Author Archives: randy

The Urban Engagement Book Club; an important update – Consider adding this gathering to your monthly schedule

I have presented books dealing with issues of social justice – poverty, homelessness, racial justice – since 2004.  For practically all of these years, this was a monthly presentation under the umbrella of CitySquare.  This year, I moved this to an independent gathering.

I presented this book earlier this year.

I presented this book earlier this year.

I have every intention of continuing this monthly learning experience.  To put it bluntly, these are issues that we could all learn more about.

We tackle questions such as:

What are the causes of poverty?

Why are there still so many in America that are food insecure?

What are the reasons for homelessness?

Why is racism still a troubling reality in our society?

There are terrific, substantive books dealing with issues such as these.  And I have presented synopses of somewhere around 240 such books during the last 20 years at the Urban Engagement Book Club.

We meet every third Thursday of the month (although, I am taking August, 2024 off for a vacation).  We meet at 12:30 pm, over Zoom. There is no cost.  And, just like at my other book-centered event, the First Friday Book Synopsis, you will receive a comprehensive, multipage handout for each synopsis presentation.

Sign up for the e-mail list on the home page of this web site, to receive the handouts via e-mail.  These are usually e-mailed out the morning of the event.

Mark your calendar, and join us!

Here is the Zoom info for the remainder of 2024:

Randy Mayeux is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Urban Engagement Book Club
Every Third Thursday

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87533966938?pwd=ZTZyNjlEQ0xlZzJROTlFeWxRdm9BQT09

Meeting ID: 875 3396 6938
Passcode: 862561

 

———-

Here are the books selected for the Urban Engagement Book Club, 2024 — January-June, 2024

January – Big Bets: How Large-Scale Change Really Happens by Rajiv Shah

February – The Struggle for the People’s King: How Politics Transforms the Memory of the Civil Rights Movement by Hajar Yazdiha

March – Infectious Generosity: The Ultimate Idea Worth Spreading by Chris Anderson

April – The Hidden Roots of White Supremacy: and the Path to a Shared American Future by Robert P. Jones

May — We Are the Leaders We Have Been Looking For (The W. E. B. Du Bois Lectures) by Eddie Glaude Jr.

June — They Came for the Schools: One Town’s Fight Over Race and Identity, and the New War for America’s Classrooms by Mike Hixenbaugh

Urban Engagement Book Club, Thursday, May 16, 12:30 pm, over Zoom – We Are the Leaders We Have Been Looking For (The W. E. B. Du Bois Lectures) by Eddie Glaude Jr. – And, here is my comprehensive handout

We are the Leaders 

You are invited – on Zoom, Thursday, May 16!

A special encouragement to attend the 

Urban Engagement Book Club

Thursday, May 16, over Zoom, 12:30 pm

Please join us. All details below.

————

Download today’s handout by clicking here.

—————-

If you have an open lunch time window Thursday, May 16, 12:30 pm (CST), I am presenting my synopsis of:

We Are the Leaders We Have Been Looking For  (The W. E. B. Du Bois Lectures) by Eddie Glaude Jr.

This is a book that calls all to use our moral imagination and become the prophets, and leaders, that we have been looking for:

We are the prophets we have been looking for. No more waiting for rainbow signs. Our imaginations can point the way toward a better world. 

I encourage you to download my comprehensive handout, print it out, and follow along.

Click on image to download the full synopsis handout

Click on image to download the full synopsis handout

Come join us on Zoom.

Urban Engagement Book Club
Thursday, May 16– 12:30 pm (CST)

Synopsis presented by Randy Mayeux
We conclude shortly after 1:30.
(This event is free).

And, here is the Zoom link to join our gathering:

Randy Mayeux is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

To join us on Zoom today, at 12:30:

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87533966938?pwd=ZTZyNjlEQ0xlZzJROTlFeWxRdm9BQT09

Meeting ID: 875 3396 6938

Passcode: 862561

———————

Here is the more complete Zoom info.

Randy Mayeux is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Urban Engagement Book Club

Time: May 16, 2024 12:30 PM Central Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87533966938?pwd=ZTZyNjlEQ0xlZzJROTlFeWxRdm9BQT09

Meeting ID: 875 3396 6938

Passcode: 862561

One tap mobile

+13462487799,,87533966938#,,,,*862561# US (Houston)

+16694449171,,87533966938#,,,,*862561# US

Dial by your location

  • +1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
  • +1 669 444 9171 US
  • +1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)
  • +1 719 359 4580 US
  • +1 253 205 0468 US
  • +1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)
  • +1 301 715 8592 US (Washington DC)
  • +1 305 224 1968 US
  • +1 309 205 3325 US
  • +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
  • +1 360 209 5623 US
  • +1 386 347 5053 US
  • +1 507 473 4847 US
  • +1 564 217 2000 US
  • +1 646 931 3860 US
  • +1 689 278 1000 US
  • +1 929 205 6099 US (New York)

Meeting ID: 875 3396 6938

Passcode: 862561

Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kdlE4Wb3WF

The Nine Questions your Organization Must Answer… — (Part 1 of 2)

A number of years ago, I developed what I called my bubbles, trying to capture the challenges and demands for success faced by every organization. Here are my bubbles:

Here are these points are in graphic form - click on image for full, printable view

Here are these points are in graphic form – click on image for full, printable view

I often go back to those bubbles, asking myself where the current books I read would fit into these circles.

We have presented synopses of 620+ business books in the 26 years of the First Friday Book Synopsis.  I have taken those bubbles, and from them formulated nine questions.  It seems to me that these are the most important questions to answer for an organization to be successful and effective:

#1 – What is our arena?  Who needs our products or our services?

#2 – How will we keep innovating?

#3 – What is our why?

#4 – What is our strategy?

#5 – Who are our leaders?

#6 – How will we build our teams?

#7 – How will keep lined up together?

#8 – How will we communicate? In our team meetings? In writing? In our training sessions?

#9 – What will we measure?  How will we measure what we measure?

The questions are mine; based on reading a lot of good books.

And I have now asked Google Gemini:  Are these the right questions?  And, I asked Gemini to write me a good two sentence answer to each question.

Here’s Gemini’s response:

You’ve identified a fantastic set of questions that cover the key areas for organizational success! Here’s a breakdown with a concise answer for each:

  1. What is our arena? Who needs our products or our services? (Knowing your market): This clarifies your target audience and the problem you solve, ensuring you’re competing in the right space with a valuable offering.
  2. How will we keep innovating? (Staying ahead): Continuous improvement is crucial. This question prompts you to develop a culture of innovation and adaptation to stay relevant and competitive.
  3. What is our why? (Finding purpose): A clear purpose beyond profit motivates employees and attracts talent.This question helps define your core values and the impact you strive to make.
  4. What is our strategy? (Planning for success): Without a roadmap, success becomes a struggle. This question encourages you to create a well-defined strategy that outlines your goals and how to achieve them.
  5. Who are our leaders? (Building a strong foundation): Effective leadership sets the tone and direction. This question prompts you to invest in competent leaders who inspire and guide your team.
  6. How will we build our teams? (Strength in numbers): The right people make all the difference. This question focuses on building strong, diverse teams that leverage talent and foster collaboration.
  7. How will keep lined up together? (Maintaining alignment): Everyone needs to be working towards the same goals. This question encourages clear communication and a shared vision to ensure everyone is rowing in the same direction.
  8. How will we communicate? In our team meetings? In writing? In our training sessions? (Open and clear communication): Information flow is essential for a healthy organization. This question prompts you to establish effective communication channels for all levels and situations.
  9. What will we measure? How will we measure what we measure? (Tracking progress): You can’t manage what you can’t measure. This question encourages you to identify key performance indicators (KPIs) and establish a system to track progress and assess the effectiveness of your efforts.

By answering these questions thoughtfully, you can build a strong foundation for organizational success and effectiveness. Remember, these are starting points – the specifics will depend on your unique organization and goals.

———-

I’ve got a hunch that these are questions worth your time.

I will be back with part 2 of this post later this week, with some book suggestions for each of the nine questions.  I can assure you, there are some terrific books to help you answer these questions well.

here are just a few possible book titles to consider

there are always good books to consider

The New York Times has published its list of best-selling business books for May, 2024. And, yes, Atomic Habits is still, and yet again, at the #1 spot.

The New York Times has published its list of best-selling business books for May, 2024. And, yes, Atomic Habits is still, and yet again, at the #1 spot. Atomic Habits

On this month’s list of ten books, two are written by women authors.  Worthy by Jamie Kern Lima, andBuild the Life You Want , written by Oprah Winfrey (and Arthur C. Brooks).

Of the ten, we have presented synopses of six of the books at our monthly First Friday Book Synopsis event based in Dallas.  I presented synopses of Atomic Habits, The Creative Act, Supercommunicators, Co-Intelligence, and Hidden Potential.  In addition, my former colleague Karl Krayer presented his synopsis of the modern day classic Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman.

As I have written many times, this list is the one I follow most closely.  It is published only once a month; and it is specifically a list of business books, not a general list of nonfiction books.

Let me make this observation.  Both Charles Duhigg and Adam Grant are authors that I follow pretty closely.  I have presented synopses of three books now by Charles Duhigg (I just presented Supercommunicators last month), and four books by Adam Grant.  I think Mr. Grant’s book Think Again should be required reading for modern day thinking and living…  So, in other words, I pounce pretty quickly when either of these two authors comes out with a new book.

And,  special mention of #7 on this list.  Co-Intelligence is subtitled Living and Working with AI.  I presented my synopsis of this book just this morning in Dallas, and it is a terrific book.  I would call it a must-read!Supercommunicators

Here are the ten books on this month’s list. Click here to visit the New York Times page for a link to a review of one of these books.

#1 – Atomic Habits by James Clear

#2 – The Algebra of Wealth by Scott Galloway

#3 – The Creative Act by Rick Rubin

#4 – Supercommunicators by Charles Duhigg

#5 – Worthy by Jamie Kern Lima

#6 — Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

#7 – Co-Intelligence by Ethan Mollick

#8 – Hidden Potential by Adam grant

#9 – I Will Teach You to Be Rich, Second Edition by Ramit Sethi

#10– Build the Life You Want by Arthur C. Brooks and Oprah Winfrey

———————Academy-logo-02-2048x2048

You can purchase my synopses presentations from the buy synopses tab at the top of this page.  On that page, you can search by book title. And click here for our newest additions (Note:  I have added my synopsis of Poverty, By America, presented at the other book club at which I speak monthly, to these synopses available for purchase).  My synopsis of The Coming Wave will be uploaded to the site soon.

Each synopsis comes with my comprehensive, multi-page synopsis handout, plus the audio recording of my presentation delivered at the First Friday Book Synopsis in Dallas.

And, please check out these “bundles” of synopses, arranged by key categories, for your own self-paced learning, at my companion site, AcademyofLifelongLearning.com.

May Contain Lies: How Stories, Statistics, and Studies Exploit Our Biases―And What We Can Do about It by Alex Edmans, and The Algebra of Wealth by Scott Galloway — two good and needed books for the June 7 First Friday Book Synopsis

Since April, 1998

Sharpen Your Edge: Learn From Top Business Minds — at the First Friday Book Synopsis
—–

FFBS, for June, 2024

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“My synopses are almost like getting your whole team to read a book together, which enables your own conversation on how to implement the key lessons from the book. Lifelong learning in real time.” – Randy Mayeux

TWO COMPREHENSIVE BOOK SYNOPSES — FOR BOOK LOVERS; AND THE LIFELONG LEARNER IN ALL OF US!

———–

Book Lovers & Lifelong Learners, Join us for two good books: for the June 7, 2024 First Friday Book Synopsis: Friday, June 7, 2024

TWO COMPREHENSIVE BOOK SYNOPSES – FOR THE LIFELONG LEARNER IN ALL OF US!

Come to learn; AND make some great connections!

IN OUR 27th Year! — Over 625 books presented – and counting!

WHAT:  The First Friday Book Synopsis

WHEN:  June 7, 7:00 am (presentations begin at 7:25 am)

WHERE:  The Park City Club, Dallas AND streaming live on Zoom

Park City Club, 5956 Sherry Lane, Suite 1700, Dallas, TX 75225

Click here to register for the in-person gathering at the wonderful Park City Club in Dallas.

AND…ZOOM Info:

 Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83280208373?pwd=QWppaTFFNUI4ZU5VRU8wQjRVdDRqZz09

Meeting ID: 832 8020 8373

Passcode: 445289

——

Every month since April 1998, we have presented synopses of two good business books at the First Friday Book Synopsis, in Dallas.  Now a hybrid event (both in-person at the Park City Cluband on Zoom), it is a true learning event.

———————

The two books selected for June 7 are:

1. May Contain Lies: How Stories, Statistics, and Studies Exploit Our Biases―And What We Can Do about It by Alex Edmans

and…

2. The Algebra of Wealth: A Simple Formula for Financial Security by Scott Galloway 

Come join us!

June 7, 2024 – Park City Club (and Zoom) — 7:00 am Central Time — (program begins at 7:25 am)

At the First Friday Book Synopsis, we make each month’s session a genuine learning event.  You learn from the best business books, and then it is up to you to put into practice the things you learn.

Click here to register for the in-person session.  (Zoom info is below).

——————–

In our 27th YEAR of the First Friday Book Synopsis

Randy Mayeux provides thorough synopses of the content of useful, best-selling business books. He provides a comprehensive, multi-page synopsis handout, that concludes with his own lessons and takeaways from each book he presents.

“I love good books; and I read books
And share their core concepts
To help people become more literate
And know what to work on
To do a better job
To build a better company
And, ultimately, to build a better life.”
Randy Mayeux
——————-

June 7, 2024 – Park City Club; and on Zoom 

What to expect:

Two fast-paced synopsis presentations.

For each synopsis , we prepare a comprehensive and thorough multi-page synopsis handout.

For In-person participants, you will be given copies of the two synopsis handouts.  For those attending remotely, you will receive a synopsis handout to download for each of the two books, delivered the day before the event, via e-mail (and, available on this blog).

YOU DO NOT HAVE TO READ THE BOOKS IN ADVANCE! – No pre-reading of the books required!

If you are like many, you do not have time to read all of the books you would like to read. The First Friday Book Synopsis is designed for you.

Our synopses are comprehensive, thorough, and they will give you plenty of the key content from each book. You will learn, and be able to ponder the ideas in a useful way. And, even if you have read the book, my synopsis will help you remember more of what you read.

I hope you can join us.

For in-person participants: click here to register for in-person attendance.

For remote participants:
The cost of this remote meeting is “free.”
But, if you would like to contribute to participate, Randy would welcome you to send $12-$15 directly to him through PayPal. Click here for a direct link to “donate” through PayPal.

For remote participants, here is the Zoom info.  The Zoom meeting requires no registration.

Randy Mayeux is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

——————–

Visit our web site where you can purchase past synopses, with audio recordings + synopsis handouts, at: 15minutebusinessbooks.com

For our most recent synopses, click here.

Purchase past synopses bundled in categories, each with audio recordings and synopsis handouts, at our other site; academyoflifelonglearning.com.

Download the two Synopses Handouts for the Friday, May 3, 2024 First Friday Book Synopsis (over Zoom) — Co-Intelligence: Living and Working with AI by Ethan Mollick and Cultures of Growth: How the New Science of Mindset Can Transform Individuals, Teams, and Organizations by Mary C. Murphy, Carol Dweck (Foreword)

{Note:  you can also still register to attend in-person for the May 3 First Friday Book Synopsis, at the wonderful Park City Club, by clicking here}.

Sharpen Your Edge: Learn From Top Business Minds at First Friday Book Synopsis

“My synopses are almost like getting your whole team to read a book together, which enables your own conversation on how to implement the key lessons from the book. Lifelong learning in real time.” – Randy Mayeux

 FFBS, May, 2024

In our 27th Year!

You are invited
First Friday Book Synopsis,
Friday, April 5, 2024, 7:25 am (Central Time), on Zoom.
I hope you can join us!

Meeting On Zoom

Click on image to download synopsis handouts

Click on image to download synopsis handouts

Around 100 people (in our combined in-person and Zoom participants) have been joining us for our First Friday Book Synopsis gatherings. We have had participants from all over the country. Please share this word far and wide — all are welcome!

This Friday, May 3, 2024, 7:25 am – Zoom 

The two books for tomorrow are both worth your time!

Co-Intelligence: Living and Working with AI  by Ethan Mollick is a terrific book on what AI can do now, what it may do later, and yes, some of the dangers it might bring. You will learn!

Cultures of Growth: How the New Science of Mindset Can Transform Individuals, Teams, and Organizations by Mary C. Murphy (Author), Carol Dweck (Foreword), is a book about organizational mindsets. It is so very insightful!

Note: The first presentation will begin around 7:25-7:30 am.

I intend to keep this Zoom gathering free. But, your voluntary participation would be appreciated.  If you would like to contribute to participate, Randy would welcome you to send $12-$15 directly to him through PayPal. Click here for a direct link to “donate” through PayPal.

PRINTING TIP: I strongly encourage all to print out the two handouts. If you will begin printing on page 2, you will still have the full handout, and save the ink that you would use on the front/cover sheet. 

Where:  On Zoom

When: This Friday, May 3 — presentations begin at 7:25-7:30 am (Central Time)
The presentations will conclude around 8:35 am
Speaker: Randy Mayeux will deliver both synopsis presentations.

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83280208373?pwd=QWppaTFFNUI4ZU5VRU8wQjRVdDRqZz09

Meeting ID: 832 8020 8373

Passcode: 445289

————————

We are all set for Friday’s Remote First Friday Book Synopsis.

Click on image to download synopsis handouts

Click on image to download synopsis handouts

#1 — Download, and print both synopses handouts by clicking here. If you have ever attended our event, you know that I am handout intensive. You really will be able to follow along better with physical copies of the handouts in front of you. So, if you have a printer, please print the handouts.

#2 — Come on in for conversation whenever you can. I have enabled the “enable join before host” button. You will arrive in the waiting room, and be let in quickly. So, you can come in, and talk to folks.

#3 — Here is the info, with the link to join the gathering:

Randy Mayeux is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting

Topic: First Friday Book Synopsis, 2022
Time:  May 3, 2023 07:00 AM Central Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83280208373?pwd=QWppaTFFNUI4ZU5VRU8wQjRVdDRqZz09

Meeting ID: 832 8020 8373

Passcode: 445289

—–

Reminder: The cost of this remote meeting is “free.”

But, if you would like to contribute to participate, Randy would welcome you to send $12-$15 directly to him through PayPal. Click here for a direct link to “donate” through PayPal.

(Note: you can also send money through Zelle, at Randy’s e-mail address). — (Randy’s e-mail address for PayPal, and Zelle, is ).

Please help spread the word far and wide; help make this a success.

————————–

You might want to read this post. It has a printable one-sheet reminder on how to make the most of your remote learning experience.

Remote Learning 101 – Read this before attending your learning session.

 ——————

Here is more complete Zoom info:

Randy Mayeux is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: First Friday Book Synopsis, 2024

Time: May 3, 2024 07:00 AM Central Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83280208373?pwd=QWppaTFFNUI4ZU5VRU8wQjRVdDRqZz09

Meeting ID: 832 8020 8373

Passcode: 445289

One tap mobile

+13462487799,,83280208373#,,,,*445289# US (Houston)

+16694449171,,83280208373#,,,,*445289# US

Dial by your location

  • +1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
  • +1 669 444 9171 US
  • +1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)
  • +1 719 359 4580 US
  • +1 253 205 0468 US
  • +1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)
  • +1 305 224 1968 US
  • +1 309 205 3325 US
  • +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
  • +1 360 209 5623 US
  • +1 386 347 5053 US
  • +1 507 473 4847 US
  • +1 564 217 2000 US
  • +1 646 931 3860 US
  • +1 689 278 1000 US
  • +1 929 205 6099 US (New York)
  • +1 301 715 8592 US (Washington DC)

Meeting ID: 832 8020 8373

Passcode: 445289

Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kBa7nTumc