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Playboy contributing editor Littman (coauthor of The Art of Innovation) and Hershon, comedian and branding expert, offer a guide for surviving corporate life, flush with clever nomenclature for specific types of exasperating co-workers, such as the "Stop Sign," who always has a reason your idea won't work, or the "Bulldozer," who bullies his projects through the system. But rather than offering constructive ways of collaborating with problematic colleagues, Hershon and Littman spend most of the book suggesting ways to avoid them altogether by being a "soloist," a corporate loner who taps into innovative reserves rather than bending to be a team player. The authors give examples of such successful soloists as Craig Newmark, corporate misfit and founder of Craig's List. While amusing and filled with entertaining examples of antisocial geeks who made good, the aim and audience of the book is unclear. The reader is left wondering if it is better to opt out of corporate life altogether rather than have to confront co-workers who exhibit chronically unacceptable behavior. (June)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Posted October 18, 2009
Posted August 2, 2009
This is an interesting non-fiction book that talks about how to make time for yourself at work to pursue your own interests. By setting time aside for yourself, and working solo, you will find that you will come up with great ideas and become more productive.
There are quite a few modern-day companies, like Google for example, that are used to show that breaking away from tradition is often times a good thing. One thing that really surprised me was that taking a nap at work has actually been shown to improve productivity. This would be a great thing to mention to your boss.
The main idea that I got from this book is that the "cave" is something you need to retreat to in order to become more productive and re-energize yourself. This can be your cubicle, a space in your house, or even your car. The important thing is to try to find a place where you can have uninterrupted thoughts. Here, in your "cave", is where you'll get creative when you think like a soloist.
In order to deal with the most common type of people you'll run into at the office, the kind that get in your way and try to sabotage your ideas, this is a must read. I call it office survival reading.don't leave home without it!
Posted July 2, 2009
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For A Select Crowd , July 2, 2009
By Michael Gooch "Author of Wingtips with Spurs:... (Texas, USA) - See all my reviews
As a current corporate director of human resources, I am on a continual quest for books on people management. That is, "good" books on people management. With this work by Jonathan Littman and Marc Hershon I have found a book that is both good and fun to read.
In my role in HR, the majority of my work deals with the conflicts between people that hate each other. It's true. When we really boil down our human resources related issues, it usually involves two different `types' that cannot get along. I noted these details in one chapter of my book, Wingtips with Spurs however Littman and Hershon have carried my observations to a more in-depth level.
While I applaud anyone that can pull off the `solo' career, for the vast majority this is just not possible. In fact, even with a solo career, you will be faced with having to occasionally interact with Mr. Stumbling Block, Ms.Wrong Turn and Time Waster, Jr.
This book is primarily written for people that believe it would be best to work alone. I think this way of thinking is wrong on several levels but I fully understand the mindset. For those of us who must live in a normal society both inside and outside the corporate arena, Jerry Spence's How to Argue & Win Every Time: At Home, At Work, In Court, Everywhere, Everyday offers an instructive read on how to get along with almost everyone. I have read all of the others by the Big Name authors and Spence's book stands head and shoulders above them on actual practicality and usefulness. Also, Don't Bring It to Work is a great guide in this area.
Again, I must say this is a good book and very fun way to spend the afternoon.
I hope you find this review helpful.
Michael L. Gooch, SPHR
Posted June 25, 2009
Designed for navigating pitfalls and stop signs in the workplace, I HATE PEOPLE! helps you identify the top drains on your time and resources and teaches office jujitsu tactics to help wrest back your time.
Divided into four parts, the book first identifies and classifies each of The Ten Least Wanted who pose the greatest threat to getting your work done in the office. Without going into a full discussion of The Ten Least Wanted, here they are:
* Stop Sign (like the Kodak executive who predicted digital cameras had no future)
* Flimflam ("expert at identifying people to do her bidding")
* Bulldozer ("wrong decision is better than indecision")
* Smiley Face (think Batman's Joker - constantly smiling with something up his sleeve)
* Liar Liar
* Switchblade (Judas)
* Minute Man ("Do you have a minute, I just have one thing...")
* Know-It-None (full of facts, but most of which are useless or wrong)
* Spreadsheet (Obsessive micromanager)
* Sheeple (avoids making decisions)
The second part of the book introduces the concept of Flying Solo. If you enjoy your work but not distractions from people around you, then your best solution would be to become a successful Soloist. As a soloist, on your best days, you are someone who works effectively with small groups and on your own. By sharing the stories and techniques of successful soloists from a broad range of industries and companies, the book develops a clear picture of how a soloist works.
The last half of the book deals with the work environment. The third section, Office Life, incorporates The Ten Least Wanted with the constraints and demands of office life, such as constant interruptions, disruptions, unreasonable expectations and demands, and excessive rules and red tape. While the last section, Spaces and Places, discusses the need to carve out your own "personal cave" - whether you work in a bull pen, a cubicle, office with a door, or occasionally from home.
The advice and strategies are interspersed with enough anecdotes from successful soloists to make I HATE PEOPLE! both helpful and interesting read. I'll spare you the comments about how I would have loved to read this while working at Big Law or any similarly predictable remarks. I do think the book's strength is that it helps identify the difficult people and situations that we absorb, acquiesce and live out on a regular basis. I look forward to trying out several of the suggested strategies, such as being more sensitive to and wary of the Switchblades around and trying a "hard stop" with my Minute Man.
I'd recommend this book to anyone who feels frustrated in the office and is looking for ways to eke out more time and autonomy.
Posted March 12, 2011
No text was provided for this review.
Posted April 21, 2011
No text was provided for this review.