Category Archives: Randy’s blog entries

Entries by Randy Mayeux

White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo, and The Deficit Myth by Stephanie Kelton – Coming for the August 7 First Friday Book Synopsis (on Zoom)

White FragilityFirst Friday Book Synopsis, August 7, 2020, on Zoom
Time: 7:30 am (Central Time)
Two Books:
White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo, Foreword by Michael Eric Dyson
and
The Deficit Myth: Modern Monetary Theory and the Birth of the People’s Economy by Stephanie Kelton
Link to join meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89254017070

Please invite one and all to participate in this session. 

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Let me share a few thoughts about White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism  by Robin DiAngelo, the book on race issues that I have selected for the August 3 First Friday Book Synopsis.

This book has been at the top of the best seller lists since the killing of George Floyd in May of this year.  A large number of people are finding this book helpful in thinking about race issues of race in America.

Shortly after the killing of Mr. Floyd, the CEO of American Airlines, Doug Parker, was reading this book on a Southwest Airlines flight, and it sparked quite a conversation with a flight attendant, who is African American.  Dave Lieber wrote about this encounter in this excellent article in the Dallas Morning News: White fragility is something white people must grow out of if we’re to solve racism in America Americans are reading to overcome racism. A best-selling book on the subject is sold out.

This is the second book dealing with issues of race that I will present at the First Friday Book Synopsis.  In July, I presented Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi.  I think that it is important that people concerned about issues of business – and, people concerned about our society – do some reading and pondering about issues raised in books like these.  I hope you will join us for our August session.

Read on…

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We did something different for the July First Friday Book Synopsis, and we will continue this pattern for at least three more months.  For 22+ years, we have focused almost exclusively on books that deal with business issues at the First Friday Book Synopsis. Oh, there have been a few wanderings here and there, usually dealing with leadership in sports, or politics, and a few other books that might have seemed a little far afield. But I have always kept the overall subject of business improvement and excellence and success in mind.

But, this is a moment that beckons us to pay special attention to a national problem and challenge. And, it certainly has implications for every business in America.

So, for July and August and September and October, I have chosen to tackle the issues dealing with race in America through my book selections. Thus, one book will be a business book; the other book will be the book on issues of race.

If you were to ask me what is the most important book to read, I would pause, and ask you to reconsider your question. This is an issue that requires more than any one book. You simply will not learn enough to tell you what you need to know with any one book.

Last month, I wrote a blog post about the current best sellers (read that post here). Of the top 15 books on Amazon’s overall list of best–selling books on a recent day (they update this list hourly), twelve of the fifteen dealt with issues of race.

I am not “new” to this; I have some long-term interest in this subject. I have presented books on racism, social justice, and poverty, each month for over 15 years at the Urban Engagement Book Club in Dallas, sponsored by CitySquare. And, in addition to the academic work I did on civil rights rhetoric in my graduate student days at the University of Southern California, my wife and I have taken our vacation trips in recent years to the civil rights cities of Atlanta, Birmingham, Selma, Montgomery, Little Rock, and Memphis. In other words, I have paid attention to this issue for…decades.

For August, I have selected White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo. And in September, I will present How to Be An Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi.

As for the business book that I have selected for August 7, I will present my synopsis of

The Deficit Myth by Stephanie Kelton. This book deals with bigger issues of the economy, and it jumped right to the New York Times business books best sellers list for July.

Our August 7 meeting will be on Zoom again; 7:30 am. Please mark your calendar now. (Meeting info is below). Come join us!

(The synopsis handouts will be e-mailed out to all a day or two before the event).

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This meeting will be available to all for free. If you care to participate financially, you might send $12.00 to the First Friday Book Synopsis through Pay Pal. (Click here for a direct link to send money).

(Note: if you are a non-PayPal person, you can send money through Zelle by using my e-mail address, ).

Thank you to all who have been participating financially in our Zoom meetings. I do appreciate it.

——————–Deficit Myth

Here is the information for the Zoom meeting. Please save it to your calendar.

Randy Mayeux is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: August 7, 2020 First Friday Book Synopsis

Time: Aug 7, 2020 07:30 AM Central Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89254017070

Meeting ID: 892 5401 7070

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+13462487799,,89254017070# US (Houston)

+12532158782,,89254017070# US (Tacoma)

Dial by your location

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Meeting ID: 892 5401 7070

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

—————–

Have you missed our Remote First Friday Book Synopsis sessions? We are now putting the video, on YouTube.

Click here to go to my blog post for links to the last three sessions now on YouTube. (Handouts are also available).

First Friday Book Synopsis now on YouTube – If you missed our live session, catch up here: Stamped from the Beginning and The Ride of a Lifetime, our July session, now available.

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Announcement about Success North Dallas

I encourage you to also attend the Success North Dallas meeting, virtual, on Wednesday, July 15, 7:00 am.

Speaker: David Pillsbury, ClubCorp CEO
Topic: ClubLife Redefined
Click here to learn more, and register – SuccessNorthDallas.com

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Announcement about the Urban Engagement Book Club
Sponsored by CitySquare

I invite you and encourage you to also attend the Urban Engagement Book Club meeting, also on Zoom, on Thursday, July 16, 12:30 pm.

Speaker: Randy Mayeux
Topic; Book Synopsis of: White Working Class: Overcoming Class Cluelessness in America by Joan C. Williams, foreword by Mark Cuban
Click here to join the meeting:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82264128291

First Friday Book Synopsis now on YouTube – If you missed our live session, catch up here: Stamped from the Beginning and The Ride of a Lifetime, our July session, now available

The video recording of our July session of the First Friday Book Synopsis is now available on YouTube.  Click here to download the synopsis handout for these two presentations.

The two books are:
The Ride of a Lifetime by Robert Iger
and
Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi

(Each of the two book presentations is around 25-30 minutes in length)

Here is the YouTube link.

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Some of what you might do with these recordings.

#1 – You can watch them.  The best way to watch them is to print out the handout in advance, have it in front of you, and follow along as you go.  If you have never seen one of  my presentations, you will see that I am quite handout intensive.

#2 – You can share the link with others.  You may know someone who would like to know the key content of the books being presented.  Please share the link to these presentations with others

#3 – You might use them as a discussion starter for your team.  Some of these presentations are perfect for that.  Get everyone to print out the handout, then watch the video as a group, and then discuss lessons and takeaways and implications for your team.

This is a time for learning and reflection.  My synopses can help.  I hope you find these useful.

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Here are the other First Friday Book Synopsis sessions now available on YouTube.
May, First Friday Book Synopsis:
Click here to download the synopsis handout for these two presentations.

The two books are:
The Catalyst by Jonah Berger
and
The Innovation Stack by Jim McKelvey

Here is the YouTube link:

 

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June First Friday Book Synopsis
Click here to download the synopsis handout for these two presentations.

The two Books are:
Think Like a Rocket Scientist: Simple Strategies You Can Use to Make Giant Leaps in Work and Life by Ozan Varol.
and
The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers by Ben Horowitz

Here is the YouTube link:

Here is the New York Times list of best-selling business books for July, 2020 – Atomic Habits by James Clear is still #1, in Pandemic America

Atomic HabitsThe New York Times has just published its list of best-selling business books for July, 2020.  Again this month during pandemic season, Atomic Habits is #1 on the list.

My theory on why this is still #1 is simple:  we are all having to work on ourselves, and this means that we need to get rid of bad habits and cultivate good habits – habits that are good for us, and are useful in this new work environment. This book provides genuine help for that quest.

After our August First Friday Book Synopsis, we will have presented 8 of these 10 books at our monthly book event in Dallas.  I have presented Atomic Habits, Dare to Lead, The Ride of a Lifetime, Outliers, Extreme Ownership, and (after our August 7 session), The Deficit Myth. And my former colleague, Karl Krayer, presented Grit and Thinking, Fast and Slow.

Note:  This month’s list includes three books written by women authors.

These eight books provide great insight.  I strongly recommend all eight.  (I’m sure the other two are good books, but I have not read them…).

Here are the ten best selling business books from the New York Times list for July, 2020.  Click over to their site for links to reviews of some of these books.

#1 – Atomic Habits by James Clear
#2 – Dare to Lead by Brené Brown
#3 – The Ride of a Lifetime by Robert Iger
#4 – Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
#5 – Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
#6 – Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin
#7 – Hustle Harder, Hustle Smarter by Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson
#8 – The Buddha and the Badass by Vishen Lakhiani
#9 – Grit by Angela Duckworth
#10 – The Deficit Myth by Stephanie Kelton

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The Deficit Myth is one of my two selections for our August session of the First Friday Book Synopsis

The Deficit Myth is one of my two selections for our August session of the First Friday Book Synopsis

I record my synopses, and make them available for purchase.  Each synopsis come- with my comprehensive, multi-page handout, plus the audio recording of my presentation.  Click on the buy synopses tab at the top of this page.  And click here for our newest additions.

Download the Synopses Handouts for Friday’s Remote First Friday Book Synopsis – July 3, 2020

Well over 100 people are joining us on our “Remote” First Friday Book Synopsis gatherings. We had participants from all over the country. Please share this word far and wide — all are welcome!

Stamped from the Beginning handout cover

Click on image to download synopsis handouts

July 3, 2020 – Zoom
Two Book Synopses: The Ride of a Lifetime by Robert Iger andStamped from the Beginning by Ibram X, Kendi.
Where: on ZOOM
When: This Friday, July 3, 7:30 am
The presentation will conclude shortly after 8:30 am
Speaker: Randy Mayeux

Click here to join in on Zoom:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82787828459

 

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

#1 — Download, and print both synopses handouts by clicking here.

https://app.box.com/s/9hc1qfvs441uemlvpu8q6035v84853ow

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 am still new to this whole Zoom practice, but I have enabled the “enable join before host” button. So, you can come in, and talk to folks. I will plan to join the meeting around 7:00, but will keep myself pretty much muted until I begin the program at 7:30. And, I will not “end the meeting” for a while after, if you want to continue conversations with others after we officially conclude.

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

Randy Mayeux is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: July 3, 2020 First Friday Book Synopsis

Time: Jul 3, 2020 07:30 AM Central Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82787828459

Meeting ID: 827 8782 8459

One tap mobile
+13462487799,,82787828459# US (Houston)
+16699006833,,82787828459# US (San Jose)

Dial by your location
+1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
+1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)
+1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)
+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
+1 929 205 6099 US (New York)
+1 301 715 8592 US (Germantown)

Meeting ID: 827 8782 8459
Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kbACZGOWfK

—–

Reminder: The cost of this remote meeting is “free.”
But, if you would like to contribute to participate, Randy would welcome you to send $12.00 directly to him through PayPal Click here for a direct link to “donate” thorugh 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.

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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.

This Friday, (July 3) Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi – a few thoughts about informed conversation

StampedBeginningTHE TITLE STAMPED FROM THE BEGINNING comes from a speech that Mississippi senator Jefferson Davis gave on the floor of the US Senate on April 12, 1860.
“This Government was not founded by negroes nor for negroes,” but “by white men for white men,” Davis lectured his colleagues. The bill was based on the false notion of racial equality, he declared. The “inequality of the white and black races” was “stamped from the beginning.”
Ibram X. Kendi, Stamped from the Beginning

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On Friday, at the First Friday Book Synopsis (on Zoom), along with the excellent business book The Ride of a Lifetime by Robert Iger, I will present my synopsis of Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi.  This book won the National Book Award for nonfiction.

Notice the full title: Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America.

Recently, I was talking about the racist history in our country, and our state, with a person who attends our First Friday Book Synopsis events. I read him excerpts from the Cornerstone Speech by Alexander Stephens, the Vice President of the Confederate States of America, and excerpts from the Texas Ordinance of Secession.  Both state, absolutely, that Black people are inferior to white people (thus: white supremacy), and that the proper place for Black people is the place of an enslaved person.  He acknowledged that he had never read that speech, or that document.

White supremacy; enslaved Black people.  This is the history of our country for a substantial amount of our time as a country.  And the ideas behind these realities have lingered for…well, until now.

In other words, there are not two sides of any argument here.  There is only one side.  Read the founding documents of the Confederacy.  Read the speeches and read the actual segregation laws.

And, later, as the decades progressed, it was never separate but equal.  It was quite separate, and quite unequal.

This book by Dr. Kendi reveals in full the racist thinking that underlies and informs so much of what has happened throughout our history.

The definition of the word “ignorance” is about the level of knowledge one has.  Ignorance is defined as “lack of knowledge.”   I am woefully ignorant about so many things;  I am ignorant about chemistry, physics, trigonometry, how to put on make up, how to repair an automobile engine, how to actually make a movie, to name just a few areas of my overwhelming ignorance. But – and I think this is an important but – I do not try to tell a physicist how to think about physics. I do not try to tell an automotive mechanic how to fix an engine.

In other words, if you have ignored studying an issue, you may in fact be ignorant about that issue.

In other words, if you claim to be a life-long learner, maybe you could do some of that learning in areas that you have ignored.

In other words, when one is ignorant about a subject, one should be careful about telling others what’s what about that subject. Ignorance results in uninformed conversations.

If you listen to my synopsis on Friday, and if you read this book by Ibrma X. Kendi, and other books dealing with issues of race, you will learn.  You will possibly learn that you have been told things that were not true. You may realize that you have even repeated some things that were not true.

This is a time to abandon such ignorance.  It is time to learn stuff.

Click here for the details of our First Friday Book Synopsis this Friday, July 3, 2020.  Come join us.

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Here is a blog post I wrote after I first presented Dr. Kendi’s book for the Urban Engamen Book Club, sponsored by CitysquareStamped from the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi – My Six Lessons and Takeaways.

 

A note about our conflicting blog posts regarding Confederate Statues

A note from Randy Mayeux:
I am writing this to help readers understand some conflicting messages on this blog.

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Since the beginning of the First Friday Book Synopsis in 1998,  I (Randy Mayeux) and Karl Krayer shared the presentations, and we each wrote on this blog.

A few years ago, Karl Krayer suffered a stroke, and has been unable to make synopses presentations at our monthly events, or write on this blog.  So, I have assumed full leadership of the First Friday Book Synopsis, have made two book synopses presentations each month at our monthly events. since his departure, and I have continued to write posts on this blog all along.

Karl has recently begun writing posts on this blog again.  We certainly welcome him back.  But I want to address what appears to be conflicting messages on this blog.

At the top of each post, it always says either “Randy’s blog entries” or “Karl’s blog entries.”  This is, of course, to identify the author of a post.  And Randy and Karl are the only two writers who post on this blog.

As in any collaboration, people have different opinions; sometimes on controversial issues.  In some recent posts from Karl, if one were to read other posts by me, you can see that we have a strong difference of opinion over the issue of Confederate Statues and Monuments, and even over whether or not people can change their minds over issues of racism.

I simply want to point out the obvious;  that we have these differences.

I do believe that Confederate Statues should be removed. I do believe that the Confederate Flag should not be displayed.  And, I do believe that people can change their minds on issues of race (and, other issues as well).  Karl believes the opposite, as he described in his recent posts.

Here’s an interesting note: I went to Abilene Christian University for my undergraduate degree (it was then called Abilene Christian College).  A few short years ago, the university issued a widely-distributed apology for their racism throughout much of their history.  The leadership of the university did change their minds over issues of racism.  And they needed to.  Abilene Christian did indeed have some pretty ghastly racist practices and stances in their history.

Yes, I do oppose symbols of racism, and that is what I believe Confederate Statues to be.

Here is a post that represents my thoughts, describing my strong opposition to Confederate Statues and the Confederate Flag: Two Flags, Two Meanings – The American flag and the Confederate flag.

Please note that I will be presenting synopses of books on racial issues over the next few months at the First Friday Book Synopsis; books that might even lead people to change their minds about issues of racism.

Why have this conversation at all on a blog focused primarily on business books and issues?   Because this issue touches every corner of business – relationships between employees, between employers and employees, between business and client representatives, and between business and its larger outreach in the community and overall culture.  Even within ourselves, we can develop deeper understanding of the issues involved.

In the coming months, as I present one synopsis of a business book and a second synopsis of a book dealing with issues of race at each of our First Friday Book Synopsis sessions,  I will be treating these books as I do in all other synopsis presentations.  My intent, as always, is to let the author speak through the words of his/her book.

Hopefully, these presentations will help us all come to better informed decisions, and wiser and more inclusive business policies, and yes, even better informed opinions within ourselves.

Issues of racial injustice have become quite a large conversation throughout our society.  I felt that I needed to explain my thoughts on the conflicting conversation one is currently reading on this blog.

Karl and I agree on far more than we differ.  But, in this moment, I felt that this word of explanation regarding this specific issue might be helpful.