sooner and more easily. Speed is about organizing and automating and delegating and outsourcing, so you have more time for yourself and that which is important. It's about not wasting time on stuff you don't have to do or don't do well and about doing the things you do well instead.

Poscente tells us why speed is important and necessary and to be welcomed. He cautions us to remember that speed is useful and valuable, but only under some circumstances. Under other circumstances, speed can be useless or even harmful. It is necessary for us to develop judgement about when and how to use speed or slow down. So he helps us reason our way to such judgement.

The book is about both understanding the need for speed -- and the when and where of it -- and the ways of attaining speed. Not the usual emphasis on specifics of schedules, to-do lists, files, and so on. But rather attitudes, perspectives, orientations and mental strategies. The essentials of flexibility and adaptability, of thinking creatively. The real "how-to" of the book is how to develop your thinking and feeling so that you accept the need for appropriate speed and become willing to use the practical tools to achieve it. Seek out the simplest, most effective ways of achieving it. Think in terms of its ease, benefits, enjoyment. For all involved.

Everyone who has counseled others on the need to use time management and productivity tools like calendars, to-do lists, brainstorming exercises, mind-mapping, "de-cluttering," streamlining and "Occam's Razor" exercises, has heard all the objections and resistances. The folks that need them most refuse to use them. Deny that they need them. Don't have time for them. The Age of Speed helps overcome the resistances through understanding and perspective. That is something that is missing in almost all "getting stuff done" kinds of books.

A final plus for the book: In aid of overcoming resistance to reading another book on time management and productivity, Vince Poscente assists his readers' speed by writing short, concise, to-the-point chapters that are easy and quick to read. He says what is most important first and he writes short explanations, anecdotes and examples. Age of Speed is a model of writing for the reader's comfort in both comprehension and speed.
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