Geeks & Geezers - AchieveMax® Top Ten Book Review
Geeks & Geezers: How Era, Values, and Defining Moments Shape Leaders by Warren G. Bennis & Robert J. Thomas
Most every organization today employs members of the younger generation just out of college and, in some cases, even high school. In fact, I recently read of a west coast firm that hired several middle school students to do part-time programming after school and on weekends. Those same companies employ their share of A.A.R.P. members nearing retirement. Both age groups, as well as those in between, bring tremendous value to the table in terms of education, experience, creativity, talent, etc. However, consider the cultural, environmental, motivational and personal goal differences of these two diverse employee groups. Then consider the fact that they are being thrown into the same chaotic, rapidly changing business environment and instructed to achieve ever-increasing levels of productivity and profitability! To expect such lofty expectations to be met would, of course, require, at the very least, a basic orientation to members of each group of the vast differences existing in each of the areas mentioned earlier. In fact, education and discussion of these differences and their possible consequences should be on-going. Now think about your own organization. Is this orientation currently being offered? Has it ever been offered? Should it be?
If any organization were to recognize the importance of this education and decide to provide it for their employees, the benefits would be phenomenal! The ideal textbook for such a program would have to be Geeks & Geezers by Bennis & Thomas. In this groundbreaking study, the authors compare and contrast these two disparate groups-affectionately labeled "geeks" (aged 21-34) and "geezers" (aged 70-82). They asked successful geeks to share the secrets of their youthful triumphs and distinguished geezers to tell them how they continue to stay active and engaged despite the changes wrought by age. Today's young leaders grew up in the glow of television and computers; the leaders of their grandparents' generation in the shadow of the Depression and World War II.
The authors, who bring considerable experience to the table (Bennis has written over 30 books on leadership and Thomas is a senior fellow with Accenture's Institute for Strategic Change), interviewed more than 40 leaders who they deem either "geeks" or "geezers" to evaluate the effect of era on values and success. The two groups vary in terms of their ambitions, heroes and family lives, but members of both sets share one common experience: all have "undergone at least one intense, transformational experience," which the authors call a "crucible." In some cases the crucible was an actual hardship, e.g., geezer Sidney Rittenberg spent 16 years in prison in China for speaking out against the government. For others, it was a dramatic experience, such as NYSE pioneer Muriel Siebert's entry into male-dominated Wall Street in 1967 or geek Liz Altman's stint working at a Japanese Sony factory before becoming a Motorola VP.
Among the findings of their research, Bennis and Thomas learned that Geezers and Geeks had quite different concerns when in the age range of 25-30. The Geezers' concerns were making a living, earning a good salary, starting and supporting a family, stability and security, working hard and getting rewarded by the system, listening to their elders, paying "dues" to various organizations, and using retirement to enjoy life. It also reveals the critical traits they share, including adaptability, vision, integrity, unquenchable optimism, and "neoteny"-a youthful curiosity and zest for knowledge.
In contrast, Geeks' concerns (during the same age range) were making history, achieving personal wealth, launching a career, change and impermanence, working hard so they can write their own rules, wondering if their elders "got it wrong," deciding where loyalty should lie, and achieving a balance between work and life. These are significant differences which Bennis and Thomas explain in terms of the different eras in which Geeks lived (at ages 25-30), the societal values of their respective generations, and various "defining moments" such as those associated with the Great Depression, World War II as well as Vietnam and the emergence of the Internet and World Wide Web.
Geeks and Geezers is a book that will forever change how we view not just leadership but the very way we learn and ultimately live our lives. Highlighting the forces that enable any of us to learn and lead not for a time, but for a lifetime, this book is essential reading for geeks, geezers, and everyone in between.
More than 100 business book reviews written by Harry K. Jones are available at www.AchieveMax.com/books/index.htm">http://www.AchieveMax.com/books/.
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www.AchieveMax.com/motivational-speaker-harry.htm">Harry K. Jones is a professional speaker and consultant for AchieveMax®, Inc., a firm specializing in custom-designed keynote presentations, seminars, and consulting services. Harry has made presentations ranging from leadership to employee retention and time management to stress management for a number of industries, including education, financial, government, healthcare, hospitality, and manufacturing. He can be reached at 800-886-2MAX or by visiting www.AchieveMax.com">http://www.AchieveMax.com.
In what has become an annual rite under the Trump administration, the president's fiscal year 2020 budget proposal calls for the elimination of the National Endowment for the Arts. Trump's initial budgets for both fiscal 2018 and 2019 also called for cutting the NEA, but each time the House restored funds for the organization and last year gave the NEA a $3 million increase.
According to researchers, the English language might never have enjoyed a richness of F-words had it not been for early farmers and the food processing they favored. Dairy products and other soft foods, such as gruel, porridge, soup and stews, helped shape our faces, the researchers claim, and allowed us to form the sounds "f" and "v", known as labiodental fricatives...
After skipping 2018's announcement due to scandal, the Nobel Foundation has announced that the Nobel Prize in Literature will be awarded in 2019 - and that Laureates will be announced for both 2018 and 2019.
According to the press release: "During the past year, the Nobel Foundation has had a close dialogue with the Swedish Academy about the problems that arose in late 2017 and early 2018. Several important changes have been implemented since then. The Academy's regulations have been amended, making it possible for members to resign. The statutes have been clarified. Several new members have been elected. The Academy also no longer includes any members who are subject to conflict of interest or criminal investigations."
The longlist for The Women's Prize for Fiction 2019 have been announced. The winner will be declared in June.
The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker
Remembered by Yvonne Battle-Felton
My Sister, the Serial Killer Oyinkan Braithwaite
The Pisces Melissa Broder
Milkman Anna Burns
Freshwater Akwaeke Emezi
Ordinary People Diana Evans
Swan Song Kelleigh Greenberg-Jephcott
An American Marriage Tayari Jones
Number One Chinese Restaurant Lillian Li
Bottled Goods Sophie van Llewyn
Lost Children Archive Valeria Luiselli
Praise Song for the Butterflies Bernice L. McFadden
Circe Madeline Miller
Ghost Wall Sarah Moss
Normal People by Sally Rooney
Across America, small theaters are canceling productions of Harper Lee's "To Kill a Mockingbird," citing a threat of litigation from a powerful, sharp-elbowed Broadway producer related to a contract that dates back half a century.
The theaters were planning to stage an adaptation of the novel by the playwright Christopher Sergel, which has been widely staged by adults and students for decades. Lawyers for the producer Scott Rudin, backed by the Lee estate, are telling the theaters that their productions are no longer permissible because there is a new adaptation, by the screenwriter Aaron Sorkin, which opened on Broadway in December...
The Guardian has a fun article on Susan Rennie's book, Roald Dahl's Rotsome and Repulsant Words, which is worth a read for all Dahl fans, and particularly lovers of his 1982 classic, The BFG:
If a small child were to walk up to the lexicographer Susan Rennie in the street and call her a slopgroggled grobsquiffler, she would know exactly how to reply. "You squinky squiddler!" she would shout. "You piffling little swishfiggler! You troggy little twit! Don't you dare talk pigsquiffle to me, you prunty old pogswizzler!" ...
Silicon Valley billionaire, philanthropist and author Michael Moritz and his wife Harriet Heyman's charitable foundation has been announced as the new sponsor of the Booker prize, a month after the Man Group revealed it was ending its 18-year sponsorship of the prestigious award for literary fiction.
Moritz and Heyman's foundation, Crankstart, has committed to an initial five-year exclusive funding term for the Booker, with an option to renew for a further five years. It will not give its name to the award, which will revert to its old name of the Booker prize from 1 June, when the Man Group's sponsorship ends.
We are pleased to announce the publication of
The Inner Lives of Book Clubs!
This fascinating report is the first to really get to the heart of the book club experience. It's the result of two surveys of more than 5,500 people, combined with BookBrowse's more than 15 years of book club experience and research.
Its 56-pages are packed with interesting and usable information that is relevant to librarians, authors, publishers, booksellers and, of course, book clubs.
Among much else, you will discover:
- The attributes most successful book groups share.
- The demographics of public book clubs compared to private groups.
- What people want from their book club.
- The elements book clubs look for when picking books.
- The 12 most common book club challenges, and how groups resolve them.
- The link between discussion length and happiness.
- The percentage of book clubs that use library book bags.
- What people interested in a book club but not in one want from a group
- What causes people to leave book clubs.
Prolific author William E. Butterworth III, who wrote under the name W.E.B. Griffin, has died aged 89.
The writer Andrea Levy, who explored the experience of Jamaican British people in a series of novels over 20 years has died, aged 62, from cancer.
After starting to write as a hobby in her early 30s, Levy published three novels in the 1990s that brought her positive reviews and steady sales. But her fourth novel, Small Island, launched her into the literary big league, winning the 2004 Orange prize, the Whitbread book of the year and the Commonwealth Writers' prize, selling more than 1m copies around the world and inspiring a 2009 BBC adaptation.