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Although the dynamics of business have changed radically in recent decades, the fundaments of good leadership have not. That’s the central thesis of The Truth About Leadership (Jossey-Bass, 2010), which draws on 30 years of work in the field by SCU’s James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner. In their latest book, they distill the unchanging realities of leadership from ever-changing fads, slogans, and tactics that pervade the workplace. What are the most important factors to keep in mind in the 21st century as millennials move up the ladder? Read the answer to that in an essay adapted from the book on pg. 49 of this magazine. Kouzes is an executive fellow at the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the Leavey School of Business; Posner, a professor of leadership in the Leavey School of Business, served from 1997 to 2009 as dean of the business school.
The horror, the horror
As philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche tells it, the fact that life is suffering is not what makes it unbearable. The kicker is that life is meaningless suffering. The lesson to be gained: better not to have been born in the first place. That’s the cheerful starting point in Nietzsche and the Horror of Existence (Lexington Books, 2009), a new study by SCU Professor of Philosophy and department chair Philip J. Kain. For Nietzsche, it takes an Übermensch to stand up to the meaningless suffering that is repeated over and over again, thanks to the “eternal recurrence.” After plumbing the depths of Nietzsche’s vision, Kain asks what we do with all the suffering in our world. “Compassion can protect us from despair,” he concludes; it can bond us with the sufferer and, Kain writes, “we can continue on working to reduce suffering.”
Mindfulness isn’t just for Buddhists
The concept of mindfulness—an awareness that arises through attending to the self through an open, accepting, and discerning way—is integral to Buddhist teachings. And in The Art and Science of Mindfulness: Integrating Mindfulness into Psychology and the Helping Professions (American Psychological Association, 2009), SCU Associate Professor of Counseling Psychology Shauna L. Shapiro and co-author Linda Carlson show how mindfulness applies to their profession and patients as well. “Mindful awareness is fundamentally a way of being,” they write, “a way of inhabiting one’s body, one’s mind, one’s moment-bymoment experience.” As such, mindfulness and psychology can combine to create a more meaningful, helpful, and healing experience.
Relationship status: It’s complicated
All happy families are alike, Tolstoy wrote. But when it comes to the ties that bind intimate relationships through good times and bad, things get a little more complex. In Support Processes in Intimate Relationships (Oxford University Press, 2010), SCU Associate Professor of Psychology Kieran T. Sullivan and coeditor Joanne Davila survey a broad range of research on relationships, looking at, for example, “getting what one wants,” “providing what partners need,” and support for relationships in the context of health-related problems. Collaborating with Sullivan on one essay are two Broncos, Kathrine Bejanyan M.S. ’07 (now a marriage and family therapist) and Katherine Hanson ’07 (completing a master’s in social work at Columbia University). The collection serves as a resource for researchers, clinicians, and graduate students.
Speak up, psychologist!
Assistant Professor of Counseling and Psychology David B. Feldman and Paul J. Silvia bring wit and personal experience to bear in Public Speaking for Psychologists: A Lighthearted Guide to Research Presentations, Job Talks, and Other Opportunities to Embarrass Yourself (American Psychological Association, 2010). Chock full of practical tips (e.g., bring a back-up flash drive to your lecture) and advice (how to handle that special moment when jokes flop), the book offers suggestions for transforming sweaty-palm moments in front of an audience into something enjoyable and rewarding.
Fame and the Law
Celebrities are people too, and they have rights. But they’re also a very special case. At stake: big bucks from endorsements, advertisements, and merchandising. So it’s inevitable that lawyers will become involved. SCU law professor Tyler T. Ochoa and Davis S. Welkowitz’s legal textbook, Celebrity Rights: Rights of Publicity and Related Rights in the United States and Abroad (Carolina Academic Press, 2010), examines how much control celebrities can have over their image. Celeb lawsuits on display in the textbook run the range from The Three Stooges to Tiger Woods, from Marilyn to Elvis, from Valentino to Vanna. California Gov. Schwarzenegger makes a cameo, thanks to a bobblehead doll produced without his okay. And longtime Tonight Show host Johnny Carson is here, filing a lawsuit against a portable toilet company that glommed his well-known intro “Here’s Johnny!”