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H. Scott Elliott

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Bringing a classic to life

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 2018-11-22

Richard Armitage does a masterful job of breathing life into this nearly 200 year old tale. Creating a separate voice for each character within the story helps the listener build an image of the entire ensemble. The pacing is spot-on, and spoken with such emotion that you cheer for Copperfield's victories or weep for his heartbreaking loses.

A small technical note: there are times throughout the recording when you can tell that Armitage re-recorded a few passages of the book as it "sounds" different. But those are few and far apart to be merely a minor distraction.

Great & straightforward advice on managing people

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 2018-01-15

While many claim that Kim Scott's ideas laid out her book are neither new nor revolutionary, she does a great job of packaging up honest and straightforward guidance to managing people. Regardless if you're a relatively new manager, or have been managing people for several years, Scott corrals best practices and suggestions in an easy-to-understand book that will be helpful to almost anyone.

The book is in two main parts:
Part 1 outlines the "theory" of radical candor and why you should subscribe to this philosophy.
Part 2 gives several step-by-step suggestions on how to implement radical candor into your management style.

Within those two parts, Scott touches on a lot of the common topics you would expect:
1. Giving valuable feedback -- both praise and criticism
2. Valuing the rock-stable workers just as much as the ambitious workers (rock stars versus super stars)
3. Classifying your meetings into distinct types, and the purposes of each
4. Growing your team and ensuring you cater career advice for your team members.

The book was an enjoyable listen -- it was fantastic balance of ideas/concepts with numerous stories from Scott's work experience. However, Scott's vocal performance was slightly monotonous. It's obvious she is passionate about the topic and does well mixing typical business vocabulary with some honestly blunt "earthy language," but she would do well changing the pitch and speed of voice while reading the text. It makes a significant difference when an experienced voice actor reads the text.

Helpful information, but no real insights

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
2 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 2017-12-14

My executive team is handing out this book as a resource to all directors and up in my company. Just so that I can see what ethos they claim to be following, I decided to give this book a try. I was never a fan of his fathers "7 habits of highly effective people" and this one falls short of that book unfortunately.

Steven M.R. Covey actually recorded this audio book -- with the rare and somewhat odd interjections of Rebecca Merrrill. While he doesn't exactly have a monotone voice, Covey's deliver is mostly flat and hard to listen to for any prolonged period of time. Added to the fact that the recorded material "skips" in several places throughout the book, this has the feel of a rather immature audio book.

To be honest, you can get by on a someone's summary of this book on the concepts within as reading/listening to the book in its entirety doesn't provide any additional insights as Covey tends to be rather repetitive. I would have given up on the book long ago if it wasn't for the fact that my company's CEO has claimed that he wants our company to live up to the values within this book (and as an aside: 3 months after laying out this game plan to senior management, there aren't any signs that they are).

And just a few notes about the examples given throughout this book (granted, the book was written over 10 years ago and the hindsight of time can point out some obvious mistakes):

1. Tiger Woods was trotted out as a example in the "self-trust" and how he was working at always bettering himself (I guess the big sexual addiction scandals somewhat got in the way).

2. Nokia was an example that was a company that constantly worked at reinvented itself to stay relevant and a world power in the telecommunication industry (and now all but disappeared into the huge Microsoft beast).

3. Joe Paterno and the Penn Stat football team was an organization demonstrated qualities that exemplified a great example of a trusted organization (except for the small problem of 15 years of sexual abuse of several vulnerable boys).

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