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Profile for Leo E. Walsh > Reviews

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Content by Leo E. Walsh
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Leo E. Walsh "ebraynz" (Mentor, Oh United States)

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Fish!: A Remarkable Way to Boost Morale and Improve Results
Fish!: A Remarkable Way to Boost Morale and Improve Results
by Stephen C. Lundin
Edition: Hardcover
135 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

1.0 out of 5 stars I like the ideas, but not in a business book, March 18 2004
I like having fun and being entertained, and I really liked the ideas in this book. But marketed as a business book?
Let me set some boudries, first of all, to show you how important I think the material is. If this was Doctor Suess- like book, marketed and written with my kids in mind, I would be cool: five stars easlily. If it was marketed as a self-help book for reframing your attitude, it would get four, maybe five stars. If it were a hippy/ new-age book about just being and enjoying life, five stars plus.
However, as a business book, it is pure fluff.
I was forced to watch this in a corporate setting. Instead of fostering honest, human fun amongst our workforce, it seemed like an invitation for many on the management staff to work on trivial activities. Using Covey's "Seven Habits" and "First Things First" language, they were spending their time in Quadrant 4 of the time management matrix (unimportant, not urgent), instead of the stewardship that comes from Quadrant 2 (important,not urgent).
And employees were ignored while these managers "played," bringing in megaphones and making silly videos. If you want to find out about how to create good customer service, try "Customers for Life," "Raving Fans," or "Hug Your Customers." If you want to motivate your workforce, "The Streetwise Guide to Motivating and Rewarding Your Employees," or a reprint of the HBR article by Herzberg, "Once Again, How do You Motivate Your Employees?" is an excellent place to start.
This book, from my experience, will likely lead to the denial of serious issues, which are actually a blast to tackle in my experience.

Management of Organizational Behavior: Leading  Human Resources (8th Edition)
Management of Organizational Behavior: Leading Human Resources (8th Edition)
by Paul Hersey
Edition: Paperback
36 used & new from CDN$ 1.00

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Goes where few texts dare to go: the real-world, March 14 2004
I recommend this to managers as much as students.
Sure, the price seems like a lot of cash to shell out at first. But trust me, it is worth it. I had to read it for a Management class, and it started of like a typical OB text, illustrating the history of management studies (Taylor to Maslow to Mayo to Likert to ...). Good stuff, but pretty dull. Then, Hersey et al went where most scholars, even the supposedly worldly MBA types, fear to tread: real-world application!
The text covers all of the material covered Blanchard's "One Minute Manager," "Putting the One Minute Manager to Work," and a shelf load of other books. It also does a great job introducing Blanchard and Hersey's Situational Leadership, where the manager matches leadership behavior to a report's ability level and motivation. This replaces "Leadership and the One Minute Manager," and delves much deeper into the topic.
Hersey et al also cover:
- Behavioral shaping, and positive and negative reinforcement quite nicely
- Communications skills necessary to lead reports
- Power building, and using effective power bases ...
- The list literally goes on and on.
I use the concepts I was first exposed to here day in and day out. They work. My OB professor told us that, if he would be limited to just one book on management, he would choose this one. And, five years later, I agree. I am very glad that I did not sell this book back to the campus bookstore. I consult the book at least once a week while pondering both thorny and maundane problems with my employees.
You see, Dr. Davis? Some of us do listen.

The Illustrated Guide to the American Economy
The Illustrated Guide to the American Economy
by Herbert Stein
Edition: Paperback
15 used & new from CDN$ 12.07

5.0 out of 5 stars A thought provoking ... "Wow!", March 14 2004
Wow! I was stunned by the captivating, thought provoking quality of this book. It illustrates high-octane concepts, while pricing them at regular unleaded levels. A very interesting, right brained approach to a left brained subject, Macro Economics.
Some highlights.
-Interested in the plight of the poor versus the rich income levels?
-How does drastically education influences income level?
-Did you know there are several indices to measure poverty? The one you use can either over or understate the truly poor.
-How is our productivity growing versus Japan's?
There is much more inside. Highly recommended for anyone interested in economics, politics, and the real numbers that put food in our bellies, clothes on our backs, and impacts the long-term health of our nation.

The One Minute Manager
The One Minute Manager
by Kenneth Blanchard
Edition: Paperback
87 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars A useful classic, Jan. 10 2004
This review is from: The One Minute Manager (Paperback)
After the 60's and 70's, the terms reinforcement and punishment held negative cultural connotations that seemed to equate people with Pavlov's dog. Blanchard and Johnson's One Minute method presented scientifically validated behavioral psychology in a way that managers of the time could feel comfortable with. Thus, if you apply these ideas, you will not sound like a psychologist circa 1950. Instead, you'll sound like a Politically Correct 1980's management consultant.
Despite its age, the method is simple -you can read it in half an hour- yet extremely powerful. First, define the behaviors or results you want (One Minute Goal Setting/ Activator), then let your reports go out and perform. During the performance, you offer reinforcement in two forms, positive or negative. Catch someone doing good, you give them a One Minute Praising (positive reinforcement). Catch a report doing something bad, you give them a One Minute Reprimand (punishment/ negative reinforcement). The result is classic operant conditioning and behavior shaping.
I use the concepts in this book regularly. They are simple and very effective. Once you know where you want people to go, the behavior shaping methods presented in this book will likely get your team there, and quickly. One Minute Managing is a surefire way to increase the quantity of actions which add value, while minimizing those which detract. I would recommend Aubrey Daniels' 'Bringing out the Best in People,' which goes into operant conditioning in more depth, as a very solid companion for this book.

Winning Ways: Four Secrets for Getting Great Results by Working Well withPeople
Winning Ways: Four Secrets for Getting Great Results by Working Well withPeople
by Dick Lyles
Edition: Paperback
14 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

2.0 out of 5 stars Exception to the Blanchard team�s typical excellence, Jan. 10 2004
A simple, easy to follow book about building teamwork and advancing your career through 'soft' skills. However, I thought the book fell far short of the quality and rigor Blanchard's more popular works on management and team building. While Lyles' ideas work on some level, they seem to fall short when looked at analytically through tested and effective management models.
For example, "Make people feel good about themselves" sounds good on the surface. But what if someone is engaging in unacceptable behavior at work? The assertion "Make people feel good about themselves" is a weakened version of the very effective advice offered in the 'One Minute Manager:' "Be tough on the problem, easy on the people."
What about the advice to 'build camels,' with consensus ideas being better than individual ideas? In my experience, a team's ideas are often better than an individual's. But, think of pork-barreled legislation, and camels seem less appealing; there is a little known clause in the Homeland Security Act that absolves drug companies currently producing the MMR vaccines, linked to childhood autism, from lawsuits springing from its faulty product. So, to vote against the bill because of this clause would make a senator seem un-American, even if it were a vote against pork-barreled protection for unethical drug companies.
I have loved Blanchard's ideas for years, and this one a rare exception to the team's typical excellence. For a better treatment of teamwork, pick up"Gung-Ho,"another book from the Blanchard management training mill.

Leadership Through People Skills
Leadership Through People Skills
by R. Lefton
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 22.40
55 used & new from CDN$ 0.87

5.0 out of 5 stars True Grit, No Fluff, Jan. 10 2004
With all the fluff books on leadership around these days, it is great to see one that has true grit. This is not Tom Peters ranting, nor is it the leadership secrets of the buffalo/Attila the Hun/sharks, or whatever the flavor of the week is. This is pure applied social science.
Though this book did not 'revolutionize' the way I manage, like Blanchard/ Hersey's 'Management of Organizational Behavior,' or Aubrey Daniels' 'Bringing Out the Best in People' did, this is a very useful book. It really illuminates the Blake/ Mouton Managerial Grid, and the Ohio State and Michigan studies that spawned the Grid, through clear, concrete examples. And this exposition is necessary, since these very important topics are usually glanced over in five pages in most Management/OB texts.
This book packs a ton of strategies for driving performance into its 225 pages. By sticking to scientifically sound principles, its recommendations appear right on track, placing just enough tension into the system to get results. As to its effectiveness, hit me up in a couple of months. However, as a down-to-earth, practical guy, I have a very strong gut feeling that the strategies in this book are right on target.

Operations Management: Strategy and Analysis (6th Edition)
Operations Management: Strategy and Analysis (6th Edition)
by Lee J. Krajewski
Edition: Hardcover
30 used & new from CDN$ 0.50

4.0 out of 5 stars mental tools to help tame complexity, July 11 2003
I used this book during my MBA studies. It was okay, but I found it got a little detailed and too wordy at times. A more succinct writing style may have helped. Otherwise, the coverage was top-notch, since I really liked the material. The various inventory, forecasting and queuing models were nicely presented, as was linear programming. This book makes you appreciate how complex things are in the real world. Further, it offers you some mental tools to help tame that complexity, like SPC, six-sigma indices, and decision tree analysis.

The companion disk had some very useful things on it: MS Project, a simulation program, and a process-mapping program. I did not use the author's Excel program, though, as we were forced to develop our own during the class.

Essentials of Managerial Finance
Essentials of Managerial Finance
by Scott Besley
Edition: Hardcover
22 used & new from CDN$ 1.24

5.0 out of 5 stars Maximizing shareholder value, July 11 2003
I used this book for a 500-level MBA finance class, and I have to admit I liked it. The first 3/4's of the book drive home the financial manager's objective: Maximizing shareholder value. It does this consistently, and actually got me (A Sales Manager) to understand why profit needs to take a back seat to value.

Like all introductory texts, it skimps a little on complexity. However, I truly have an appreciation now for finance. Many decisions my company makes now make sense. Though I have little need to apply financial concepts in my current job, I can give better 'business reason' explanations to my reports when they ask. Which is why I began pursuing an MBA in the first place.

Square Foot Gardening
Square Foot Gardening
by Mel Bartholomew
Edition: Paperback
59 used & new from CDN$ 0.70

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cheap, easy, effective and fun., July 11 2003
This review is from: Square Foot Gardening (Paperback)
A year and a half ago, I purchased a new place with a small yard, clayey soil, but a very good southern exposure. My first spring at the place, I thought, "I want to raise some fresh vegetables." My dad always had a garden when we were growing up, and I know nothing beats that "Right from the garden" taste. So, like the dutiful college boy I am, I was off to the used bookstore to get a book on gardening, where I stumbled on this book by accident.

Sound, practical advice. First of all, my plot is so small (about 20 square feet), the soil this year is 100% better than last year. By spring, 2004, I expect to have the best soil on the block. Secondly, what a harvest for the space! Last year I grew only summer veggies. This year, though, I started harvesting radishes and lettuce in April, and have full, bushy tomatoes, cukes, pea vines and pole beans that are the envy of my brothers, sisters and parents. When I tell them I merely spend an hour or so a week gardening, they scoff.

Let them scoff. This book is sound, very easy to follow: A great method for gardening in small spaces. Cheap, easy, effective and fun.

Schaum's Outline of Principles of Economics
Schaum's Outline of Principles of Economics
by Dominick Salvatore
Edition: Paperback
20 used & new from CDN$ 2.81

2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, Feb. 21 2003
I used Schaum's Oulines to study for my accounting CLEP test, preparing for my MBA program. The Financial and Managerial Accounting titles were excellent. I have also used them to supplement my MBA texts in Operations Management and Financial Management. Overall, the series is lucid and easy to follow. I was expecting this title to follow suit.
Unfortunately, it did not.
The exposition is shoddy at best. Though I could solve the problems as they were given, I found myself struggling to understand economics. Since I was studying to CLEP test out of my prerequisite Micro and Macro Econ, I was concerned. After a few weeks, I purchased Harper Collins' College Outlines' Intro to Economics, and was pleasantly surprised to find that I could understand economics.

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