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Who Moved My Cheese - Spencer Johnson
This particular book is designed as an analogy within a maze, and looks at how various issues such as stubbornness, over-analyzing, and fear can over-complicate many things that are generally and usually very simple. This over-complication can make anything, even life itself, extremely unbearable. The book is basically designed as a way to help all of the readers to get the most that they can out of any situation while increasing their levels of confidence and remaining content with what is going on in their lives. Even though the title to the book is somewhat strange, the book is important reading and is not full of cliches and other concerns that would be expected based on the title. Very few things in life remain the same for very long, and the book covers and emphasizes how one should not only be willing to accept change, but actually be willing to capitalize on that change as much as possible.
The book wants people to ask themselves questions such as what they would do if they were not afraid to do it. The story that is contained in the book is rather short, but it is very much to the point of the issue, and then the book reflects on how the story can be applied to the lives of others. There are many examples, therefore, of how overall wisdom can be taken and applied to whatever is taking place in life, regardless of the specific situation. The situation can be anything from running a business to personal relationships, but there are ways to handle issues that come up, and the overall understanding of change is at the heart of the book and what the author is trying to get across.
The One Minute Manager - Kenneth Blanchard and Spencer Johnson
Generally, first-time managers are very nervous and unsure of themselves. Being a manager is often difficult, but when one has never done it before, it can be particularly difficult until that person adjusts to what he or she should actually be doing in the job that he or she has been given. Generally, managers that are just starting out try to model what they do and the way that they speak after others that they have seen in the same type of job. If the role model that the new manager has is good, this is perfectly acceptable, and may work out well. However, if the role model is bad (and the new manager often will not realize this because he or she is inexperienced) the problems that this can cause can be extensive, especially if there is no one else that can help direct the new manager to keep him or her from making large and costly mistakes.
This book, "The One Minute Manager," provides a strong and very positive role model for managers that have not yet seen a good manager at work. For those that have seen a good manager at work in the past, the book helps to provide a strong sense of reinforcement. However, the manager is not the only person in the organization that has good ideas that are worth discussing. If only the manager's ideas are used, there will not be much that will get accomplished. This book addresses how to open up and stimulate the thoughts and minds of everyone that is in the organization so that more can be accomplished where change and growth are concerned. The advice in the book is definitely worth following from the point-of-view that it is effective, but it does more than that. The book makes managers feel better about themselves, both professionally and personally, as well as making the employees that report to the manager feel better about what they are doing and where the organization is heading in the future.
Parables are used in the book to help all that read it reexamine who they are and how they are doing, while making sure that the reader does not feel the need for defensiveness. It is important, when reading the situations in the book, to be aware of what one's personal gut instincts would have been in those situations so that the point can be taken as to how much one's behavior must change to be truly effective. There are many books available on the issue of management, but this particular book is one that is worth reading much more than once. Part of its appeal is that it is rather short and very easy to read - the stilted and academic language of many business books is nonexistent here and the book overall is very well-written and easy to understand.
Raving Fans - Kenneth Blanchard and Sheldon Bowles
Like many other business books, including the one just discussed, this one is also written in the story-telling or parable style. This seems to be a very popular way to create business books, and it seems as though they are easier to read and more likeable when they are written as stories as opposed to when they are written as dry and academic texts. Generally, this book is about customer service, as businesses are beginning to realize just how important this is. It used to be very important, but then the interest in it seemed to wane for some time, before coming back when companies realized just how dissatisfied many customers really were with many issues regarding business.
There are both good and bad issues regarding the book, depending on what the reader was hoping to get from it. The book is good in several ways, including the fact that it is so easy to read and understand that literally almost anyone could read it; the point that the authors are trying to make is clearly stated and comes across quite well; there are wonderful illustrations throughout the book; and customer service has been so problematic in the past that the book is extremely timely in what it has to offer. There are some problems with the book too, however, in that the authors never really discuss what business implications might be seen from what the characters in the story actually do. They talk about the love that the customers have for the product or the service, but they neglect to talk about any of the problems or implications that might be seen from what the characters have done.
This is important due to the fact that business is, ultimately, about making a profit. It is important that customers are happy so that they keep returning, but companies are not able to please all of the customers all of the time, and they must not try to please every customer at the expense of making any profit at all. The investment in customer service, in other words, must be 'worth it' to the owner of the business, or there is no actual point in making the attempt.
Fish! - Stephen C. Lundin, Harry Paul, and John Christensen
Fish! Is also written in the parable style. The goal of this particular book is to be able to improve the operational results and boost the morale within a business organization. There are four key points that the authors address in their philosophy, which are:
Play - have fun and create energy at home or at the office.
* Make their day - how can you engage fellow employees, customers and make each other's day?
* Be Present - How can you make sure you are fully available and aware during conversations with people? It is about create a greater sense of intimacy between individuals.
* Choose Your Attitude - Each day you choose how you are going to act or which "side of the bed" you wake up on. The choice is yours and the way you act affects others.
There are many books that use parables in the field of business, and they are all both good and bad. This book is a very quick read for most people, even if they generally do not read that fast, and it is extremely good at illustrating just one specific point. Workers attitudes are showcased in this book, and these attitudes can impact the work setting very easily. Also pointed out by the authors is that many people do not really understand just how much of an impact their attitude really has on the work setting, the home setting, or the quality of life that they have at either one of these places. Since this book is relatively short, many people will be willing to read it, and therefore it will have a chance to help a lot of people.
There are, however, some problems with the book as well. It seems great, but many individuals will not know how to implement what they read. The authors also do not mention that, in order for the ideas in the book to work well, employees must be able to…[continue]
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