Dad of Divas' Reviews

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Book Review - Mission-Critical Leadership: How Smart Managers Lead Well in All Directions

Mission-Critical Leadership: How Smart Managers Lead Well in All Directions



About the Book
Typical leadership development focuses on a single direction: downstream in the organizational hierarchy. Leadership that is mission-critical requires that you lead well in all directions: up, across, down, and inward. Mission-Critical Leadership is the book for you if you have ever:
  • Felt stuck in your job
  • Been frustrated with your boss
  • Experienced a lack of cooperation from peers at your same leadership level
  • Wondered why the team you supervise fails to perform to your expectations
This guide will show you how to build influence and relationships that deliver impactful results. With these strategies your organization will have more engaged employees, better talent retention, and a plan for developing the next generation of leaders. When the stakes are high, smart leaders focus on what’s mission-critical to cut through the clutter, clear away distractions, and ensure their teams are devoted to what’s truly essential.


My Take on the Book
I am always looking for books that have practical advice, especially when it comes to being a better leader. This book provides you just that! The book examines what the author calls the four aspects of leadership: leading yourself, leading up, leading across, and leading down. In the book the author has broken the concepts into three parts and how you can set up a plan to incorporate the four steps of leadership into your own life. As you read through this book you can tell that the author really knows his stuff and he is very generous in the information that he provides! This is a great book for everyone that wants to be a stronger leader!
 
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Monday, April 12, 2021

Book Review - The Creative Mindset: Mastering the Six Skills That Empower Innovation

The Creative Mindset: Mastering the Six Skills That Empower Innovation



About the Book
"Jeff and Staney emphasize that small acts of creativity can have huge consequences and that ordinary people can do extraordinary things if they can see the opportunities in front of them." --Mitch Jacobson, Executive Director, Austin Technology Incubator, UT Blackstone LaunchPad, University of Texas at Austin.

Nearly all of today's major innovation workshops and programs call on organizations to drive innovation. What they miss is that innovation comes from the personal creativity of individuals. And creativity doesn't require an advanced education or technical skills--all employees can be creative. Often, all they lack is a fitting mindset and the right skills.

The Creative Mindset brings how-to advice, tools, and techniques from two master innovators who have taught and worked with over half of all Fortune 500 companies. Jeff and Staney DeGraff introduce six essential creative-thinking skills that can be easily mastered with limited practice and remembered as the acronym CREATE: Concentrate, Replicate, Elaborate, Associate, Translate, and Evaluate. These six skills, sequenced as steps, simplify and summarize the most important research on creative thinking and draw on over thirty years of real-world application in some of the most innovative organizations in the world.

It's time to rethink the way we make innovation happen. Individual creativity is an immense untapped resource, and you don't have to be Beethoven to make a big difference. As the spirit of chef Gusteau proclaims in the Pixar classic Ratatouille, "Anyone can cook."





My Take on the Book
If you are looking for a book that has practical examples that will help you to be even more creative, this is the book for you. The book is written in a way to be able to teach you how to reframe your own brain and processes to help you bring more to the work that you do on a daily basis. This book helps you see that creativity is not something that you are born with, but something that you can learn to do, and a way to look at the world and the things that you do personally and professionally. The authors have used the word CREATE to help readers to understand the six skills of creativity: Clarify, replicate, elaborate, associate, translate, and evaluate. The authors do a great job at walking you through these skills and provide you with practical examples you can use to start making changes of your own. This is a must have book for anyone that wants to jumpstart their own creativity! 

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Saturday, April 10, 2021

Book Review - Practically Poppins in Every Way: A Magical Carpetbag of Countless Wonders




About the Book

Practically Poppins in Every Way is a magical carpetbag containing countless wonders and "a bit o' magic" that will captivate, inform, and entertain readers of all ages.

Ever since 1934, when Mary Poppins descended from the skies over London into Cherry Tree Lane in the beloved book by P. L. Travers, the world has adored the enchanting adventures and peculiar wisdom of this magical nanny.

For more than eight decades, Travers's staunch but charming heroine has been beloved in the pages of eight popular books-and in media-from movies to stage, and music to television, all around the world. Then Mary Poppins lit up cinema screens again in a magical, musical incarnation. Mary Poppins Returns-a colorful and charming new story and a sequel to the 1964 classic-featured an all-star cast and brought to life by a stellar creative team.

Practically Poppins In Every Way is a showcase of the varied creative forces that have brought Mary Poppins to life, generation after generation. It is accompanied by erudite and informative text, essays, and observations by creative luminaries such as Cameron Mackintosh, Thomas Schumacher, Gavin Lee, and John Myhre, as well as renowned Disney authorities Brian Sibley, Jim Fanning, Paula Sigman Lowery, Craig D. Barton, and Greg Ehrbar. This colorful and lavish showcase is a rich, vivid, and frequently surprising visual document of the development behind the stories of Mary Poppins on the page, screen, and stage.

A perfect gift for the Disney movie fan in your life!


My Take on the Book
As a huge fan of Mary Poppins, this is a beautiful book that gives you great info on the history of Mary Poppins as well as an intro to the movie too. The book looks at some great history of Mary Poppins, includes, PL Travers books, the original movie, Saving Mr. Banks and the new movie too. The book is full of great images from the making of the movie and more. For anyone that loves Mary Poppins, you will enter this book with a smile on your face and anticipation in your heart for what is to come and you will leave it feeling completely fulfilled and embraced in the magic that is Mary Poppins. This is a book I would encourage for all!

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Book Review - The Haunted Mansion: Imagineering a Disney Classic

The Haunted Mansion: Imagineering a Disney Classic



About the Book
WELCOME, FOOLISH MORTALS, to the Haunted Mansion, one of the most popular attractions in the history of Disney theme parks.

The Haunted Mansion: Imagineering a Disney Classic explores how the attraction's "999 happy haunts" were brought to life. Rare early concept sketches, detailed architectural drawings, and stunning still photography illustrate the Mansion's evolution as it was designed and built at each Magic Kingdom park around the world-including Mystic Manor at Hong Kong Disneyland.

Our tour begins here with a twistedly thorough third edition. Based on the retired title The Haunted Mansion: From the Magic Kingdom to the Movies, this newly updated volume confirms or debunks longstanding urban legends, shares fascinating behind-the-screams stories, and reveals how concepts move from inspiration to reality. Readers will discover the latest show enhancements to this classic attraction and find even more artwork depicting the happy haunting grounds in California and Florida as well as Tokyo, Paris, and now Hong Kong.

This is one book you'll be dying to have on your shelf!


My Take on the Book
My family are huge fans of the Haunted Mansion. We love everything about it and make a point to do what we can to visit the ride, usually multiple times, when we visit the park. That being said we did not know a lot about the development and creation of the ride itself. This book does a great job at providing you the history of The Haunted Mansion as well as information around the storyline, design and more. The book gives you a complete view of the mansion and you will learn so much! The cover of the book even glows in the dark! If you love The Haunted Mansion, you will truly love this book! 

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Book Review - Maps of the Disney Parks: Charting 60 Years from California to Shanghai

Maps of the Disney Parks: Charting 60 Years from California to Shanghai



About the Book

This deluxe Disney atlas is bursting with gorgeous park maps from around the work and across the six decades!

It all started with a map. . . . Maps of the Disney Parks are more than just atlases used by guests to find their way to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. They are snapshots of a place and time, relics treasured by collectors, and gorgeous pieces of artwork. In fact, it was a map (imagined by Walt Disney and drawn by Herbert Ryman) that was used to sell the idea of Disneyland to investors. Unfold this book of beautiful maps from when the very first Disney Park opened in 1955 right up to today. Discover details on how and why the domestic and international parks have changed over time, and enjoy sixty years worth of skillful creativity.


My Take on the Book
This is a great book for anyone that loves Disney parks. The book is full of concept arts, maps and more and really allows you to see not only what is but also what might have been. The artwork throughout the book jumps off the page and really draws you in. I loved that the book went all the way back to the original Disneyland concepts to even more recent concepts. The book is a collectors must have and something that you will keep learning from each time you open it!

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Sunday, March 28, 2021

Activity Kit Review - Disney Villains Cross Stitch: 12 Wickedly Fun Patterns

Disney Villains Cross Stitch: 12 Wickedly Fun Patterns



About the Cross Stitch kit
They’ve got style, sass, and schemes! Over the years, Disney has created some epically evil villains. From cold-hearted Cruella de Vil in 101 Dalmatians to sea witch Ursula from The Little Mermaid, Disney villains are definitely scene-stealers and style icons! And they’ve never been more popular.

So grab your hoop and some edge to your needlework with this colorful kit featuring twelve projects inspired by your favorite antagonists. All twelve projects include a witty overview highlighting fun facts about each villain, easy-to-follow patterns, and full-color photographs to help you visualize your projects.

You'll receive:
  • Bamboo embroidery hoop
  • 10 skeins of embroidery floss
  • 2 pieces of cross stitch fabric
  • 2 cross stitch needles
  • 48-page instruction book

The materials included in the kit allow you to complete two of the projects. Both the kit and your finished projects make great gifts for your friends and family who appreciate the glamorous dark side.



My Take on the Cross Stitch Kit
If you are a fan of Disney, but also love to cross stitch, this is the perfect gift. Whether it is for yourself or for someone else, the Disney fan of villains will be completely transfixed to what this kit offers. You get amazing patterns, and while you will not have enough fabric to make them all, you do have the ability to make two of them. My daughter has been a fan of the villains in the past and this really allowed her to dust off her cross stitch skills to make something unique for her room. She was so excited to make this, but also to share it with us and her friends (which she does not usually do). All-in-all I was really impressed with the patterns and the kit itself and you will too!

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Book Review -101 Dalmatians: Spot the Difference

101 Dalmatians: Spot the Difference



About the Book

Count, whistle, clap, and more inside this interactive bedtime read-aloud starring the puppies from Disney’s One Hundred and One Dalmatians!

Where’s Waldo meets Press Here inside this adorable One Hundred and One Dalmatians picture book that will have kids tilting, turning, and shaking the book to spot the Patch, the mischievous puppy who has stolen the first page of the book!

Meet Patch― and remember what he looks like!

He is going to cause some trouble in this book and disappear among his ninety-eight Dalmatian siblings. Have fun spotting the difference between Patch and the other puppies by counting, whistling, clapping, and more!

Spot the Difference is the perfect book for:
  • Parents looking for a fun, interactive read-aloud book for their kids
  • Kids who love Disney's One Hundred and One Dalmatians
  • Readers looking for a great bedtime that is entertaining for the whole family


My Take on the Book
This book was a lot of fun and for a family like ours that used to love reading through Where's Waldo books, this book brought back smiles to our whole family. The book itself has you looking everywhere for Patch, one of the ninety-eight Dalmatians. Get ready to see spots as you look for him, but that is all a part of the fun. This was a fun book for the whole family!

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