With spring and, for some, the final quarter of the fiscal year just around the corner, many of us are looking ahead to new personal and organizational growth opportunities. This book report features a mix of author interviews and book reviews that will help to reinvigorate how you approach work. In addition, we cover a series of books that offer insight into the fascinating business of food.
Wharton management professor Adam Grant talks with two leading business thinkers. First, he interviews Daniel Pink about his new book, To Sell Is Human, which suggests that we all spend part of our work or personal lives selling something, and presents a new set of ABCs for doing so successfully. Next, he talks with Michael Mauboussin about The Success Equation, which examines how to assess whether our successes and failures can be attributed to either skill or luck.
A review of Alan S. Berson and Richard G. Stieglitz’s Leadership Conversations explores the authors’ theories on the differences between managers and leaders, and which types of conversations are critical in turning the former into the latter.
Wharton legal studies and business ethics professor G. Richard Shell speaks with Steven Ujifusa about A Man and His Ship, the story of naval architect and entrepreneur William Francis Gibbs. Ujifusa paints a vivid portrait of the man who was responsible for 70% of the ships built during World War II.
Taking a turn to the food industry, Knowledge at Wharton speaks with author Tracie McMillan about The American Way of Eating. McMillan went undercover at Walmart and Applebee’s, and even into the fields, to report on food sourcing and access. In the process, she gained a broader understanding of how the country’s food system could be transformed.
Three reviews also highlight recent books focusing on the business of food. In the first, Knowledge at Wharton looks at Jon Krampner’s Creamy & Crunchy, a history of the peanut butter industry. A review of Wen-Szu Lin’s The China Twist, the tale of two Wharton MBAs who started an Auntie Anne’s pretzel franchise in China, examines the challenges of establishing a U.S. brand abroad. Finally, a review of Tyler Cowen’s An Economist Gets Lunch explores how readers can apply principles of economics to their meal choices.