Working World

March 2017

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4 March, 2017 l Working World l LETTER TO A YOUNG FARMER How to Live Richly without Wealth on the New Garden Farm by Logsdon, Gene Chelsea Green If Logsdon (1932- 2016) had his way, the term contrary farmer would have been every bit as familiar as country farmer. A learned proponent of "stay in and stay small" garden farming, Logsdon's outspoken outlook was completely in opposition to the practices and philosophies of corporate agribusiness. Instead of encouraging farmers to "go big or get out" by adding more property, more machinery, and more debt, Logsdon championed the idea of working on a more personal scale that allows farmers to appreciate nature and honor tradition while still accepting technology and innovation. In this posthumously published book of essays, Logsdon extols the virtues of finding a good mate, praises the pluck and professionalism of women farmers, and enthuses about the health benefits of a day in the barn. Along with other hard- earned advice about hauling livestock, pasturing chickens, and controlling weeds, Logsdon's lifetime of farming wisdom is firmly lodged in common sense. Sagacious and sly, practical, and poetic, Logsdon's voice may have been contrarian but it was never condescending RADICAL CANDOR Be a Kickass Boss without Losing Your Humanity by Scott, Kim St. Martin's Talk. Just talk honestly and candidly. Yet in the workplace, direct conversations are events to be avoided at all costs. Ask any manager—or employee. In response to this, former Googler, Apple-r, and jill-of-many-trades Scott has developed an ingeniously simple, practical practice routine that makes most of the performance issues in the employment world go away: radical candor. It is a combination of real caring relationships amplified by delivery of touch feedback—a contradiction, of sorts, to the work-life balance credo. As Scott and her mentors attest, through a variety of actual case histories and conversations, this works extraordinarily well to overcome bad manager syndrome. Her seven-step methodology—listen, clarify, debate, decide, persuade, execute, learn—is the tool by which bosses and employees get work done well. Plus it completely overcomes the paralysis and concerns during appraisal time. An amazing process that should work, when embraced and applied. FEARLESS AND FREE How Smart Women Pivot—and Relaunch Their Careers by Sachs, Wendy AMACOM Sachs, herself a career pivoter, has written a manual for today's working woman—and, yes, man as well. Research, whether from a slew of personal interviews or books like Reid Hoffman's The Start-Up of You (2012) or Katty Kay's The Confidence Code (2012), solidifies and strengthens her main theme: that being agile and relevant now will help drive future success. Each chapter, in fact, is a capsule of a particular attribute: networking, failure, reiteration, branding, and the like. What make her words of wisdom all that much more powerful are her interviews with those who exemplify the pivot: Jill Abramson, the first-ever female New York Times executive editor, who was fired for her managerial style (or so it was said). Or Washington, D.C.'s Aminatou Sow, who launched the "Call Your Girlfriend" podcast and now consults for tech companies from her San Francisco perch. It's advice that, though probably repeated elsewhere, is more than welcome in this age of constant disruption. FEATURED ARTICLE Business Book Reviews

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