Here is a brief excerpt from my interview of Krayer. The complete interview is also available.
Morris: Of all the business books you have taught and discussed thus far, which one do you most enjoy re-reading because, each time, you continue to find something of value that you missed before?
Krayer: I believe that history will place Good to Great as the best business book ever written, perhaps as much for its rigorous methodology and its insightful discoveries. Readers need to remember that this book does not predict success, but rather, report what led certain businesses to success, based upon historical data. I really enjoy the enthusiasm that Jim Collins shared in writing the unexpected findings from his team’s research. I like to re-read those sections so that I can paraphrase them accurately to my audiences.
Morris: Given the recent proliferation of electronic reading devices such as Amazon’s Kindle and Sony’s PRS, has the bound volume become an endangered species?
Krayer: Not in my view. I believe books are also symbols, and people enjoy displaying them in their homes and offices as well as carrying them around to show people what they are reading, as much as they do actually reading them. You can’t do that with these devices. I think that customers who value autographed copies and who travel to book signings to meet the author and receive a signed copy will not tolerate digital signatures sent through e-mail. I think that retail outlets that sell books have more than met the challenge, and have created experiences for customers who will continue to frequent these stores. I have posted detailed explanations of these reasons on our blog at http://ffbsccn.wordpress.comKrayer. Go to Karl’s categories. I welcome your comments if you think I am wrong. Let’s talk about it!
If you wish to read the complete interview, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Recently, Sue Moore of UBS Financial Services (and a regular at the First Friday Book Synopsis), sent me a link to this excellent article (click on title to read article):
The article includes a paragraph referencing Womenomics, which I recently presented at the FFBS: Here’s the paragraph:
In their recent book “Womenomics,” television journalists Katty Kay and Claire Shipman note that up to one-third of professional women take a breather from their careers at some point, and that MBAs are more likely than doctors or lawyers to choose to stay home with their children. The problem with this is crystallized in something Jack Welch said recently at a Society of Human Resources Management conference: that women who choose to get off the executive track are more likely to get passed over for top jobs when they are ready to return. “There are work-life choices, and you make them, and they have consequences,” Welch says.
This is damaging for the individual women, and could have a ripple effect on younger executives, Offereins (Diane Offereins, executive vice president of payment services at Discover Financial Services) fears. “I think it’s important to have women in the senior ranks because they think about hiring and promoting women,” she says.
(Our own Cheryl and Sara blogging team members gently suggested that Jack Welch should consider keeping his opinions to himself from now on. Read their post, Past Time to Retire, Jack Welch, here).
The article ends with this paragraph about a women who made it (back up) to the top, even after a four year period away from the corporate world:
One interesting newcomer to the rankings is BBVA Compass retail chief Shelaghmichael Brown. Brown was honored for smoothly integrating a string of acquisitions in the Southeast and Southwest. What we didn’t know until we interviewed her was that, after years of moving up the executive ladder, Brown left banking for four years earlier this decade to help her then-teenage sons with their studies. CEOs, boards and Jack Welch take note: Brown is proof that even after an extended hiatus, women can maintain their drive and passion, and pick up where they left off.
What shall we think about all of this? Last year was the year that women received the majority of degrees at every educational level (Associates, through all Graduate Degrees) in the U.S. Their preparation, their talent, their skills are simply too important for companies and organizations to cast them aside if they take some time off – even a few years off. The terrain is changing, and the business practices have to adjust to the new realities. These women bring too much to the table, and business needs to find a way to let their talents back in when they are ready to return.
To fail to do so is just… what’s the word I’m looking for… stupid. It’s bad for people, and it’s bad for business. It’s dehumanizing.
Here are some examples:
Disinterested is occasionally used as if it means uninterested when in fact the favored definition is unbiased and impartial.
Enervated, a phantonym of energized, in fact means weakened.
Fortuitous looks like lucky but the word really means happening by chance. It does not mean fortunate.
Penultimate does not mean untraultimate. It derives from the Latin word for almost and means next to last.
Presently does not mean now but in a little while. Currently conveys the intended meaning clearly.
Restive is “a doubly dicey term.” It does not mean restful nor restless; rather, it means stubborn, balky.
Rosenthal notes that the origin of the term out of left field has been traced to when the Chicago Cubs moved to Wrigley Field, and a mental hospital was then built on what had been left field in their previous park. Rosenthal’s son John follows baseball closely, recalling that when a pitcher from Cuba was asked the Spanish word for “fastball,” he answered “el fastball.” On the other hand, the Spanish word for “outfielder” is guardabosque. John Rosenthal points out, “It also means park ranger. I like the notion of three park rangers guarding the outfield from pesky singles, doubles, and forest fires.” Or the occasional mental patient.
With all due respect to his achievements in the political world and as a professional writer, however, I think his legacy is best defined in terms of his relentless advocacy for literacy; more specifically for respect and appreciation of the English language. I agree with Robert McFadden’s characterization of Safire as a “pickwickian quibbler who gleefully pounced on gaffes, inexactitudes, nelogisms, misnomers, solecisms and perversely peccant puns, like ‘the president’s populism’ and “the first lady’s momulism’ written during the Carter presidency.” Years later, he called Hillary Clinton a “congenital liar” in print. She expressed disappointment. However, a White House aide said that President Bill Clinton, “if he were not the president, would have delivered a more forceful response on the bridge of Mr. Safire’s nose.” Safire was delighted, praising the correct use of contrary to fact and the proper use of the conditional.
Safire was not a “purist” in terms of the English language. The ultimate goal, he repeatedly insisted, was to use it to communicate effectively one’s intended meaning. Rules are important but should serve as guidelines. In weeks and months to come, I will miss his weekly “On Language” column in the Sunday editions of The New York Times. Hopefully, an anthology of his best columns will be published. Meanwhile, those of us who aspire to literacy have several of his suggestions to guide and inform our efforts. For example:
1. Remember to never split an infinitive.
2. Take the bull by the hand and never mix metaphors.
3. Proofreed carefully to see if you words are spelled properly.
4. Avoid clichés like the plague.
5. And don’t use exclamation points!!!