Book Review: Full Circle

June 6th, 2016

book cover image

Montella, Erin Callan. Full Circle: A memoir of leaning in too far and the journey back. Triple M Press, 2016.

Erin Callan made her career the center of her life and was named CFO of Lehman in 2007 at age 42, the highest ranking woman on Wall Street. Six months later, the market imploded and management threw Callan under the bus. Eight years later in Full Circle, Erin Callan (now) Montella tells the story of her dramatic rise and fall as a Wall Street rock star and she warns other ambitious young women not to “Lean In” too deeply.

In her self-published book, Montella writes candidly about her life and the choices she made. She graduates from Harvard and NYU Law School, begins her career as a corporate tax attorney at a large prestigious New York law firm. Five years later, attracted by the excitement on Wall Street, she moves to Lehman Brothers to work as an investment banker.

Montella explains that at Lehman she excels at working with clients and constructing profitable high profile deals, earning professional accolades. She is promoted quickly through 11 levels and eventually is tapped as CFO, where she is the first woman to be part of the Executive Committee in Lehman’s 150 year history.

But Montella also counsels that the Wall Street environment is incompatible with work-life balance. At Lehman she runs full throttle, devoted to her career, spending all her time and energy on work. She meets attractive people, but personal relationships dry up from lack of attention. She ends romantic relationships and her marriage for superficial reasons and has no personal friends. When her work life crumbles, she is devastated.

Full Circle is forthright and frankly told, but Montella fails to take personal responsibility for any part of the financial collapse. She was “swimming with the sharks” yet was one of the sharks herself. She calls herself a “rookie” after 15 years in the financial sector. Her complaints about money seem self-indulgent as she owns million dollar homes in the Hamptons, NY and on Sanibel Island, FL. Others who lost their homes in the financial crisis live in their cars. That said, Full Circle is a provocative story, recommended as an introspective memoir about life choices.

Two excellent books on the financial crisis include The Big Short by Michael Lewis and Too Big to Fail by Andrew Sorkin.

© Meg Trauner & Ford Library – Fuqua School of Business.
All rights reserved.

New Movies for May

May 17th, 2016

Here are our latest DVD titles:

The Expanse, season 1
Fargo, season 2
The 5th Wave
The Forest
The Hallow
The Lady in the Van
The Revenant
Son of Saul

You may browse the entire DVD collection via the library catalog.

Book Review: Kindle Bestsellers

May 16th, 2016

After graduation week winds down, a few quiet weeks pass before the academic cycle gears up again. For many Fuqua staff members, this brief respite is an opportunity to slow down, breathe deeply and learn something new.

Reading is good for the soul and for the mind. Next time you have a few free hours, think about borrowing a Ford Library Kindle to discover new ideas or to enhance personal skills.

Here are 6 new books that were just added to the Business Best Sellers Kindles in the Ford Library.

Deep work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World
By Cal Newport.
Georgetown faculty member Cal Newport demonstrates how to train the mind to focus and how to reorganize one’s work life so that deep work is at the core. He argues that cultivating deep work practice is critical for succeeding in our distracted world.

Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges
By Amy Cuddy.
Harvard faculty member Amy Cuddy teaches simple techniques to improve body language and mindset, as she explains the science behind the body-mind effect that she presents in her top TED talk about “power poses.”

Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New ideas…
By Jake Knapp.
Three design partners at Google Ventures describe their innovative five-day process for new endeavors that move quickly from problem to prototype, which they call a “design sprint.”

Smarter Faster Better
By Charles Duhigg.
The author of The Power of Habit presents eight key concepts—from motivation and goal setting to focus and decision making—that explain how the most productive people and companies get so much done.

Third Wave: An Entrepreneur’s Vision of The Future
By Steve Case.
The cofounder of America Online (1991) describes his vision of the internet of things, a future economy where every product, service and experience is transacted online.

Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World
By Adam Grant.
The author of Give and Take examines how individuals can recognize and champion new ideas, build coalitions of allies and reject conformity — and how leaders can nurture originality and build cultures that welcome dissent.

© Meg Trauner & Ford Library – Fuqua School of Business.
All rights reserved.

Congratulations and Best Wishes

May 4th, 2016

The warm spring days between the last exam of the term and graduation weekend are the sweetest of the year. Congratulations to graduating second year MBA’s and all MMS students. The Ford Library staff extends our best wishes for continued success and much happiness in your adventure ahead.

© Meg Trauner & Ford Library – Fuqua School of Business.
All rights reserved.

Book Review: Team of Teams

April 25th, 2016

book cover imageMcChrystal, Stanley A. Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World. Portfolio, Penguin, 2015.

Stanley McChrystal now teaches leadership courses at Yale, but he is best known as the four star general who commanded the elite combat forces in Iraq and Afghanistan from 2003 to 2009. McChrystal led the Joint Special Operations Task Force, a world class team that combined the resources of Navy SEALS, Air Force Rangers and Army Special Forces. In Team of Teams, he uses his leadership experience in Iraq to argue that the speed and interdependence in today’s world have created levels of complexity that require all organizations, including those in business, education and medicine, to adapt to continual change.

When the book begins, Saddam Hussein has already been unseated, but a bitter struggle in Iraq follows and the terrorists are winning. While McChrystal’s forces are far better equipped and trained, they face an environment for which they are unprepared. The enemy is agile, innovative and resilient, an extensive network of fighters with local autonomy but with access to instant communications with their leadership. While McChrystal’s troops are superior, they are losing ground. McChrystal realizes that to beat the enemy, he must transform his command to be like his adversaries. His own elite fighters must become more flexible and innovative, empowered to make on-the-spot, life-and-death decisions.

The military uses extreme training to create trust and common purpose on elite teams. McChrystal keeps these teams intact, but he breaks down the silos within the Task Force and replaces them with a “team of teams” organization with strong lateral ties. McChrystal converts his headquarters into a single open space with a wall of screens at the front that are shared by all. He uses transparent communication, a radical sharing of information about their operations, to create a shared consciousness. Everyone on the organizational chart accesses complete information from across the network, previously restricted to senior leaders. On the field, interdependent and fully informed operational teams make individual decisions in real time.

Under the new model, the commander’s role changes from planning, directing and decision making to communicating and enabling, which McChrystal terms “Eyes On-Hands Off.” Leading the adaptive organization requires shaping the ecosystem and nurturing cooperation among teams on a regular basis. Leaders must guide and inspire, working continually to maintain a culture that is flexible and durable. Leaders also update their organizations continually because in constantly changing environments there are no permanent fixes.

Team of Teams includes examples from many industries, including aerospace and medicine. Examples from the military are riveting. This book is recommended to all leaders.

Also available as an eBook on OverDrive and as an audiobook on OverDrive.

© Meg Trauner & Ford Library – Fuqua School of Business.
All rights reserved.

New Movies for April

April 18th, 2016

We have a longer than usual list of new DVDs for April:

Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road chip
The Big Shortcarol
Daddy’s Home
Game of Thrones: season 5
The Good Wife: season 3
The Hateful Eight
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2
In the Heart of the Sea
The Letters
The Peanuts Movie
Star Wars: Episode VII, The Force Awakens
Victor Frankenstein

You may browse the entire DVD collection via the library catalog.

Book Review: Rejection Proof

April 13th, 2016

book cover imageJiang, Jia. Rejection Proof: How I Beat Fear and Became Invincible Through 100 Days of Rejection. Harmony Books, 2015.

Fuqua 2009 MBA Jia Jiang is the author of a new and heartfelt book about his personal journey to overcome fear of rejection.

In Rejection Proof, Jiang explains that he left his first post-MBA position as a marketing manager at a Fortune 500 company to pursue his dream of becoming an entrepreneur.  After assembling a team of coders to create a game app, he pitched his idea to an outside investor, but it was rejected.   His personal difficulty in dealing with “no” led Jiang to devote his next 100 days to a self-directed program of rejection therapy so he could learn  to thrive in the face of rejection.

Adapting a game invented by a Canadian entrepreneur, Jiang purposely sought out rejection to desensitize himself to denial.  He challenged rejection 100 times and video-recorded every experience.  He also started a website where he blogged about his experience.  In Rejection Proof, Jiang reports what he learned about himself and others over those 100 days.

At first Jiang approaches strangers with an absurd request and he is filled with fear.  After the encounter, he feels shameful.  But later, viewing his video-recording, he analyzes his own and others’ reactions and gets a new perspective.  Within the first week he is able to approach people on the street with confidence and composure.  He learns that asking for favors in a friendly and open way sometimes motivates strangers to say “yes” to his preposterous requests.   He learns strategies for turning a negative reaction into acceptance.

After one of Jiang’s video-recordings goes viral, he becomes famous. He is now a popular keynote speaker with a top Ted Talk and has been featured on Bloomberg Businessweek, Forbes, Yahoo News, CNN, Time Magazine, the Jeff Probst Show and more.   In Rejection Proof, Jiang writes with forthright honesty and amiable humor.  His book is an easy and enjoyable read.  Recommended.

Also available as an eBook on OverDrive and as an audiobook on OverDrive.

© Meg Trauner & Ford Library – Fuqua School of Business.
All rights reserved.

J.B. Fuqua Collection Open House

April 11th, 2016

collection photo

Ford Library invites you to learn more about J.B. Fuqua, founding benefactor of the Fuqua School of Business, at the J.B. Fuqua Collection Open House. The collection, which includes awards, papers, and photographs of J.B. Fuqua, will be on display in the J.B. Fuqua Collection Room, located at the end of the main aisle of the Ford Library Reading Room. Please stop by to visit the collection on Friday, April 15th from 12-6 p.m.

Fuqua Book Exchange

April 8th, 2016

book exchange imageFord Library invites the Fuqua community to participate in the Fuqua Book Exchange, April 15th-May 15th. Donate your gently-used books to other students, staff, faculty, or to the library. Give a book, take a book. Free!

Drop off your book donations at the Ford Library circulation desk, all subjects are welcome. Books for exchange will be housed in a “Fuqua Book Exchange” shelf in the Career section, located at the back of the Ford Library. Any books unclaimed after the exchange will be donated to Better World Books or to Friends of the Durham Library.

Book Review: Essential Titles From Choice

April 4th, 2016

A vital tool for developing library collections at 4000 universities is Choice magazine’s book reviews. For books selected for review, concise critical evaluations by teaching faculty members or subject experts are followed by purchase recommendations. Only a fraction of the books are evaluated as “Essential,” the highest rating. Five recent Ford Library acquisitions earned the rare designation, “Essential.”


book cover imageThe Practical Drucker by William A Cohen.
Peter Drucker, “The Father of Modern Management,” wrote 39 books and over 1000 journal articles. In The Practical Drucker, former student William A. Cohen synthesizes the enormous body of Drucker’s work, summarizing his observations about people and their work organizations. Cohen describes 40 key concepts for solving real-world problems, covering topics such as leadership, ethical behavior, performance measurement, marketing and innovation. Examples from Drucker’s day-to-day work with leaders in complex organizations provide proven practice and illustrate solutions to problems.


book cover imageThe Greening of Asia by Mark L. Clifford.
Asia business journalist Mark Clifford explains that exponential economic growth in Asia is causing a crisis in environmental quality. He proposes a new model of economic development that uses market forces to transition to a greener Asia, with government offering incentives to business to find efficient solutions to challenges in sustainability. Clifford showcases leading Asian companies that are changing the global landscape and overtaking Western competitors in solar and wind power, environmentally powered cars, green buildings, water treatment technologies and sustainable agriculture.


book cover imageThe Soft Edge by Rich Karlgaard.
Forbes publisher and entrepreneur Rich Karlgaard presents his model for how companies achieve long-lasting success — a triangle composed of a strategic base (market, customers, competitors, substitutes, disrupters); the hard edge (speed, cost, supply chain, logistics capital efficiency); and the soft edge (trust, smarts, teams, taste and story). Karlgaard focuses on the soft edge, sharing observations and anecdotes about industry leaders, companies that have thrived for decades and have found the right balance between the data of the hard edge and the skills of the soft edge.


book cover imageFish Can’t See Water by Kai Hammerich and Richard D. Lewis.
At the heart of the culture of any business organization is the national culture, which has a powerful yet invisible impact on the company’s success. Yet management is often blind to the culture in their own company and their home country. Two experts on culture and communications, Kai Hammerich and Richard Lewis, present their models (the Cultural Dynamic Model and the Lewis Model) as a framework for understanding how national culture effects strategy execution within organizations. Concludes with recommended actions to enhance competitiveness in a global environment.


book cover imageGlobal Entrepreneurship by Nir Kshetri
This scholarly work by Nir Kshetri, faculty member at the UNC Greensboro Bryan School of Management, examines entrepreneurial ecosystems worldwide, including key elements such as values and culture, the regulatory environment and access to markets, financing and technology. Geographic areas covered include OECD economies, post-socialist countries in Eastern Europe, the Gulf states, Africa, China and India.


© Meg Trauner & Ford Library – Fuqua School of Business.
All rights reserved.