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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7 Self-Management Secrets of Jorge Luis Borges

The title of a recent Los Angeles Times piece by Hector Tobar says it all: “The Borges boom: he may be dead, but his legacy remains strong.” August 24 was the 114th anniversary of Jorge Luis Borges’ birth in Buenos Aires; he died June 14, 1986, in Geneva. Tobar points out the heavy, multimedia presence for Borges, as well as the ongoing book releases, long after his death.

Chartres-Labyrinth

Chartres-Labyrinth

The latest were published this summer by New Directions: Professor Borges: A Course on English Literature; and Borges at 80: Conversations. They have inspired a variety of additional coverage, such as “Two New Books About ‘Borges’,” by Mark O’Connell in The New Yorker; “Jorge Luis Borges and His Library of Babble,” by Michael Hingston, in the Globe and Mail; and “Borges, Politics, and the Postcolonial,” by Gina Apostol, in the Los Angeles Review of Books.

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Make Time Your Friend, Not Your Enemy

Tom Butler-Bowdon, author of the 50 Classics series, has a new book, Never Too Late to be Great: The Power of Thinking Long, that should provide considerable inspiration to many people who need it the most. Among those who should find it especially interesting and helpful are late bloomers, career changers, people in transition and even procrastinators. The premise is that significant success, even and especially in middle age and beyond, is possible if you think strategically in long enough time frames, while working hard and doing what is necessary to make it happen (e.g. additional learning, networking, and gaining experience in a field any way possible).…

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The Leonard Cohen Economy

Leave it to The Economist, and specifically the Schumpeter management column, to find the intersection between Leonard Cohen and entrepreneurship. The February 25th Enterprising Oldies explores, in a neat package, why all of us (no matter where we are chronologically in adulthood) may have to explore entrepreneurship and other forms of self-employment at some point in our working lives.
As we think about how to diversify our portfolio of work experiences, it’s worth digging deeper into how we can apply some of the life lessons of the 77 year old Cohen, a singer/songwriter/poet/novelist who was inducted into the Rock&Roll Hall of Fame in 2008.

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Gratitude and Guest Posts

Today’s post has two aims: to point towards my two recent guest posts, and to thank the people who provided me the opportunities to write them.  The more recent is An Appreciation of the Life of My Father, Paul Rosenstein (1916-2011), on Santo (Sandy) Costa’s Humanity at Work blog. My dad died at 95 on August 5th, and I think Sandy’s blog is the perfect forum for me to celebrate the life of a man whose work ethic meant that he did not retire until he was 92. Sandy has written a terrific book, also called Humanity at Work, which shows him to be a wonderful example of the Living in More Than One World principle.…

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Frances Hesselbein: Wise Words of a Leader’s Leader

I have been intently reading an advance copy of My Life in Leadership: The Journey and Lessons Learned Along the Way, the powerful new memoir by Frances Hesselbein, President and CEO of the Leader to Leader Institute. The book details the life of an initially reluctant leader from Johnstown, Pa., who rose through the ranks of the local leadership of the Girl Scouts of the USA to eventually serving as the national organization’s CEO. During those years, Frances worked with Peter Drucker, who did considerable pro bono work for the Girl Scouts after the two met for the first time in 1981.…

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Farewell to Alfred Kahn, a True Player on the Stage of Life

When I heard last week about the death of 93 year old Alfred Kahn, widely known as the “father of airline deregulation,” I immediately thought of two things. The first was Dan Reed’s wonderful 2007 profile/interview of Kahn in USA TODAY. The other was the enjoyment I got in the 1980s when I regularly watched Kahn’s commentaries on the Nightly Business Report, on PBS. (Another regular commentator on the show in those days was a pre-Chairman of the Federal Reserve Alan Greenspan.) Kahn’s TV essays were models of good communication: brief, clearly written and crisply delivered. What I didn’t know until reading Dan Reed’s story when it was originally published was how full and varied a life Kahn lived.…

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300 Words With David Greenberger

300 Words With is a new, semi-regular feature on my blog, in which I interview people I admire, especially those who exemplify the spirit of living in more than one world. Their responses are (in the range of) 300 words. Today’s interviewee is the artist/writer/musician/NPR radio commentator David Greenberger, who also has done innovative work with the elderly. I knew David back in my music writing/selling days in the late seventies and early eighties, and then lost touch with him until becoming reconnected earlier this year on Facebook.


1. Can you briefly describe your life’s professional journey so far, including Duplex Planet and your art?

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Warren Bennis and Leadership Studies: A New Book, and First Website at 85

Warren Bennis, whom I wrote about last year, is one of the world’s top authorities on leadership. He’s also a great example of someone who remains relevant, in-demand and active in his mid-80s. I think a worthy goal for knowledge workers to aim for is what Bennis has accomplished: deep into what many would term as advanced years, people still want to know what he thinks, and many will pay for the privilege. His book with Burt Nanus, Leaders: Strategies for Taking Charge, has sold more than a half  million copies, and has a front cover endorsement from Peter Drucker.…

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Amartya Sen and the Power of Intellectual Curiosity

It’s always encouraging when a first-rate mind is celebrated in the media. That’s been the case recently with Amartya Sen, an economics Nobel Laureate who will shortly publish a new book, The Idea of Justice. Sholto Byrnes of London’s The Independent has an interesting interview with Sen on July 19, The thinker: Inside the mind of prized intellectual Amartya Sen. Byrnes points out that Sen’s work has had a significant impact on the world and that he is going strong well past what would be retirement years for some others. “Sen is 75,” Byrnes writes, “but his mind has a sharpness that those decades his junior would envy.” The interview was conducted at Trinity College, Cambridge, where Sen was master from 1998-2004.…

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