The Apricot Outlook

The Apricot OUTLOOK of Katherine Koon Hung Wong ISBN: 9781734824018 Clever Clock Press copyright and written by Dennis W. C. Wong.

This is an unusual genealogical investigative book that opens with several illustrations, acknowledgements, and an introduction that leads to The Apricot Outlook which is a short recital of Katherine’s life in her own words. In turn, Beyond the Apricot Outlook recites the almost monumental task of attempting to discover the background of her and the author’s roots. An endeavor almost impossible to accomplish for Chinese natives who had immigrated to Hawaii at or around the turn of the 19th – 20th century. A huge part of the problem is that many came from small enclaves of several small villages within an overall larger collection within areas of this huge country and especially when one considers how children were named and the fact that Chinese men routinely could have as many as 7 different names.

The story is simplistically told and, although somewhat difficult to follow, must be a treasure trove of material for a sizeable number of people. It is most difficult to rate the reading interest/enjoyment for general readership.

5* for specific individuals and research accomplished; – ? * for other readers.

The NO Limits Enterprise

The NO-LIMITS Enterprise ISBN 9781946633279 ForbesBooks Copyright and written by Doug Kirkpatrick.

After an unusually large number of strongly supportive statements by individuals of prominence, the author’s book subtitled Organizational Self-Management in the New World of Work, the author’s introduction, Life is a Concert (or it should be), presents overall tenets with respect to self-management and the importance thereof. He quotes Kahlil Gibran: “Work is love made visible”; presents Buurtzorg, a highly prosperous Netherlands-based health care company (initiated by Jos de Blok) where 9000 health care nurses work remotely delivering care. They work for the company but make decisions as they see them; he explains that people (most prominently the millenniums) want their creative, innovative and passion about their work to be appreciated and understood; briefly speaks of Morning Star, a Tomato products distributor company (where he initially became involved in the business) which probably is the most well-known for self-management company success. The book’s content is presented in 2 Parts. Part 1, the promise of self- management consisting of 4 chapters covering the breakdown of bureaucracy; 15 unavoidable challenges found within; the power of self-management; before you plan: self-management considerations. Part II, the self-management roadmap, consisting of 6 chapters covering new ways of working; determining where your organization fits in the self-management continuum; establishing your self-management philosophy and principles; self-management implications (or what to expect); making the case for self-management; bringing self-management to life: 12 real-world components; A conclusion – making “no limits” your reality; About the Author; A passion for freedom and accountability at work; Our services. Extensive Acknowledgements follow immediately, leading to an explanatory Forward and ultimately, the Introduction as briefly summarized above.

Discussion: The business of running a business gradually has been changing since those establishing such organizations with advent of the Industrial Revolution. They had only the Army, its chain of command and its organizational abilities as a template. Humans became increasingly dissatisfied with their need to ‘slave’ for many hours a day to receive pay for their labor which they did not enjoy. Chapter 2 provides a list of 15 unavoidable challenges provided by bureaucracy employed by most businesses – Genetic engineering, nanotechnology, virtual reality, increasing information, and communication moving at speed of light, Robots, AI, all of this additional knowledge when much of business is still at the level employed when we moved into the Industrial Revolution. Thus the required Bureaucracy is wasteful of human life; simply stated, 8 hours/day of doing something not desired is just that, a waste of life.

Thus, gradual change has evolved and has gained increasing momentum with advent of new generations who are unwilling to spend long hours performing tasks which have no relationship to their personal thought patterns and desires. The increased level of interest has been initiated by a few future thinking entrepreneurial individuals and aided immensely by the arrival into the workforce of the millennials, a generation that seeks a work/life balance and have no fear of job loss, plus, a driving need to be engaged as part of a group (company) with a purpose and meaning that is part of the larger world. Repeatedly, the suggestion is made that to best run a business, it is best first to become a philosopher with the other necessities added as needed. Names of numerous prominently successful owners of self-managed companies are provided. Chris Rufer, a single truck owner fascinated by philosophy as well as an MBA was fascinated with human principles and management practices, established Morning star, one of the premiere successful self-management companies, by believing people worked best when they were free to manage themselves at work as they did in their daily life. He also believed they were happiest and most successful. Jaipur Rugs in India is another entrepreneurial self-management phenomenal success story as are Vagas, a Brazilian software company and numerous others blossoming throughout the world as well as here in the United States. In all, the book provides extensive coverage of every aspect of how “Strength of a self-managed organization, where every individual is part of a human network of accountability, responsible to everyone else in the enterprise itself” actually functions. These basic tenets, and philosophies serve to undergird the human network.

Summary: The author, partner in the full-spectrum international consulting firm, NuFocus Strategic Group, consults, lectures on self-management around the world and appears to be the present-day spokesman for a large group of advanced-thinking individuals in the rapidly growing movement toward self-managed business. His book covers every aspect of the subject and certainly is a must read for any person desiring to enter a business and become a success in this era of constant change and regeneration. For this reader, the redundancy and repetition typically exhibited here emulates the tendencies of all lecturers and would benefit from judicious editing for readers. However, the material, to reiterate is a must read.

 

5* must read for target audience, but caveat should be noted.

Hidden Wealth

Hidden Wealth ISBN: 9781950863488 ForbesBooks copyright Clayton Investments, LLC written by Terry B. Monroe.

The author has sub-titled his book, “the secret to getting top dollar for your business” and dedicated it “To all the entrepreneurs who have spent hours of hard work building their business, hiring employees, and supporting their families. I hope they will be able to reap the rewards for everything they have toiled to achieve.” There follows an Introduction, eight chapters, a Bonus Chapter on the issue by a well-credentialed friend, Conclusion, Acknowledgements, About the Author and an extensive Index. Each chapter more specifically is single subjected oriented with the first providing the importance of the business owner really introspectively knowing his/her unvarnished self; #2 discuses why business owners do sell their, while #3 presents reasons they do not sell; #4 discusses when is the best time to sell while #5 admonishes that you must actually know what you are selling; # 6 presents the large number of activities required to ‘get the job done’; #7 explains the rather extensive process involved in order to conclude the sale; #8 provides an estimated length of time required to complete the sale and the extensive list of the large, mostly unthought-of, matters than can interfere with completion of the sale. The Bonus Chapter is written by a highly-credentialed seemingly as corroboration of the material presented by the author. The author’s conclusion is largely a repetition of admonishments previously set forth.

Discussion: The material provided would appear to be a treasure trove of information for the individual attempting to decide whether or not to sell the business he/she has birthed, coddled through its infancy to its accession to a top level of performance. It presents a complete picture to peruse while deciding IF you really do, or don’t, want to proceed, ant the number of features involved, many of which you may never really had considered. This aspect of this book is right on the subject and presented by a person who “Has been there. Done that” and gained a broad array of knowledge of every aspect of the subject. Regrettably, if you are not a member of the target group, it contains much redundancy and repetition of even many well-known maxims and similar. Obviously the author lectures frequently making the usage understandable as all employ these features for emphasis.

5* book for target group; interesting, but several -*s caveat for others

Observe to Unmask

Observe to Unmask ISBM: 9798653727696, Kindle Direct Publishing, copyright and written by Pushpendra Mehta.

Subtitled 100 Small things to know people better, Pushpendra Mehta opens his discussion by admonishing individuals “Pursue your passion. Work with your intuition, learn as a child. And adapt as water.” There follow his suggestions for careful observation of individuals, their behavior and preferably from as large a number of situations as possible, to understand the person and how his/her true persona may be used to affect one or more encounters with you as an individual. Thus you must be able to introspectively evaluate yourself and realize how this other person’s traits will actively react with those you contain. He provides copious examples of actions and comments and how they variously may be used to affect their inter-relationship with you. The list of usages and their possible intention are great in number and far too copious to discuss per se. This is a presentation requiring one’s own individual perusal in order to attempt to make one’s personal evaluation. Thus quite simply stated, providing further material from the contents of this book would be a disservice to the prospective reader.

Discussion: Basically, this appears to provide suggestions that individuals should consider when engaging in personal intercourse. Occasionally, this reader believes more details would be helpful when dealing with the discussion about persons mostly discussing news events happening around the world or events they did not witness of experience. The author offers the suggestion that one should know they are more talk and less action oriented and are simply providing their opinion or information of facts already known. This basically, is not necessarily true and there are blatant exceptions to this suggestion. However, the reader must realize the author’s overall attempt to provide simply basic features. His suggestions with respect to Gossip, Social Media, importance of eye contact, actually hearing, not just listening, positioning of feet, primary pursuit in one’s life and the rest provide many suggestions that are relevant, including the old accepted statement that the greater number of friends one has, is better. He provides the most appropriate admonishment that one should reconsider the statement from the perspective of selectivity. Thus basically this is a book that many readers should find noteworthy. A highly amusing aside with respect to the author’s advice, in a very small section he strayed into using a tennis situation for discussion. Unfortunately, he appears to be totally lacking in the rudiments of the sport.

4* Suggestions for understanding unspoken aspects of interpersonal communication.

Character is Destiny

     Character is Destiny ISBN: 9781642799750 Morgan James Publishing copyright and written by Pehr Gyllenhammar.

Sub-titled “Reflections on Innovation & Destiny from Volvo’s Longest Serving CEO” is a memoir written by a man who participated in momentous decisions in widespread areas of the world. His prominent position as CEO of Sweden’s automobile industry’s premier entry no doubt placed him a position to be called upon to participate. He was one of earliest individuals working with Reuter’s press, well-respected for truthful reporting, and eventually held many decision making positions. He traveled to Egypt, Israel and Jordan and the territory of Palestine (1970’s) meeting with Sadat, Begin, Peres, the ruling brothers of Jordan and Arafat as a hopefully helpful individual (having refused to head a group); served as part of the European Round Table group plotting ways to gain closer ties among the European countries resulting in the England –France tunnel and more (1980’s). In 1994 he was invited to the newly democratically elected South African Parliament in Cape Town. And the list goes on. Then there are the other serendipitous encounters of importance. An excellent example, his relationship with the man responsible for Singapore’s continued existence, its Prime Minister. It resulted from a chance meeting on a tennis court. – “I have never much enjoyed talking about my personal life, I do find it fascinating to talk about the company of good people that I have loved.” “I have learned the most important lessons, and my connections to people…. Are what allowed me to exceed the abilities and capacities with which I was born, and to become a person who, I believe has been of value in the world.” The dialogue continues with numerous other relationships and the mutual, as well as world, gains from the relationships.

Discussion: The author, now in his eighties, condenses many of his discussions in an interesting summary of his opinion of the world in a closing Epilogue. An Afterword follows from a different perspective written by his eminently intelligent wife, Dr. Lee Croll whom he married after having lost his wife a few years ago. They have a 4-year old daughter. He remarks that there are “Complex currents and eddies at work on every continent” and sites Poland and Hungary as experiencing a rise of authoritarianism;  Austria and Italy gaining strong neo-Nazi tendencies; Russia as being in a brutal dictatorship with unaffordable military and dismal economy; India as growing into a wonderful democracy – the biggest in the world; Tiny Singapore a good model for survival under “firm leadership”- although earlier expressing disagreement with the Minister’s ‘firmness’; China’s amazing rate of growth; Middle East constant brutality; Africa growing, but drought and starvation challenging; Australia comfortable and rich; South America corruption, fascist tendencies, declining growth and discipline. His impression of the United States, discussed earlier, as are the others, is quite extensive and leaves this reader extremely disappointed and really quite amazed. After pointing out his contributions and innovative ideas that have been helpful to other countries, here he presents nothing more than a continuation of the blame Trump material with which the country’s residents constantly are bombarded. In fact, some of his stated decisions denounce the man as viciously, if not more so, than I have heard or seen in the newspapers, TV or other as expressed  within the country. Most regrettably I had expected that if a man of his long and far-reaching experience were going to spend the time discussing the situation here in America, he would look at the situation from a more level basis. I did not expect him to regurgitate material that is provided here daily. There is no question that Trump has few, if any, likeable qualities. However, if the author will take an introspective moment, he will discover a few of those he does not like about Trump, within himself – he prefers not to be part of a group but to work from his own agenda as shown in his preference to visit the Near East individually rather than having to perhaps agree with a group; his chagrin with the media’s reaction to his new “young wife”; his seeming often confrontational relationship with Volvo. These factors alone would appear to provide some basis of thought when he considers the man he has been examining, a man who has been encountering similar situations and attacks for almost 4 years. I guess this reviewer just expected a man of the author’s remarkable attainments to at least attempt to provide innovative thoughts with respect to what road possibly may be followed to bring a no doubt circuitous, but viable path to gain a suitable result for America.

3* Remarkable man; great disappointment in part as described.

 

Boot, A sorta novel of Vietnam

BOOT, A Sorta Novel of Vietnam published, copyright and written by Charles L. Templeton.

Now a Marine Sergeant assigned to the Presidential Helicopter Squadron after completing 150 missions in Vietnam, George Orwell (G. O.) Hill had just completed a flight mission for “one of the many alphabet organizations that crowded Washington, D.C.” He was sitting on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and looking at the Reflective pool while trying to decide “Are you going to look at that damn Wall (Vietnam Memorial) or are you going to di-di (move rapidly) back to Georgetown?” “He squinted into the pool’s reflection. His face was a mask hiding his shadows…. His heart raced and his brain whirred, like a nickelodeon … replaying images from his tour in Vietnam forever camped in his memory. Why would he want to think about that crap anyway? That was then; this is now.” But thoughts came rambling through. His youth and desire to serve as had his father, uncles and grandfathers, his pride reflected in his grandfather’s eyes. But suddenly in the water of the Reflecting pool, he saw the image of a headless North Vietnamese regular. Some creative grunt had pinned a note on his blouse that read, “I just wanted to get ahead in life.” At the time he had lost his lunch. These days he chuckled about the grisly scene.” Such is the reader’s introduction to the ruminations of a man who has lived and experienced the repetitive re-interspersing periods of mind-numbing boredom with those of terror and horrifying activity experienced by any person who ever has participated in combat.

Discussion: Assuming the part of the protagonist, G.O. Hill, the author has examined the highly diversified cultural, religious and racial beliefs existing among the group of Marines involved along with those of the enemy. Additionally, he has injected a perhaps unexpected glimpse of a human tendency that exists even in enemies fighting for survival. His portrayal of characters is most realistically accomplished, the humor included, and the story provides, often unwanted memories for the initiated but is of tremendous educational value for the uninitiated,

5* Educational for the uninitiated; often unwanted recall for participants.