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Robert

Lisle, IL, United States | Member Since 2010

6
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 16 reviews
  • 16 ratings
  • 275 titles in library
  • 2 purchased in 2015
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  • The Power of Servant Leadership

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Robert K. Greenleaf
    • Narrated By Don Leslie
    Overall
    (47)
    Performance
    (31)
    Story
    (31)

    During the last decade, we have witnessed an unparalleled explosion of interest in the practice of "servant-leadership," as today's business leaders search for a new leadership model for the 21st century. Based on the seminal work of Robert K. Greenleaf, a former AT&T executive who coined the term almost 30 years ago, servant-leadership emphasizes an emerging approach to leadership--one which puts serving others, including employees, customers, and community, first.

    Marty says: "Not Just the Power of Servant Leadership"
    "A different leadership style"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've been reading leadership books for many years, and really couldn't find one that matched my personal style: leading from behind, mentoring employees, and working towards the good of the organization, without worrying about personal rewards.

    This is a series of essays based around the concept of the leader as a servant. The leader serves the employees that work for him/her, the institution, and the community at large. This is a departure from the usual leadership books, which are usually based on the "alpha male" leadership style.

    It must be said that this consists of a series of essays that were written for different target groups over a number of years. The specific topics cover corporations, seminaries, colleges, and other non-profits. The material can get a little repetitive, but in a way that helps reinforce the key concepts, as well as to give insight into the needs of these different institutions.

    This is a good, though provoking book for those who want to be successful, but at the same time make sure that everyone around you is successful as well.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Susan Cain
    • Narrated By Kathe Mazur
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4539)
    Performance
    (3911)
    Story
    (3890)

    At least one-third of the people we know are introverts. They are the ones who prefer listening to speaking, reading to partying; who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion; who favor working on their own over brainstorming in teams. Although they are often labeled "quiet," it is to introverts that we owe many of the great contributions to society--from van Gogh’s sunflowers to the invention of the personal computer.

    Teddy says: "Thought provoking and Uplifting.... A++++++++!!!!!"
    "Ever have someone tell you to be assertive?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The modern world is one that rewards assertive, extroverted, and (lets face it) aggressive people. The author makes the argument that 1/3 to 1/2 of the people in the world are introverted: and more importantly, we need them.

    The book does the somewhat obvious by telling us how important the quiet folks are, especially in a world where technology makes the face-to-face interactions a little less important.

    More helpful is the rest of the book: how does a quiet person interact with the world? How do you "fake" being an extrovert when needed? How do you manage quiet employees? How do you help your quiet child interact in the loud world?

    From discussion about the physiological reasons for introversion, to monitoring (and modifying) this behavior in order to function in the extroverts world.

    A great book for those looking to understand and appreciate the introverted person, whether it be yourself or another person in your life.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don't

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Simon Sinek
    • Narrated By Simon Sinek
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (698)
    Performance
    (615)
    Story
    (617)

    Why do only a few people get to say "I love my job?" It seems unfair that finding fulfillment at work is like winning a lottery; that only a few lucky ones get to feel valued by their organizations, to feel like they belong. Imagine a world where almost everyone wakes up inspired to go to work, feels trusted and valued during the day, then returns home feeling fulfilled. This is not a crazy, idealized notion. Today, in many successful organizations, great leaders are creating environments in which people naturally work together to do remarkable things.

    Mark says: "Absolutely great"
    "The title doesnt do the book justice."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The title of the book refers to the Marine tradition of having those of lowest rank eat first. It illustrates the principals of the book, but really doesn't do the material justice.

    This is one of the few books I would consider life changing. It explains how our natural tendencies (and, looking to leaders is one of them) are being corrupted by our modern life of abundance. Humans are shaped by the conditions that defined life for most of our history - small groups struggling to survive in a harsh world with limited resources. Our current life with a surplus of everything we need, while disconnected from our "tribe", means we are unhappy and looking for something greater.

    Leaders need to be aware of what we need as individuals, groups, and organizations, and how to harness our group power to make an environment where we can thrive. Profit doesn't inspire - sacrificing for the good of others is what we want.

    Great book for those who never bought into the authoritarian leadership we see too often today.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Practicing Mind: Developing Focus and Discipline in Your Life

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Thomas M. Sterner
    • Narrated By Thomas M. Sterner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (407)
    Performance
    (315)
    Story
    (303)

    Present moment awareness is an essential ingredient in life if one expects to experience any degree of authentic peace and contentment. It has been acknowledged for centuries as the cornerstone of spiritual awakening in all traditions of Eastern thought. In the West, however, it is still a relatively unrecognized concept for living. The Western mind is always restless, never content with the moment.

    Shaun says: "Very insightful!!!"
    "Its about discipline: it should be short"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Great book on how to quiet the noise of your mental life and focus on what is important.

    Its short, which is the point. Stripped down to the essentials, it is just what you need if you feel pulled in a lot of directions. The author speaks about his personal discoveries, so you don't get a lot of made-up stories to prove a point.

    The short duration should not put you off. It is a solid listen you can do in a few days. And it is short enough so that you can re-listen when you need reinforcement.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Croak

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Gina Damico
    • Narrated By Jessica Almasy
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (714)
    Performance
    (659)
    Story
    (661)

    Fed up with her wild behavior, 16-year-old Lex’s parents ship her off to upstate New York to live with her Uncle Mort for the summer, hoping that a few months of dirty farm work will whip her back into shape. But Uncle Mort’s true occupation is much dirtier than shoveling manure. He’s a Grim Reaper. And he’s going to teach Lex the family business. She quickly assimilates into the peculiar world of Croak, a town populated by reapers who deliver souls from this life to the next.

    Nick says: "Smarta** Reapers"
    "Young adult fiction"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is very close to the "Dead Like Me" TV series that ran around 2003. It is about a young girl recruited to be a reaper, collecting the souls of the dead.

    I got this during a 2-1 credit deal and didn't really know much about it. Its clever, snarky, and light listening. Has some good humor. Not bad, but intended more for the YA crowd.

    Its a fairly complete story, although it is set up to be a series. It is fine as a stand-along book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Greg McKeown
    • Narrated By Greg McKeown
    Overall
    (533)
    Performance
    (460)
    Story
    (453)

    By forcing us to apply a more selective criteria for what is Essential, the disciplined pursuit of less empowers us to reclaim control of our own choices about where to spend our precious time and energy - instead of giving others the implicit permission to choose for us. Essentialism is not one more thing - it’s a whole new way of doing everything. It’s about doing less, but better, in every area of our lives. Essentialism is a movement whose time has come.

    Jason Comely says: "Call me an "Essentialist""
    "Great book for those looking to simplify"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Do less, but better.

    Okay I wanted to be simple, but I should expand. This book is essential for those of us who are overwhelmed by tasks. You'll hear why essentialism is important, how to decide was is essential, and what is not. Then it talks about how to apply it: how to stay focused, how to say no, and how to help those around you focus on what is important as well.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Skin Game: A Novel of the Dresden Files, Book 15

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Jim Butcher
    • Narrated By James Marsters
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5728)
    Performance
    (5393)
    Story
    (5376)

    Harry Dresden, Chicago's only professional wizard, is about to have a very bad day.… Because as Winter Knight to the Queen of Air and Darkness, Harry never knows what the scheming Mab might want him to do. Usually, it’s something awful. He doesn’t know the half of it… Mab has just traded Harry’s skills to pay off one of her debts. And now he must help a group of supernatural villains - led by one of Harry’s most dreaded and despised enemies, Nicodemus Archleone - to break into the highest-security vault in town, so that they can then access the highest-security vault in the Nevernever.

    D says: "Hold onto your staff; Harry’s back."
    "Almost a reboot"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    After so many installments to the story, I was beginning to get bogged down by the complexity of the storylines. So many characters and complex situations over so long a period made the last book feel very heavy.

    Skin Game is the 15th book in the series, but it feels like one written much earlier. The number of characters involved is limited, and there are actually very few references to the events in past books. It is lighter in tone and faster in pace.

    There would be very little problem with a person picking this book up as the first one read - the plot is simple and where some backstory is needed, there is a brief explanation. I recommend the entire series, but starting with this one will be a good intro if you didn't feel like going back to the beginning.

    Great narration as always, Jim Marsters.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Diamond Age

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Neal Stephenson
    • Narrated By Jennifer Wiltsie
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3388)
    Performance
    (1410)
    Story
    (1428)

    Neal Stephenson, "the hottest science fiction writer in America", takes science fiction to dazzling new levels. The Diamond Age is a stunning tale; set in 21st-century Shanghai, it is the story of what happens what a state-of-the-art interactive device falls into the hands of a street urchin named Nell. Her life, and the entire future of humanity, is about to be decoded and reprogrammed.

    Tango says: "The rock could use a bit more polishing"
    "A true original"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is one of the few books that made me go "wow"! The story and narration are great, but there are some real ideas here that you will think about for a long time after its over.

    What does a society do when nanotechnology can provide all basic needs?
    How do people get a "tribal" sense of belonging when there are no nations left?
    Can you formulate a learning process customized to each individual child?

    While these may sound like totally different topics, this and more are developed by this book. In some cases the ideas overshadowed the story: the ideas were fully formed, but there were some loose ends in the story. I would like a sequel just to know what happened to some of the characters.

    Highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Name of the Wind: Kingkiller Chronicles, Day 1

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Patrick Rothfuss
    • Narrated By Nick Podehl
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (13923)
    Performance
    (11468)
    Story
    (11593)

    This is a tale of sorrow, a tale of survival, a tale of one man's search for meaning in his universe, and how that search, and the indomitable will that drove it, gave birth to a legend.

    Joanna says: "Wow!"
    "Good story - but a lot of detail"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a great story, telling a very compelling tale. At 27 hours it is a very long listen, and only gets part of the way through the story.

    The only fault I can give it involves the amount of detail - there are times where it feels like the book is being told in "real time", and you'll get long descriptions on what the main character, Kvothe, had for breakfast every day. While the story and narration is good, there are a few times when it gets a bit tedious and you want the author to move it along.

    "Day 2" is 43 hours. I've actually held off getting it because of the length of the volume. Much as I want to continue the story, the length of the book is off-putting.

    Day 3 is still being written, FYI, and according to Wikipedia will be the final book in the series.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Oryx and Crake

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Margaret Atwood
    • Narrated By Campbell Scott
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2035)
    Performance
    (1161)
    Story
    (1176)

    As the story opens, Snowman is sleeping in a tree, mourning the loss of his beloved Oryx and his best friend Crake, and slowly starving to death. How did everything fall apart so quickly? Why is he left with nothing but his haunting memories? Alone except for the green-eyed Children of Crake, he explores the answers to these questions in the double journey he takes - into his own past, and back to Crake's high-tech bubble-dome, where the Paradice Project unfolded and the world came to grief.

    Doug says: "Very Scary Stuff"
    "Interesting story, but not quit enough"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is an end-of-world story along the lines of Paolo Bacigalupi's "The Windup Girl", where bio-engineering is both the way to feed the masses and control them.

    The story describes the end of humanity from the viewpoint of a man who, as the best friend of Crake, sees it happen.

    I have to say that the story was interesting, but by the end I really didn't care much about the main character. The performance was good, but there was just not the depth that was needed to fill out the person in a way that made care.

    Granted, this is the first of a trilogy ("The Year of the Flood", and "MaddAddam" are the sequels) and there may be more background to flesh out the protagonist.

    I would recommend Windup Girl before reading this one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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