The Changemaker

The Changemaker ISBN 9781946633736 Forbes Media copyright and written by Deke Copenhaver.

Sub-titled “The art of building better leaders” opens with several statements of praise for the book and its author followed by publication details; a forward; acknowledgements; about the author; timeline; introduction; nine chapters; “a parting word”, Passing the Baton to the Next Changemakers”; and more about deke”. The author admonishes that a Changemaker is “somebody who’s not afraid to do something different in the service of a good cause” and describes 7 attributes of such individuals; asks “What kind of Leader are you? Stresses the importance of creativity; Courage to Weather the Storm; importance of Coming Together; need to listen so you can learn from others; the requirement of transparency in all activities; dire need to remain calm, composed and lead on during times of trouble; and perhaps the most essential requirement, to follow your moral compass. Each chapter expands upon its subject matter and provides a helpful list of activities apropos to the subject in hand.

Discussion: This is a well-written book by an intelligent non-politician who had the temerity to run, and serve, for 3 terms (2005-2014) as Mayor of Augusta, Georgia. He was eminently successful by travelling a path quite different from the usual track espoused by career politicians. The individual chapters tell how it was accomplished and provides the reader with step by step directions how to become such a leader. Although containing some redundancy, an unfortunate feature of written material presented by anyone accustomed to speaking engagements, this is a well-written blueprint for any person desirous of attaining a high level of expertise in leadership.

5* Worthwhile read for any aspiring leader.

White Australia has a Black History

White Australia has a Black History. Barbara Miller Books copyright and written by Barbara Miller.

The author has set forth a monumental production examining injustice perpetrated upon an indigenous people. In her exhaustive examination of the basics upon which the moves were initiated and the manner in which they constantly were re-initiated and enforced she has presented a quite scholarly work supported by a large number of references as well as a hundred and ninety pertinent end-notes. Truly a remarkable accomplishment that does indeed show a dark history of disdain for the rights of individuals. It also is a tribute to William Cooper and the many others that attempted to regain not only the aboriginals land but their self-respect. The government’s demonstration of utter disdain is so reminiscent of that of the United States and its rough shod over-ride of the American Indian by their false treaties and promises, and the resulting “Trail of Tears”, the massacres and more. These quite parallel situations bring to mind a most interesting situation extant in each country – a basic and undying pride in their heritage demonstrated by an Australian woman and an American Indian man. Both often have been criticized for their early actions when others were immersed in the struggle for their people. Again simply demonstrating a somewhat similar lack of understanding with little knowledge of a situation and similarly lacking empathy. Isn’t it often said the “Everyone should have a dream to pursue and the more dire one’s circumstances, the greater the need for that dream”? And after the younger age at which they forged ahead with their dreams, both later returned to their roots with pride and proceeded to provide extensive help for their people.

The young Australian woman was Evonne Goolagong, daughter of a locally famous athlete mother who persisted in urging on her daughter, who became one of tennis’ multi-winning champions, including Wimbledon, in the 1970’s – 80’s. The young Indian was Billy Mills, the Oglala Sioux boy who against all odds gained the 1964 Olympic Gold Medal following a dream implanted by a desperate father in the mind of a grieving 8-year-old who had just lost his mother.

Discussion: Thus to reiterate, the author has provided a well-documented, exhaustive history of the manner in which still another group of indigenous people have been severely mistreated. Her extensive research has set forth and examined in detail each abominable act and has provided more than ample supportive data. It is a treasure trove of indisputable fact. The almost overwhelming detail leaves no space for any type of denial. Regrettably however, this makes movement through the material quite slow so readers, other than those interested in the many unacceptable actions perpetrated by governments, may find this to be somewhat of a deterrent to acquiring this fascinating material.

3* 5* Comprehensive expose; regrettable caveat for many readers.

Master Your Financial Success

Master Your Financial Success ISBN: 9781628656800 Published and copyright by Authors Place Press written by 14 Authors Place Financial planners.

The book opens with a disclaimer and an introduction that explains that the authors of this book wanted “to give back by educating others how to address several meaningful areas that impact everyone’s financial planning lives. We are hopeful you will learn something new and be inspired to action at the same time, as even the best intentions that are never implemented can prove worthless, if not tragic.” Eleven chapters follow that cover different aspects of financial planning. One –“Retirement is a New Dawn” explains and offers suggestions for you to “Define your Future” and assess the many opportunities, both good and bad, awaiting you because of the many changes that have occurred. “It almost certainly will not be your parents’ retirement.” Two discusses Financial Stewardship and how important is “Proper financial stewardship (because it) exponentially increases value; conversely improper financial stewardship dramatically dilutes value.” Three discusses “Financial Planning for Today’s Unique Family” which may consist of a single parent, same sex parents and more. Four, is a somewhat more specialized chapter in that it deals with “Advanced Planning for Senior Executives” Five, discusses “Generation Wealth Planning and admonishes “You have prepared your wealth for your family .  .  .  but have you prepared your family for your wealth?” Six, “Creative Strategies to Preserve Family Wealth” and Seven, “Considerations for a Business Owner” like chapter Four, again are a little more specialized. Eight – “Investing Demystified” provides basics of the activity. Nine – “Corporate Retirement Plans” is heavy on 401(K) retirement plans, Ten– “Using Life Insurance in Financial Plans” provides interesting discussion on the subject. Eleven – discusses “Charitable Planning Strategies.

Discussion: The authors collectively have presented interesting and most credible suggestions in each area of their expertise. Readers no doubt will discover many useful, and quite possibly unthought-of points to consider in any of the areas defined. From this reader’s perspective, this is a quite valuable contribution to individuals who have managed to attain a somewhat greater position and/or collection of wealth but unfortunately it is not exactly geared to those lower on the ladder of business or monetary attainment.

3* 5* for those at higher levels of accomplishment; limited otherwise.

Empowered

EMPOWERED published by Lasting Press, is a book copyright with ISBN #’s for Mobi, Epub, Paperback and Hardcover and was written by Dominica Lumanazar.

Sub-titled “The Business Owner’s Guide to Leadership and Success” this book presents a more inclusive than usual Disclaimer, the usual dedication, Preface, and Introduction followed by 3 Parts. Part I, entitled “Leading For Success”, consists of 5 chapters – on fundamentals of leadership, spotlighting your business, company history, your mindset with respect to how thoughts/emotions affect work and the necessity for discovering a work/life balance. Part II, Business Value has 4 chapters discussing relationships, company branding, marketing and retention of customers. Part III, Business Clarity, contains 3 chapters centered on the “Habits of Successful Leaders”, “Course Correction” and “Stay the Course”. A conclusion, Acknowledgments, a few References, About the Author and Notes containing more reference material terminate the presentation.

Discussion: A large portion of the book fundamentally is similar to most books of this type – positive thinking. However, here it is provided in a much broader sense and with unusual, interesting and pertinent introductory material that describes an author who has learned the necessities required to succeed in business quite literally ‘the hard way’. As an amusing aside, thoughts of this opening material somehow pop up later during the author’s discussion of “Branding” and the importance of ‘what you are providing’. The material itself discusses the emotional side of business and how it should be controlled and directed; the need to recharge your batteries; the need to recognize when to turn the business over to another CEO; how to avoid isolation and to ‘connect’; importance of ‘branding’; the importance of the 5 second rule – which parenthetically is based upon the latest research results that today’s average human attention span has dropped to 8.1 seconds, which I’ve heard is about that of a goldfish; and above all, the need for constant and extensive research – about the needs or desires for your product(s), the individuals who will be interested; how to interest additional; course correction if needed and more. The author further admonishes that you should work ON your business not IN it and above all ‘stay the course’. Most importantly perhaps is that she presents numerous lists of suggestions on how to proceed to accomplish each of her main points. The book’s Conclusion fits well with introductory remarks bringing closure to the story and the unusual acknowledgements are quite in character with the overall approach. References and notes presented are appropriate as is a short interesting piece about the author’s personal accomplishments.

5* Author’s unusual, conversationally set forth advice ‘learned the hard way’.

How to Live to be 100

How to Live to be 100 ISBN: 9781943386543 Leaders Press copyright written by Elizabeth Lopez.

The book consists of a Forward, Preface and The Magic of Nicoya culture and personality as they are intertwined in a discussion as to how their life activities contribute to their longevity. This is followed by portraits and discussions with seven of these individuals about their lives and with a 95-year-old whose father just passed away at 110. Comments by a school teacher who has had a long and lasting acquaintance with these people follows and then comments by the author’s primary associate in the project. A number of local recipes are provided in detail along with a personal questioner with respect to the reader’s possibilities of reaching this advanced age, and thirty references are added.

Discussion: The book contains considerable redundancy. However, it is the most interesting result of the author’s request to be included as part of the group provided by Blue Zones LLC, Inc. to investigate whether this remote peninsula of Costa Rica qualified as a Blue Zone containing a larger than ‘normal’ number of centenarians (Presently listed are Sardinia, Italy; Loma Linda, CA; Ikaria, Greece; areas of Japan.) As a native of the peninsula and an American University EdD in psychology, the author’s stimulation to make the request is obvious and her findings indeed interesting. They appear to be much in accord with findings in the other Blue Zones listed with respect to living a healthy life style that includes an obvious genetic factor, physical, biological and personal traits and a life style consisting of low neuroticism, high extroversion, openness, agreeableness, competence, self-discipline, ability to ‘take care of one’s self’ and pride in being able to do so. Some qualities perhaps somewhat more specific to this population that she describes as the “World’s Happiest Centenarians” is their love of nature, music and dancing and strong belief in God.

Conclusion: An interesting, but perhaps somewhat surprisingly unsophisticated approach by a native who has obtained advanced psychological training and resides in the United States, to this subject of growing interest to a larger number of people. Of probably particular appeal is the inclusion of a personal quiz for the reader to take and evaluate his/her own chances of reaching that level – one that seems increasingly today to be elevated to ‘holy grail’ status.

3* 4* results & quiz to discern the reader’s possible attainment; -1 as described.

Health Wealth For You 11 Steps to save you money

Health-Wealth for You ISBN: 9781642250817, Advantage Media Group, copyright and written by Josh Luke.

This volume, sub-titled “11 Steps to save Big & Live Healthy”, opens with a pertinent Preface, and is followed by three Parts. Part I, “Healthcare in America: Where Capitalism went Wrong” that contains 4 chapters – The affordability crisis, A culture of greed; A system broken beyond repair; and Millennial Culture meets Healthcare: Keeping Patients Healthy and at Home. Part II, “Ownership of Healthcare Decisions and Spending’ contains 2 short chapters, #5 explaining that “Americans Must Become EHC’s – Engaged Healthcare Consumers”; #6 “Creating a Health-Wealth Family Culture”. Part III; “11 Steps to Save Big and Live Healthy”, sets forth and describes in detail individual strategies to accomplish these goals. These include such actions as: “Enroll in an alternative Insurance Model”; “Engage in Integrative and Functional Medicine Approaches”; “Full Genome Sequencing and DNA Testing”; “Participate in Local Tourism” and more. A Conclusion follows along with a “3P Plan to Personal Health-Wealth: Personal Health-Wealth Plan”; a short reiteration of the “11 Steps to Save Big and Live Healthy”; a “Health-Wealth Personal Loss Assessment Sample” and a “Wealth Certified Partners” – a list of 24 references the author suggests to be worthwhile reading.

Discussion: The first part of the book is simply a shortened version of much of his book “Ex-Acute” and repeated in “Health-Wealth for You: 9 Steps to Financial Recovery”. This latter purportedly was directed more specifically to members of the business sector. However, at least to this reviewer, the direction appeared to be directed at least equally to the consumer. Regardless, from my perspective, if you have read this second book and understood the implications, there is little new for you in this author’s third book. I had highly recommended the volume with a necessary caveat included. IF however, you did NOT understand the material I strongly recommend that you read and absorb the suggestions set forth here in Part III because, with his stated desire to present this volume specifically for the consumer, he has provided quite extensive discussion of each individual suggestion that should answer most questions the average reader could have. As a pertinent aside, I might suggest for readers in the US, as I did for my review of the author’s last book (similarly noted by other readers) that one should not be ‘sidetracked’ by references made by the author that conjure up political overtones. Instead concentrate on the really helpful suggestions offered by the main theme. The author has prescribed a most viable and helpful way to face the burgeoning health costs everyone experiences.

3* 5* for those as described; at least -2* for reasons presented.