Idea/Concept: Kian's informed guide provides stimulating advice for aspiring leaders and entrepreneurs to excel in a "volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous" world. Making compelling references to figures from literature, history, art, and politics, the author presents a blueprint for navigating chaos and centering the self.
Prose: The writing here is clear and uncluttered. Practical, intuitive steps for achieving goals under difficult circumstances, offset the sometimes overwhelming number of references to literary and other outside sources.
Originality: Kian's work, while far-reaching in its sourcing, nevertheless feels firmly planted in the current moment. Kian acknowledges the noise and tumult inherent in the modern era and recognizes how young, capable leaders may struggle to retain focus. While many of the suggestions and techniques Kian introduces are familiar, their context and presentation is unique.
Execution: Kian's guidebook blends the philosophical with the practical. Ironically, the text also has a tendency to be overstuffed with ideas and allusions, which are somewhat in conflict with the book's intent. Regardless, readers who like their advice books to be intellectually fortifying will value this unconventional guide to succeeding in an uncertain world.
Date Submitted: January 16, 2020