Cover Image: Clarity in Crisis

Clarity in Crisis

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Member Reviews

When you see that a book is about leadership from the perspective of a retired CIA operative, you don’t generally think that you’re going to be able to apply what’s written in those pages to your life. You can say you will, but ultimately the author’s experiences are so set outside the realm of your own, that it might as well be fiction. Normally I would nod along, enjoy the perspective for what it was, and carry on with my day.

That was not the case with this book.

I don’t think I’ve ever read a book where I so diligently went to work applying it to my own life right away. It has really made me stop and analyze those around me, especially those in leadership roles. My emotions ran all over the place reading it. Most of what the author said aligned exceptionally well with my management style, and the way I’ve always assumed a leadership role. God. I’ve won so many Oscars. However, I have a leader in my life that falls short of the author’s guidelines, and despite constant pushing from myself and others, they’re unresponsive to the necessary change to lead the team to success. As I sit here now, I’m watching the outcome of that happen around me.

If you want a great read on leadership, the CIA ethos, and you want to find out how baseball fits into the mix, this is a great book to have on your nightstand.

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Was unsure what to expect. Nothing groundbreaking, but the author uses his life experiences to lay out solid leadership principles. This book would prove a positive addition to your leadership collection.

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Page-turning memoir of veteran CIA operations officer Polymeropolous that offers practical lessons on leadership he learned in a hard-knocks and often dangerous career field. Polymeropolous reveals his leadership advise in the form of nine principles, each undergirded by amazing, memorable stories. Most readers of this volume will not face such high-stakes consequences for their leadership decisions, but Polymeropolous' dramatic stories make his lessons easy to remember. Beyond the practical advice this book seeks to offer, it also has a high entertainment value for those interested in the realities of spy life. It may not always be as glamorous as you imagined.

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Too often, books on leadership can feel all too similar. Essentially, if you’ve read one then you’ve read them all. However, in the case of Clarity in Crisis, it doesn’t feel this way at all and I have read numerous books on this topic. The author gives extremely practical leadership lessons and information and entertains while doing so. Not an easy task but the author excels. Do yourself, and your coworkers a favor, and read this concise and entertaining book. You won’t be disappointed. Thank you to NetGalley and Harper Collins for this book.

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clarity in Crisis is an easy read that's interesting, full of insightful pointers you can use. and is written in an easy laid back style that doesn't make the information being discussed feel too heavy.

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4.5 stars

There is a lot to be said about this book. Here are the author's lessons in leadership, the principles he developed while being a CIA leader himself for over 20 years.

While these principles may be found in other books to some degree, the value of this one lies in the harsh environment and stories where they were developed, there is something eye opening, to learn about extraordinary crisis and how they can be escaped and what makes a team overcome them.

Along with this, there is also the very personal account in which all is pictured. A combination of family life, working for the CIA in foreign countries and a great passion for baseball are all intertwined here. Precisely this genuine way, this authenticity makes this a very good read! I also appreciate how the author keeps testing his principles in different environments, at times referring to other industries, but also taking them through the Covid crisis.

Worth mentioning is the inclusive and very attentive way in which this is written and how the principles are shown, emphasizing the need of the leader to always take into account the personality traits he has to deal with, how can one bring back into the game collogues who lost their way a bit and how one can help his colleagues for all to become better.

With its honesty, authenticity, empathy and strength, not sugarcoating anything but keeping a jovial sense, this book is a very good, valuable read.

I received a copy of this in exchange for my honest review.

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It has some nice info on leadership lessons, and I liked the CIA stories alongside. But when you are very good at something - as I’m sure he is - sometimes that is hard to write about while remaining humble.

He suffers from that struggle (as many do.)

It’s quick so worth the read either way, and by no means a bad book, but it’s not a must-grab for 2021.

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I enjoyed this book. It could really be considered two books in one - a collection of advice on leadership and bringing a team together; and a collection of interesting and often intriguing tales of espionage and covert action based on the author’s CIA career. The latter (along with some stories from the author’s son’s baseball teams) were used to drive the leadership narrative and give examples how the principles could be applied. Even if you’re not after a book on leadership, still read this for the CIA stories.

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The book was good and I enjoyed it but the baseball anecdotes took away from the purpose of each chapter, rather than contribute to it. I found myself losing interest before he got to the good part.

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