Missing Persons: A Life of Unexpected Influences

‘The meaning and power of memory’

Review by Grady Harp

Dr. Bruce Piasecki is the author of nine seminal books on business strategy, valuation, corporate change, and sustainability, including his most recent works, “The Surprising Solution,” “Doing More With Less”. As President and Founder of The AHC Group, Inc., a management consulting firm specializing in energy, materials, and environmental corporate matters he has worked with many global firms such as Hewlett Packard, Whirlpool, Toyota, and DuPont.

MISSING PERSONS is a unique experience for the reader. Written in the third person, as though writing a novel rather than a memoir, Bruce explains the core philosophy of a ‘man who, propelled from an impoverished and fatherless childhood, became an internationally, sought-after resource for the world’s largest corporations.’ Less reportage than poetic prose, this is a set of 70 moments alluding to people and incidents that influenced his life.

The manner in which Bruce shares his formative relationships and experiences is rich in intimacy and longing. We, the reader, are introduced to his mother, and father, his interracial brothers and sisters, his early and late business partners, his lovers, his daughter and his wife. His subtitle for the book, ‘A Life of Unexpected Influences’, is far more meaningful that a subtitle usually suggests. The manner in which Bruce uses his memory as a construct to explore his maturing and his enormous success as a businessman results in a most unique reading experience. At times witty and lighthearted – such as the moment in his Introduction as he learns how to pronounce his Polish name form his grandfather: ‘This was the beginning of my ability to see myself in the third person, which is how I have written my story. You can blame my name.’ At other time his words are deeply moving as in the portion titled ‘A Funeral Message’: His mind goes there whenever he thinks of his mother. She is there, somewhere in the abbey. She is there – everywhere – in literature. She is always there, his Missing Person.’

Bruce Piasecki’s book is luminous, especially for those of us who are finding ourselves reflecting on the past attempting to understand the present and predict the future.

ISBN: 9780757004124

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