Tag Archives: Scribner

Insight for Football-Lovers: A Must Read

For Christmas, Randy Mayeux, my co-presenter at the First Friday Book Synopsis, gave me aPerfect Pass Cover book which is truly outstanding.  It is one of the most insightful and enjoyable books about the sport of football that I have ever read.

Hal Mumme PictureThe book is about Hal Mumme (pictured left), who was a pioneer in football with plays emphasizing the forward pass.  He debunked the long-believed myth that passing is dangerous, and that football was about running the ball down the opponent’s throats.  Appropriately, the title is The Perfect Pass:  American Genius and the Reinvention of Football (New York:  Scribner, 2016).

That was not his only innovation.  Mumme completely reorganized formations, shortened practices, severely edited complicated playbooks, and made the game fun for his players.  While he bounced from high school to lower-division colleges, he recruited players and built successes for programs that had long been in the tank.

His partner in all this was Mike Leach.  If you live in the Southwest, you are aware that Leach was the head coach at Texas Tech, before moving to his current position at Washington State.  But did you know that Leach teamed with Mumme in all these small school stops, and that it was not until they got to Kentucky, that anyone even paid attention to them?

The author of the book is S.C. Gwynne, whose resume does not include much about sports.  HeS.C. Gwynne Picture is an accomplished writer, and an award-winner for other titles, but they are biographies and historical works.  He was the Executive Editor for Texas Monthly magazine.  I will tell you for sure that this man can write – this book is novel-like in its flow, and is as lively as any detective-work that I have ever read.

I really hope that our blog readers who love football will get this book.  There are bookoos of copies available at our area bookstores, as well as on-line.

Randy – you made a great choice for a present.  Thank you!

Early Thoughts by Duckworth about Grit

On Friday, July 8, I present a synopsis of Angela Duckworth‘s # 1 best-seller, Grit:  The Power of Passion and Perseverance (New York:  Scribner, 2016).  You can register for this event by clicking HERE.

You might be interested in an earlier version of her thoughts on this subject.  While the book more fully develops and refines what she says, this is a TED talk she gave in 2013.

As of this writing, the talk has had more than 8,700 views, making it extremely popular.

Here is the URL, or you can click HERE to see the video.

Famous TED talk:

http://www.ted.com/talks/angela_lee_duckworth_grit_the_power_of_passion_and_perseverance

Braun’s Promise of a Pencil Hits All Business Best-Seller Lists

The book I present this Friday at the First Friday Book Synopsis is currently # 9 on the New York Times business best-sPromise of a Pencil Covereller list.

Adam Braun’s blockbuster best-seller, The Promise of a Pencil: How an Ordinary Person Can Create Extraordinary Change (New York:  Scribner, 2014) has hit the lists with fervor.  In addition to its New York Times ranking, it has been as high as # 2 in the Wall Street Journal business best-selling list, and has come in at Amazon.com  #109 in total Books, and the following in specialty categories.

This is one of our two featured books at the First Friday Book Synopsis on Friday, June 6, 2014 at the Park City Club.  Registration is now open at www.firstfridaybooksynopsis.com.

Who is Adam Braun?   He is an American businessman, author, and philanthropist. He is the Founder and CEO of Pencils of Promise, an award-winning nonprofit organization that has built more than 150 schools across Africa, Asia and Latin America and delivered over 12 million educational hours in its first four years. PoP was founded with just $25 using Braun’s unique “For-Purpose” approach to blending nonprofit idealism with for-profit business principles. In 2012, he was named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 List.  Braun began his career in finance, until he met a young boy begging on the streets and asked him what he wanted most in the world.Adam Braun picture The answer- “A pencil.” He then traveled through 50+ countries to focus on educational systems and eventually left a dream job at Bain & Company to launchPencils of Promise.  Braun was selected as one of the first ten World Economic Forum Global Shapers and has been featured at the United Nations, Clinton Global Initiative, Google Zeitgeist, Mashable’s Innovation Index and Wired Magazine’s 2012 Smart List of 50 People Changing the World.

What is this book all about?  Here is a summary from www.bookbrowse.com:

Adam Braun began working summers at hedge funds when he was just sixteen years old, sprinting down the path to a successful Wall Street career. But while traveling as a college student, he met a young boy begging on the streets of India. When Braun asked the boy what he wanted most in the world, he simply answered, “A pencil.” 

This small request became the inspiration for Pencils of Promise, the organization Braun would leave a prestigious job at Bain & Company to start with just $25 at the age of twenty-four. Using his unique “for-purpose” approach, he helped redefine the space in which business, philanthropy, and social media intersect. And a mere five years later, Pencils of Promise has now built more than two hundred schools around the world, proving that anyone can create a movement that matters. 

The Promise of a Pencil chronicles Braun’s journey through more than fifty countries to find his calling, as each chapter explains the steps that every person can take to ignite their own passion and potential. His trailblazing story takes readers behind the scenes with business moguls and village chiefs, world-famous celebrities and hometown heroes. Driven by compelling stories and shareable insights, this is a vivid and inspiring book that will give readers the tools to unlock their own extraordinary journey of self-discovery. 

If you have ever wanted a more purpose-driven life, if you have ever felt like you could become more than your current circumstances allow, it’s time to ask yourself, “What do I want most in the world?” And through the lessons shared in this book, turn those ideas into reality.

Promise of a Pencil Kids PictureThe picture you see to your left is of some of the children hoisting their pencils.

Look at those smiles and you will see how worthwhile the effort that Braun leads has become.

Rarely have we ever seen a book just leap to the top of legitimate best-selling lists so fast.

We look forward to presenting this book to you on June 6.

I will see you there!

Braun’s Pencil Hits # 1 and # 2 on Best-Seller Lists

Promise of a Pencil CoverAdam Braun’s blockbuster best-seller, The Promise of a Pencil: How an Ordinary Person Can Create Extraordinary Change (New York:  Scribner, 2014) has hit the lists with fervor.  It is now # 2 in the Wall Street Journal business best-selling list for the second week in a row, and comes in at Amazon.com  #109 in total Books, and the following in specialty categories.

This is one of our two featured books at the First Friday Book Synopsis in June, 2014 at the Park City Club.  Registration opens on May 10 at www.firstfridaybooksynopsis.com.

Who is Adam Braun?   He is an American businessman, author, and philanthropist. He is the Founder and CEO of Pencils of Promise, an award-winning nonprofit organization that has built more than 150 schools across Africa, Asia and Latin America and delivered over 12 million educational hours in its first four years. PoP was founded with just $25 using Braun’s unique “For-Purpose” approach to blending nonprofit idealism with for-profit business principles. In 2012, he was named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 List.  Braun began his career in finance, until he met a young boy begging on the streets and asked him what he wanted most in the world.Adam Braun picture The answer- “A pencil.” He then traveled through 50+ countries to focus on educational systems and eventually left a dream job at Bain & Company to launch Pencils of Promise.  Braun was selected as one of the first ten World Economic Forum Global Shapers and has been featured at the United Nations, Clinton Global Initiative, Google Zeitgeist, Mashable’s Innovation Index and Wired Magazine’s 2012 Smart List of 50 People Changing the World.

What is this book all about?  Here is a summary from www.bookbrowse.com:

Adam Braun began working summers at hedge funds when he was just sixteen years old, sprinting down the path to a successful Wall Street career. But while traveling as a college student, he met a young boy begging on the streets of India. When Braun asked the boy what he wanted most in the world, he simply answered, “A pencil.” 

This small request became the inspiration for Pencils of Promise, the organization Braun would leave a prestigious job at Bain & Company to start with just $25 at the age of twenty-four. Using his unique “for-purpose” approach, he helped redefine the space in which business, philanthropy, and social media intersect. And a mere five years later, Pencils of Promise has now built more than two hundred schools around the world, proving that anyone can create a movement that matters. 

The Promise of a Pencil chronicles Braun’s journey through more than fifty countries to find his calling, as each chapter explains the steps that every person can take to ignite their own passion and potential. His trailblazing story takes readers behind the scenes with business moguls and village chiefs, world-famous celebrities and hometown heroes. Driven by compelling stories and shareable insights, this is a vivid and inspiring book that will give readers the tools to unlock their own extraordinary journey of self-discovery. 

If you have ever wanted a more purpose-driven life, if you have ever felt like you could become more than your current circumstances allow, it’s time to ask yourself, “What do I want most in the world?” And through the lessons shared in this book, turn those ideas into reality.

Promise of a Pencil Kids PictureThe picture you see to your left is of some of the children hoisting their pencils.

Look at those smiles and you will see how worthwhile the effort that Braun leads has become.

Rarely have we ever seen a book just leap to the top of legitimate best-selling lists so fast.

We look forward to presenting this book to you in June.

Don’t forget that registration opens on May 10.

Do You Allow e-Mail to Control Your Day?

In the writing skills course that we teach at Creative Communication Network, entitled Write Your Way to Success, we discuss how to handle e-Mails.

Most of our participants claim they write e-Mails as more than 85% of the type of writing they do on the job.

Obviously, writing e-Mails is often responding to other e-Mails.

And, the question is, do you control e-Mail, or does e-Mail control you?

Do you remember the Southwest Airlines commercials a few years ago, where a woman dropped a cake because she heard a “bing” on her computer, announcing an e-Mail?  Or the one where the guy jumped over a cube wall to get to his e-Mail?  They were exaggerated events, but not too far from reality.

You likely remember the synopsis of the book that I presented at our First Friday Book Synopsis entitled The Tyranny of e-Mail by John Freeman (Scribner, 2009).  In that book, he presented a strong set of hints for writing and reading e-Mails, including scheduling a time to read e-Mails so that you concentrate on what you read and what you write, and so that you control e-Mail, instead of it controlling you.  If you missed the original presentation, you can find it on 15MinuteBusinessBooks.com.

I thought this piece published on February 21, 2012 in the Harvard Business Review blog by Amy Gallo, entitled “Stop Email Overload,” was also provacative in the same sense.  Click here to read the entire article.

Think about some of these principles.  How much more productive would you be if you dictated when and how you went through your e-Mail?  What if you decided how e-Mail fit into your day instead of jumping to check it everytime your computer beeped to tell you something new has arrived?

Let’s talk about it really soon!

The Windfall Effect for Laura Bush and Her Bestseller

As you are aware, we select our books for the First Friday Book Synopsis in Dallas from best-seller lists sources such as Business Week, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and Amazon.com.

On Friday, November 19, the Wall Street Journal published its best-seller list for the week ending November 14.  One category that it includes is “Hardcover Nonfiction Gains & Falls.”

It is very interesting to me that the # 1 hardcover nonfiction best-seller is the new book by former U.S. President George W. Bush, Decision Points (Crown Publishers, 2010).  At the same time, the greatest increase in hardcover nonfiction sales is the book by his wife, Laura, entitled Spoken from the Heart  (Scribner, 2010).  In the week that ended on November 14, sales of her book increased 224%.  That is a whopping 84% more than the second closest book by Oliver North about American Heroes.

What does this mean?  How do you account for the windfall effect that Laura enjoyed while her husband’s book is at # 1?

I think that this says something about the American appreciation for the great intelligence and support that she demonstrated during her eight years in the White House.  We have been very fortunate in America to have had many fine first ladies. with causes and campaigns of their own right.  Remember Lady Bird Johnson’s campaign to beautify America?  And Barbara Bush, who promoted reading to children?  No one can doubt the superior intelligence in domestic and foreign affairs exhibited by Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama compared with their husbands.  Sure, there also have been some duds – consider Pat Nixon (who at least had more common sense than her husband), Jackie Kennedy (who was only classy and glamorous) and Mamie Eisenhower and Rosalynn Carter (who were simply figureheads).

But, overall, this result says to me that America respects first ladies who do more than sit on a throne.  Laura Bush was always a strong, reliable, and transparent figure.  She represented her husband and America very well.  So, while shoppers pick up the President’s book to sit on their shelves, they pick up Laura’s book to learn something. 

And, doesn’t that say as much about us as it does about them?

Let’s talk about it!