Category Archives: Randy’s blog entries

Entries by Randy Mayeux

My Synopsis of The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World by Melinda Gates is today, Jan. 21, 2021, on Zoom – Come join us!

Moment of LiftThis is a terrific book by Melinda Gates. It is about women across the world, with insight about women in the workplace. This is a book that will teach you, and touch your heart.

I will present my synopsis at 12:30 today — Thursday, 12:30 pm, Central Time — over Zoom. All info below. If you attend; and if you print out the handout, and follow along; I promise you will learn. My synopses are thorough, and my handouts are comprehensive. I think you will find this useful.

Download the synopsis handout
Please join us today at 12:30, CST – 
if you can. All details below.

 

{Did you miss my UEBC presentation of Caste by Isabel Wilkerson? Click here to watch the video. The link includes the handout download link.

Here is the video of my synopsis presentation of Caste by Isabel Wilkerson, from the December, 2020 Urban Engagement Book Club}.

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Click one handout image to download the full handout

Click one handout image to download the full handout

TODAY! — January 21,2021 — 12:30 (Central Time)

The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes The World by Melinda Gates
Today: Thursday, January 21, 2021, 12:30pm (central time)
Come join us!

Urban Engagement Book Club
When:  Thursday, December 17, 2020 — From 12:30 pm to just after 1:30 pm
Synopsis of: The Moment of LIfe by Melinda Gates
Presented by Randy Mayeux

If you can join us, click here to download the handout.

 

And, here is the Zoom link to join our gathering. 

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84429014067

 

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Randy Mayeux is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: UEBC, Jan. 21,2021
Time: Jan 21, 2021 12:30 PM Central Time (US and Canada)

 

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84429014067

 

Meeting ID: 844 2901 4067

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Meeting ID: 844 2901 4067

Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kdWKULcrQI

Hope you can join us.

Reimagining Capitalism in a World on Fire by Rebecca Henderson; and How I Built This by Guy Raz – Coming for the February 5 First Friday Book Synopsis (On Zoom)

Feb, 2021 FFBSFirst Friday Book Synopsis, Friday, February 5, 2020 — on Zoom
Time: 7:30 am (Central Time)

1) Reimagining Capitalism in a World on Fire by Rebecca Henderson. PublicAffairs. (April 28, 2020)

2) How I Built This: The Unexpected Paths to Success from the World’s Most Inspiring Entrepreneurs by Guy Raz. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. (September 15, 2020)

Zoom link below
Please invite one and all to participate in this session.

During Pandemic Season, we have continued to average well over 100 people gathering each month on Zoom for the First Friday Book Synopsis..

On February 5, I will present my synopses of two very good books.  One of them, Reimagining Capitalism in a World on Fire by Rebecca Henderson, is a big, big-picture work by a renowned Harvard professor.

The other, How I Built This: The Unexpected Paths to Success from the World’s Most Inspiring Entrepreneurs by Guy Raz, is chock-full of insights and counsel from the best entrepreneurs of a generation.

If you are like many, you do not have time to read all of the books you would like to read.  The First Friday Book Synopsis is designed for you.

Of course, it would be better if you read the books on your own. But, my synopses are comprehensive, surprisingly thorough, and they will give you plenty of the key content.  You will learn, and be able to ponder the ideas in a useful way.  And, if you have read the book, my synopsis will help you remember more of what you read.

Come join us.

Mark the date, Feb. 5, in your calendar, and save the Zoom info.

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Here’s that Zoom info:

Randy Mayeux is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Feb. 5, 2021 – First Friday Book Synopsis
Time: Feb 5, 2021 07:30 AM Central Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83984386711?pwd=a0ZnWktSOURlNHVUNzk4VGl4US84QT09

Meeting ID: 839 8438 6711
Passcode: 204724
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Dial by your location
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Meeting ID: 839 8438 6711
Passcode: 204724
Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kq5DZXWzy

Here is the New York Times list of Best-Selling Business Books for January, 2021 – Atomic Habits by James Clear again/still at Number One

The New York Times has published its list of best-selling business books for January, 2021.Atomic Habits

And, yet again, during this great pandemic, Atomic Habits is at the #1 spot.  This book has been on the top spot for many of the months of the pandemic.

Of the ten books on this month’s list, I have presented synopses of six of them at our monthly event in Dallas, the First Friday Book Synopsis.  And, my former colleague, Karl Krayer, presented one other.  So, we have featured seven of the ten books on this month’s list.

Of the ten books, there is only one written by a woman author; Brené Brown’s Dare to Lead.  It is common for women authors to be underrepresented on this list, but only one woman-authored book for the month is quite a low point.

Ten Lessons for a Post-Pandemic WorldOf the seven we have presented, I presented my synopses of:  #1, Atomic Habits; #3, Ten Lessons for a Post-Pandemic World; #4, Dare to Lead; #6, Extreme Ownership; #8, Post Corona; and #9, Range.  I chose Range as my selection for the best business book of the year in 2019.  Please read my blog post: Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World by David Epstein is my Business Book of the Year for 2019 – (Loonshots by Safi Bahcall is runner-up).

In addition, my former colleague Karl Krayer presented his synopsis of Thinking, Fast and Slow quite a few years ago.

Worth noting:  plenty of the books on this month’s list have been around quite a while. But both the Zakaria book and the Galloway book, dealing with the pandemic, are quite new.  I presented my synopsis of each of them pretty much right after they were published.

Here is the list of the ten best-selling business books on the New York Times list for January, 2021.  Click over to their site for links to NY Times’ reviews of three of the books.

#1 – Atomic Habits by James Clear
#2 – Pappyland by Wright Thompson
#3 – Ten Lessons for a Post-Pandemic World by Fareed Zakaria
#4 – Dare to Lead by Brené Brown
#5 – Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
#6 – Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin
#7 – Edison by Edmund Morris
#8 – Post Corona by Scott Galloway
#9 – Range by David Epstein
#10 – I Will Teach You to Be Rich, Second Edition by Ramit Sethi

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We make our synopses available to purchase.  Each synopsis comes with the audio recording of our presentation, plus the comprehensive, multi-page synopsis handout.  Click on the buy synopses tab to search by title.  And click here for our newest additions.  (My synopsis of Post Corona will be uploaded in the site in a couple of week).

Download the two Synopses Handouts for tomorrow’s First Friday Book Synopsis, January 8, 2021 – Post Corona and The Obstacle is the Way

You are invited
First Friday Book Synopsis
Friday, January 8, 2021, 7:30 am (Central Time), 
on Zoom
I hope you can join us.

 

NOTE: ZOOM NOW REQUIRES A PASSCODE. 

IT IS BELOW, WITH THE LINK!

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Post Corona, cover

Click on image to download synopses handouts for Jan. 8

A very appreciative thank you to all who participate financially in this event. 

The cost of this remote meeting is “free.”

But, if you would like to contribute to participate, Randy would welcome you to send $12.00 directly to him through PayPal. Click here for a direct link to “donate” through PayPal.

 

 

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Well over 100 people have been joining us on our “Remote” First Friday Book Synopsis gatherings. We have had participants from all over the country. Please share this word far and wide — all are welcome!

Friday, January 8, 2021 – Zoom – (the second Friday of January)
Two Book Synopses: 
1) Post Corona: From Crisis to Opportunity by Scott Galloway. (2020)
2) The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph by Ryan Holiday (2014).
Where: on ZOOM
When: This Friday, January 8, 7:30 am (Central Time)
The presentation will conclude shortly after 8:30 am
Speaker: Randy Mayeux will deliver both synopsis presentations.

Click here to join in on Zoom:

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83833445781?pwd=S3llUnNLMURTVSs5TXQycG41UHY3Zz09

Meeting ID: 838 3344 5781
Passcode: 833454

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We are all set for Friday’s Remote First Friday Book Synopsis.

#1 — Download, and print both synopses handouts by clicking here. If you have ever attended our event, you know that I am handout intensive. You really will be able to follow along better with physical copies of the handouts in front of you. So, if you have a printer, please print the handouts.

#2 — Come on in for conversation whenever you can. I have enabled the “enable join before host” button. You will arrive in the waiting room, and be let in quickly. So, you can come in, and talk to folks. I will plan to join the meeting around 7:00, and we will begin the program at 7:30. And, I will not “end the meeting” for a while after, if you want to continue conversations with others after we officially conclude.

#3 — Here is the info, with the link to join the gathering:

Randy Mayeux is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Jan. 8, 2021 First Friday Book Synopsis
Time: Jan 8, 2021 07:30 AM Central Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83833445781?pwd=S3llUnNLMURTVSs5TXQycG41UHY3Zz09

Meeting ID: 838 3344 5781

Passcode: 833454

One tap mobile
+13462487799,,83833445781#,,,,*833454# US (Houston)
+16699006833,,83833445781#,,,,*833454# US (San Jose)

Dial by your location
+1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
+1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)
+1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)
+1 301 715 8592 US (Washington D.C)
+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
+1 929 205 6099 US (New York)

Meeting ID: 838 3344 5781

Passcode: 833454

Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kb1gny5lFK

—–

Reminder: The cost of this remote meeting is “free.”

But, if you would like to contribute to participate, Randy would welcome you to send $12.00 directly to him through PayPal. Click here for a direct link to “donate” through PayPal.

(Note: you can also send money through Zelle, at Randy’s e-mail address).
(Randy’s e-mail address for PayPal, and Zelle, is ).

Please help spread the word far and wide; help make this a success.

——————–

You might want to read this post. It has a printable one-sheet reminder on how to make the most of your remote learning experience.
Remote Learning 101 – Read this before attending your learning session.

Don’t just read something – write something down – a very doable New Year’s Resolution, that might make a bigger difference than you realize

In the old days, I read books on paper – you know, the kind that you would keep on a book shelf.

Now, I read books on my Kindle App on my iPad.

Page from Never Eat Alone

Here’s a page from Never Eat Alone – marked up by me

When I read the physical books, I would underline passages with a pen (I never much liked highlighters). And I would write in the margins.  With words underlined, and stars and explanation points and question marks. (My best examples, alas, are put away in storage. I’ve been reading in Kindle for quite a few years now).

This was my way of taking notes on the books I read. And there is a long-verified finding that taking notes will help you remember.

I could, and would, literally remember passages in books by remembering my markings in the margins.

It made reading an active activity, not a passive one.  I would agree with, and argue with, the author.  He or she didn’t know it; but I did.

Now, in my current life, I take all of my Kindle highlighted passages, and edit them down into my synopsis handouts for the First Friday Book Synopsis and the Urban Engagement Book Club (and plenty of client presentations).  My handouts are 10-12 pages long, usually.  They are comprehensive.

But for my presentations, I write in the margins; a lot.  I write instructions to myself; points to emphasize.  It is, again, a very active process.

Therefore…

I have a strong recommendation for you in 2021.  Write things down.  On some kind of physical paper.

There are plenty of ways to do this:

Keep a journal
Keep a diary
Keep a list of books you read
Keep a list of presentations you heard

Write short notes in your lists, beside each item. Like:
“I learned to/was reminded to…write personal thank you notes.”

Once a month, or so, glance thorough your list, noting your few but important action items.

Keep a list of new things you learned.
Keep a list of things you already knew, but were reminded of, and should be doing.

But,
WRITE SOMETHING DOWN; ON PAPER; PHYSICALLY; IN A PLACE WHERE YOU KNOW YOU CAN FIND IT; AND RETRIEVE IT; AND REMEMBER IT.

This, by the way, is one of the insights from David Allen in his classic book on time management, Getting Things Done.  In other words, writing things down, on paper, is a way to get more done.

So, here’s a simple New Year’s Resolution for 2021; one that is easy to do, and follow. One that might make a bigger difference than you realize.

WRITE STUFF DOWN!

Happy New Year!

The Essential Baker’s Dozen – 12 (OK – 13) Books to Read to set yourself up for more success in business and in life, in 2021; and beyond

Man's Search for MeaningI am frequently asked: “what is the best book you have ever read?”  After I make a silly joke about “The Illustrated History of Professional Wrestling,” I usually answer with either The Grapes of Wrath, or Man’’s Search for Meaning.

And, sometimes, the question is:  “what is the best business book you’ve ever read?”  And my answer to that is one reason for writing this post.  My answer goes something like this:

There is no one best business book.  I need a category:  the best book on management, or the best book on time management, or the best book on…  I can give some answers to some of those questions.

But, even for a couple of categories, I cannot give “one” answer.  For example, what is the best book I have ever read on leadership?  Impossible to answer!  There are many; and the books reinforce, and build upon, each other.

But, let’s say you asked: Randy, could you give me a reading list, to help set me up for more success in my business and in my life, in 2021, and beyond?  I think I might be able to help.

So, here is my essential baker’s dozen.  Thirteen books that might make a positive difference.

And, yes, I realize that 13 books is a bunch of books for some; especially for non-book readers.  So, set an easy pace.  Just over one book a month.  Think about it:  about a book a month for a year.  And then, at the end of the year, you will know more, and likely accomplish more.

This post will come close to just listing the books, with only a comment or two.  But, I have written blog posts on most of these, and presented synopses of each of them  So, at the bottom of the post, I will provide ways for you to access those more comprehensive posts on each book, and a way to purchase my even more thorough synopses.

Here they are: The Essential Baker’s Dozen of books to read.

Category:  Life!

#1 – Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl.
Viktor Frankl survived the death camps, and wrote this masterpiece in short order.  Countless numbers of people call this the best, most important book they have ever read.
I read this as a college student, but re-read it carefully just a few years ago, and presented my synopsis of the book.  It is truly a masterpiece.  Read this book first.

Atomic HabitsCategory:  Personal Productivity

#2 – Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by James Clear.
There is ancient wisdom that says that you build a successful life one habit at a time.  Who am I to argue against ancient wisdom?  This book has been an especially popular best-seller during the pandemic.  It is practical, and will help you build good, effective, productive habits (and, get rid of a few bad ones).  Worth reading!

#3 – Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen.  This is the bible of time management.  When I follow its teachings, I do in fact get more done.  Much more.  I actually re-read my synopsis handout for this book at the beginning of each year, because… I need to.

Category:  Leadership; and Management.

This is a tough category.  There are so many really good books. But, if you read these that I have listed, it will help you build a solid foundation of leadership understanding and leadership skills.  Remember:  a leader’s job is to help get the very best out of the men and women he or she leads.

#4 — Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin.
These former SEALs have become well known, and sought after, for their leadership principles.  This is their first book, and it is still a best-seller.  The massage is simple:  the leader owns the outcome.  Extreme Ownership; that’s the idea.

#5 — The Making of a Manager: What to Do When Everyone Looks to You by Julie Zhuo.
This is the practical book on managing others.  It says: do this, and then do this, to get the best out of the people you manage.  It is worth reading especially carefully, so that you get the instructions down well.

Radical Candor#6 — Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity by Kim Scott.
This is one of the many “don’t beat around the bush, have those essential, to-the-point conversations” books.  I think it is a really, really good book.  Her formula is:  “Care Personally, then Challenge Directly.”  It is a compliment to those books like: Crucial Conversations, and Fierce Leadership, and Fierce Conversations, and others.  Radical Candor is an essential leadership book for this era.

#7 – Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts by Brené Brown.
Brené Brown is something of a force of nature.  This book shows the critical need for leaders with exceptional soft skills.  And, it demonstrates that soft skills are not all that soft.

Category:  Get Your Business Done

There are a few books I could recommend, but the one I will suggest here is:

#8 — Measure What Matters: How Google, Bono, and the Gates Foundation Rock the World with OKRs by John Doerr.
“OKRs: Objectives, Key Results.”  People have to know what they are expected to get accomplished.  The more people are clear about this, the more they will get accomplished.  This is another one to read carefully; so that you can learn the steps to follow and implement.

Category:  Get Ready for the Coming Future 

The world IS changing. Even more rapidly during the pandemic.  So, we need to think about how to get ready for the next changes, and then the next.  Here are two of many good books that can help you.

#9 — Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist’s Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations by Thomas L. Friedman.
Mr. Friedman is especially famous for his book The World is Flat, but he has continued to write important books.  This is his latest, and very much worth reading.

#10 — Digital Transformation: Survive and Thrive in an Era of Mass Extinction by Thomas M. Siebel.
Mr. Siebel, of Siebel Systems, has provided a clear description of why everything that possibly can be digital will be digital.  An essential book!

Category:  Be EthicalWillful Blindness

#11 — Willful Blindness:  Why We Ignore the Obvious at our Peril by Margaret Heffernan.
There is a long list of companies that have allowed their ethics, if they had any, to be cast aside.  Shame on such companies!  This book is a very thorough warning to all. It is a warning worth reading, and heeding.

Category:  Prepare for the Next Crisis, In Advance

#12 — Upstream: The Quest to Solve Problems Before They Happen by Dan Heath.
This is the book we should have read, and heeded, before March of 2020.  Actually, well before March of 2020. This book tells us simply:  the next crisis is coming.  Identify it early; prepare for it early; and solve it early.

Category: Success Overview

Since this is a baker’s dozen list of books, I throw in this 13th selection. It is kind of a “big picture, do all this” book.

#13 — Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg.  This remarkable book, by the very good writer Charles Duhigg, will introduce you to psychological safety, successful team practices, and plenty of other concepts worth learning and putting into practice.

Well, that’s my baker’s dozen list.  Since it is actually 13, you’ll have to squeeze in slightly more than one book a month.  I make this promise:  if you read these thirteen books, you will know more than you did before you read them.  And, if you are diligent about putting what you learn into practice, you will be more successful, in your work life, and in your life overall.

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I’ve written posts on this blog on most of these books.  Type this in the search box on the blog: TITLE OF BOOK plus lessons and takeaways.  Usually, that will pull up my most important post on the book.

And, you can purchase my synopses of all these books.  Go to the buy synopses tab at the top of this page, and then use the search by title box to search.  Each synopsis comes with my comprehensive, multi-page synopsis handout, plus the audio recording of my presentations.  These presentations are recorded at the First Friday Book Synopsis gatherings, our monthly sessions in Dallas. — Click here for our newest additions.
(Now available: In December, I presented my synopsis of Ten Lessons for a Post-Pandemic World by Fareed Zakaria).