Book Review: Millennial Apocalyp$e 

Millennial Apocalyp$e -Zane Brown – Book Cover

Book: Millennial Apocalyp$e Why You and Other Millennials Are Tracking Toward Financial Disaster and How You Can Avoid It

Author: Zane Brown

Genre: Non-fiction, business, self-help

Review copy: Reedsy Discovery

Available at: Amazon.in

Recommended: Loved It

This a thought-provoking and insightful book for our times, with relevance for a wide audience interested in the psychology of the millennials.

The fear of recession and the current doldrums that our economy is braving is directly impacting millennials. The sudden dissemination of the Big Tech bubble and its ripple across several digitalized segments is causing a lot of concern with markets in a tizzy. In this well-timed and relevant book, financial strategist Zane Brown, and psychologist Dr. Donalee Brown address the conditions, fears, and proposed solutions around the financial well-being of millennials.

The book is primarily targeted towards an American audience with many references to laws, socio-economic situations, and even research centered on the American ecosystem. However, most insights are valid for an international audience and informative for all who want to understand the global economy and millennial psychology.

I recommend this book as a thought-provoking and insightful study of the world of millennials. It helps us understand how their sense of entitlement, risk aversion, internet addiction, self-aggrandizement, behavioral biases, distrust in banks and traditionally organized financial organizations in favor of cryptocurrencies, and even financial PTSD – all of this crumples up the modern social fabric. This book explains how late marriages, high student debts, delayed or no real estate investment, and zero retirement plans are keeping millennials on the precipice of a financial disaster.

The book offers advice and aims at pulling millennials out of the rut of choosing to remain uninformed and risk-averse while making unhealthy financial decisions. This is an important book for a wide audience – parents, educators, leaders, and of course, the young generation, who are not getting straightforward answers on what 2023 and beyond hold for the world. We are living in a stressful time – a book that acknowledges this and offers succor in practical ways while validating the concerns of our generation – is a must-read book.

The research, analysis, examples, and explanations make this an engaging read. However, the descriptive content is often repetitive, as if to meet a certain word count. A better way to handle this would have been to include graphics, tables, line drawings, or caricatures, which this book lacks. Yet, this is a necessary book for its advice related to deep analysis, personal connections with professional and financial advisors, delayed gratification, and patience for the millennials.

Book Review: Don’t Feed the Elephants!

Don’t Feed the Elephants! – Sarah Noll Wilson – Book Cover

Book: Don’t Feed the Elephants!: Overcoming the Art of Avoidance to Build Powerful Partnerships

Author: Sarah Noll Wilson (@sarahnollwilson) · Twitter

Genre: Non-fiction, business

Review copy: Reedsy Discovery

Available at: Amazon.in

Recommended: Must Read

Don’t Feed the Elephants! by Sarah Noll Wilson is a handbook for personal and professional life. With an appealing cover and text embellished with relevant drawings, the content of the book is engrossing. Building on the proverbial elephant in the room, Wilson, a leadership coach with a doctorate in Adaptive Leadership, reflects on common behavioral issues that create barriers at work and home. Feigning ignorance, harboring avoidance, seething in silence, or telling problems to people other than those who can resolve them, are some hallmarks of “feeding peanuts” to the elephant in the room.

Sarah Wilson writes on the subject from a place of knowledge and experience. By sharing her life scenarios and professional case studies, she expounds on concepts of vulnerability, courage, mindfulness, powerful conversations, and even curiosity. The subject will resonate with many, including those who walk out of meeting rooms knowing too well, “If there is more truth in the hallways than in meetings, you have a problem.

The book has nuggets needed for good leadership and relationship management, including references from other writers. As Wilson observes, “… a productive relationship is one where all parties can disagree openly, effectively, and respectfully.” After establishing the book’s premise, including explaining the science behind a triggered Amygdala, Wilson names the elephants that we nourish at the expense of our mental peace and spiritual growth. She provides cheat sheets to not only identify each but also how to tackle them out of your life.

The questions toolkit is handy, and one can create their own each time one faces an elephant. The book has relevance for leaders with information on unconscious bias, feedback, intentions, team dynamics, and conflicts. Wilson explains the significance of learning to identify and stop feeding elephants in corporate setups. She also advises how to introduce the concept of elephants to a team.

Elephants belong in the vast expanse, not the shallow confines of insecure minds. Use Sarah Wilson’s book to set them free and liberate yourself from mind games and self-manipulations. I relished this book and will refer to it often. The anecdotes were enlightening and relatable. The writing is crisp, and the book is well-organized. This truly enjoyable and informative book deserves to be on your bookshelf.

Mantra for simple, effective communication

Read my previous post here – Art and Technology

I am back with some more observations around the intricate depictions in The Billion Dollar Code, a 2021 German television miniseries on Netflix. Since this piece is related to the last episode and centers around the courtroom drama, it has a few spoilers.

Two things drew my attention in episode 4. The first was an emphasis on body language and gesture as tools of effective communication. The second was the impact of simplifying complex technical material into plain language, amplified with a simple flowchart.

When ART+COM founders – Carsten Schlüter and Juri Müllerare – are assigned to meet a body language specialist to train for grooming, appearance, gestures, and breaking into a closed conversation, they are not impressed. At the stand in the courtroom, the duo realizes the significance of everything that was taught to them. They bring the lessons into practice with some benefit.

Communication is an exchange of information between two or more parties. It breaks down when there is no interchange of ideas. A strong verbal communicator can dominate and influence the entire course of a discussion and hence the decisions. It is important to imbibe the skills of effective communication. This implies being able to get one’s words across and also understanding the body language and psyche of the communicator. It is also imperative to convey one’s stance with gestures and expressions of confidence. Being poised and impressive is beneficial to add weight to the matter being expressed.

Presentations are an important communication tool. Experts in any field are so engrossed in the intricacies that they find it hard to break it down to the basics. As a technical communicator, I see this in the field of information technology also. The subject matter experts want every bit of information documented. The users want to know only what enables them to complete simple actions. The technical communicator bridges this gap and how – by sieving through the information and using plain, simple, minimalistic language, supported by graphics to convey the essentials. A similar scene plays out in the courtroom where the expert who explains the technical jargon through a simple diagram and in easy to infer terms, sways the jury in their favor. 

Knowledge is impactful only when it is communicated and presented in the language of the users. Recognizing the personas of your target audience to bring out intricate information in the most relatable content and style is the only way to nail it. Keep it simple, keep it smart. Present it plainly, convey it confidently. This remains an effective mantra for the effective communicator.

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