Living in More Than One World,

The Blog of Bruce Rosenstein

Max De Pree, Peter Drucker and the Art of Leadership

I was saddened recently to learn of the August 8th death, at 92, of Max De Pree, who had an illustrious career as CEO and Chairman of the innovative furniture/design company Herman Miller.

In 1989, after he retired as CEO but while remaining as Chairman, he also started a parallel career as a best-selling leadership author; particularly with his first book, Leadership is an Art; the follow-up Leadership Jazz, and in 1997, with Leading Without Power: Finding Hope in Serving Community. These slim volumes are eloquent, full of wisdom of various types, and spiritually reflective of De Pree’s deep Christian faith.

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150 Years On: Karl Marx, Das Kapital/Capital, and the British Library

September 14 marked the 150th anniversary of the original, German-language publication of Karl Marx’s Das Kapital, later published in English-language editions (in multiple volumes) as Capital. What I find particularly interesting is that it was largely written in the reading room of the British Library (at the time located at the British Museum). Marx’s long history of using the library for reading, research and writing is detailed in the recent British Library European studies blog post by Izzy Gibbin, “150 Years of Capital.

In Germany, the land of Marx’s birth, the international broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW) recently published “Karl Marx’s ‘Das Kapital’ still fascinates after 150 years,” a Q&A with author/journalist Bernd Ziesemer.

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Inventing the Future with Pagan Kennedy

Most people take for granted the wonders surrounding us, including the accumulated inventions of many centuries that make our lives safer, easier, more productive and more satisfying. We rarely stop to think of who invented things that are indispensable to daily life. If you want to open your eyes to a richer appreciation of the world of invention and inventors, and the psychology and thought processes that underpin this discipline, turn to Pagan Kennedy and her 2016 book Inventology: How We Dream Up Things That Change the World.

Kennedy has written a number of books and countless freelance articles in a variety of publications.

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35 Years On: Revisiting Peter Drucker’s The Changing World of the Executive

Soaring executive pay. The future of health care. Disappearing manufacturing jobs. Information overload. These are all hot button topics today. They were also subjects written about by Peter Drucker during the mid-1970s to early 1980s, as shown in his 1982 book The Changing World of the Executive. While Drucker contributed to many publications on a regular basis, and published a number of collections of his writings, as I wrote about last year in my post “Peter Drucker: Freelance Writer,” this anthology came primarily from his columns written for the Wall Street Journal between 1975 and 1981.

Although the original book had gone out of print, The Changing World of the Executive was reissued in 2010 by Harvard Business Review Press, as part of its series “The Drucker Library.”  Drucker divides the book into five sections: Executive Agenda, Business Performance, The Non-Profit Sector, People at Work, and the Changing Globe.

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6 Success Strategies of Jorge Luis Borges

Jorge Luis Borges was born 118 years ago today, on August 24, 1899. The Borges Boom shows no signs of decline: his literary influence remains strong, he is quoted and referenced in a variety of contexts, and books by and about him continue to be published. Last year marked the 30th anniversary of the Argentine author’s death. On December 7, 2016, the Library of Congress presented a fascinating conversation, now available on video, with Borges’ widow María Kodama and University of Maryland professor and longtime Borges scholar Saúl Sosnowski. (I wrote about my connection to Saúl, author of Borges y La Cábala: En búsqueda del verbo, in the 2010 post 111 Years of Jorge Luis Borges.)

In the spirit of my 2013 post 7 Self-Management Secrets of Jorge Luis Borges, consider these strategies, which I contend were crucial to Borges’ success (during his life and beyond); even if he may not have considered them to be strategies!

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Changing the World the Jane Jacobs Way

If you’d like to make your mark on the world during your lifetime, with the hope that your influence extends beyond your death, a perfect role model is Jane Jacobs. Perhaps best known for her classic 1961 book The Death and Life of Great American Cities, she was a major urban activist over a long period of time (she died in 2006, at 89). Her influence reached beyond urban affairs to economics and more, and continues to grow. Last week, in my post about Tom Butler-Bowdon’s new book 50 Economics Classics, I noted that Jacobs was included, even though she was not an economist, for her book The Economy of Cities.

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50 Economics Classics: Tom Butler-Bowdon

Tom Butler-Bowdon has recently added another title, 50 Economics Classics, to his long-running and super-effective 50 Classics series.

Part of the genius of this book is broadening the content beyond the people we normally associate with Economics as a discipline and field of study (Adam Smith, Karl Marx, Joseph Schumpeter and so on), to those from other disciplines who have had impact on the field, such as Michael Lewis, Eric Brynjolfsson & Andrew McAfee, Jane Jacobs and John C. Bogle. The centrality of people, as well as institutions and disciplines, shines throughout, especially in the entries on such titles as Gary Becker’s Human Capital and Elinor Ostrom’s Governing the Commons.

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Celebrating 25 Years of Berrett-Koehler Publishers

This summer marks the 25th birthday of Berrett-Koehler, the extraordinary company that published my first book, Living in More Than One World: How Peter Drucker’s Wisdom Can Inspire and Transform Your Life, in 2009.

BK is unique, for many reasons. Publishers Weekly recently ran a feature story that captures some of the magic, while outlining some of BK’s new releases and initiatives. Steve Piersanti, the founder/President/Publisher, has posted an informative “Letter from the Publisher: On Berrett-Koehler’s 25th Anniversary.” On Steve’s BK site page, the company is described as a “leading independent publisher of progressive books on current affairs, personal growth, and business and management.” For an idea of just how progressive and unique BK is, read the new  Berrett-Koehler Constitution.

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17 Eclectic Book Lists For Summer 2017

It’s time for one of my favorite yearly rituals, curating a list of some of the best summer reading lists from a wide variety of sources. Although this compilation has considerable coverage of business/leadership/management books, there are also many other nonfiction and fiction titles. One of the things I like about some of the lists is that they include older titles along with newer ones. There is also a good mixture of books from both major and independent  presses.

 

Business InsiderJPMorgan says everyone should read these 11 books this summer

Chicago Tribune: The Ultimate Summer Reading List

Forbes.com: Recommended Creative Leadership Reading List For Summer 2017

gatesnotes: 5 Good Summer Reads, by Bill Gates

Heleo.com: 7 Must-Read Books to Change Your Life This Summer, by Emma Seppälä

Huffington Post: 24 Incredible Books You Should Read This Summer

Inc.com: Need Some Summer Reading?

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Robert M. Pirsig: The Road Goes on Forever

The world is a much different place than in 1974, the year of publication for Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values, Robert M. Pirsig’s surprise hit philosophical novel. But the outpouring and variety of articles and posts in the wake of Pirsig’s death in April, at 88, show how relevant the quirky and unusual book remains, and will remain for years to come.


Examples:

Life Advice From the Late Robert M. Pirsig, by Emily Temple, Literary Hub
Putting off the important things? It’s not for the reasons you think; by Oliver Burkeman, theguardian.com
Remembering Robert M.

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