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Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist's Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations
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August 2020: Other Books > Thank you for being late - Thomas Friedman, 4 stars

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message 1: by Amy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Amy | 8939 comments I don't normally care for non-fiction, and there were probably more than a few places I skimmed more than read - looking to see what would capture my interest. But let me tell you, there are more than a few gems in there. I love Thomas Friedman, because he has quite the pulse on things that are happening even as they are evolving. He has what they call the "eye' and the lens. But he also has heart. He feels the concepts, and the people he writes about come off the page as dimensional and alive. His whole style of writing does that.

So a few gems to share. First, Climate Change scares the hell out of me, and the ways in which acceleration and technology have changed our makeups and how we live is astounding. And yet Covid has changed and re-invigorated that in a healthy way, too. Another silver lining to a devastating time. But one of his messages is that you can't just show up anymore, to college to work, to life. You have to somehow reinvent yourself. Get engaged. No one is just going to college anymore or going to work anymore. Its how you show up and do your job or how you go to college. Its about invention and ingenuity and passion. That made sense to me and was a bit inspiring. No one can afford anymore to be uninspired.

And of course another huge gem, was the biographical part of growing up in St. Louis Park near Minneapolis, in Minnesota, and why that is the cornerstone of his optimism about the future.. Why we should go home again. Obviously there was a whole lot of recognizable and powerful names that emerged from that community and area, Tom himself, Senator Al Franken, the Coen brothers, Norm Orenstein, and Kofi Amman to name a few. There was a lot more name dropping, but that this little not well known area to the east coast produced such a talent and thrive says something. But it also reflects the values he and they came from, that hopefully we are returning to. That one is good even to the neighbors we don't like, that one sees a Parking Garage attendant as a colleague, mentee, or someone with a story. That you can be interested in anybody and everybody's stories. That change is happening and can happen, and in the oddest of circumstances. That we are still a melting pot and that we are growing, and, adapting, and that combining our values with our adaptation, with our ingenuity, there is nothing we cannot accomplish as a small community, country or world. And Oh Yeah, God is in Cyberspace - and that chapter was so beautifully stated too. So Tom, its been a pleasure. I share your optimism, and will wait for the next.


message 2: by NancyJ (last edited Aug 12, 2020 08:32AM) (new) - added it

NancyJ (nancyjjj) | 5655 comments Great review Amy.

This sounds like something I might enjoy too. I'm curious though about the hook in the title. I know that there are actually a couple advantages to procrastination, but I'm guessing that's not what this is about. Or maybe he's talking about the loss of the first mover advantage?

For thirty years I started almost every management course with an overview of external changes that were affecting organizations today (or had affected them in the past). The scope of that topic grew dramatically, and I eventually taught a whole MBA course on organizational change management. I'll need an update before I go back to work I'll bet many textbook authors will be adding something about Covid to their next editions when they discuss adaptability to change.


message 3: by Amy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Amy | 8939 comments I think the title refers to the pleasure of having a moment to sit and think and be in the present and to have a moment to sip your coffee and gather your thoughts, when a person is late. Its an enjoyment of the time and the moment, rather than praise for procrastination. Like "for the meeting or the date" rather than "on the project or deadline." Misleading I know.


message 4: by Jen K (new)

Jen K | 1444 comments Amy wrote: "I think the title refers to the pleasure of having a moment to sit and think and be in the present and to have a moment to sip your coffee and gather your thoughts, when a person is late. Its an en..."

Great review and I like this interpretation of the title a lot. There definitely is a bit of pleasure in having an extra few minutes (within reason) before a meeting.


Erik Steiner (ragingacademic) | 1 comments Amy wrote: "I think the title refers to the pleasure of having a moment to sit and think and be in the present and to have a moment to sip your coffee and gather your thoughts, when a person is late. Its an en..."

Exactly - we're typically annoyed when someone is late, or, "God forbid," completely misses a meeting ("Stands you up..."). Friedman is grateful for the precious, unexpected time made available by these occasional mishaps.

Excellent book, excellent review.


message 6: by Susan (new)

Susan Lewallen (susanlewallen) | 564 comments Thanks for a nice review. I don't read a lot of non fiction these days either but may give this a try.


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