Review: The Art of Shaping the Metropolis

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Pedro B. Ortiz

6-Star Guide to Saving Every City in Every Country — a World-Changing Book

This is an extraordinary book, easily five stars but I am elevating it to 6 stars (my top ten percent across over 2000 reviews, all but a handful non-fiction) because the author is not just a genius, but he explains his deep multi-level knowledge brilliantly. I have never seen a collection of complicated nuanced topics presented in such a compelling, easy to understand, well-illustrated manner. The case studies abound. The publisher is to be complemented for the purity of the presentation — a stunning book with perfectly laid out pages, glossy color on every page, and a superb index, which is where most publishers fail their authors.

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May 5

Review: On the Nature of Leadership

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Richard A. Barker

5.0 out of 5 stars 6 Star Paradigm Shifting Book — Destroys Existing Leadership “Industry”, July 13, 2015

I received this book as a “must read” gift from a colleague finishing his doctorate with a focus on transformative leadership, and after reading it, I quite agree, to the point of rating this book at 6 stars (my top 10% across 2000 plus non-fiction books). In brief, this book is a massive detailed literature review that covers academic and practitioner definitions of leadership and finds them all wanting for the simple reason that they are mired in leadership as a supervisory hierarchical relationship in a reductionist system in which the followers are the means and the ends are defined by someone other than the followers.

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Jul 14

Review: The Accidental Admiral – A Sailor Takes Command at NATO

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James Stavridis

5.0 out of 5 stars In Ike’s mold — a future Secretary of Defense or State or both if we are lucky…, December 11, 2014

This is three books in one, and none of them do justice to the author, who is easily considered by my naval officer colleagues to be a person of most extraordinary intellect and absolute integrity — he is considered a “five star” flag in every possible respect, and there are many of us whom he has mentored or who run with those he has mentored, who hope he will one day be Secretary of Defense or Secretary of State or both. I discussed this book with CAPT Scott Philpott, USN (Ret), among those selected by the author as an innovator, and this point cannot be overstated: to the extent the Services have toxic leadership that must be retired, those mentored by Admiral Stavridis and a few other leaders (General Tony Zinni, for example) are the vanguard for a new generation of leaders who are agile, clear, daring, frugal, and above all, able to bring to bear intelligence with integrity.

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Dec 11