Book reviews: Reach The Next Level

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Three new books in the Ford Library collection are designed to power your career to the next level.

Pfeffer, Jeffrey. Power : why some people have it–and others don’t. HarperBusiness, 2010.

Stanford professor Jeffrey Pfeffer shows that good performance on the job is not enough for career success. People who are more skilled politically are perceived to accomplish more on the job, and achieve more in their careers, than their less savvy coworkers. Pfeffer describes personal qualities that bring influence, such as confidence and empathy, and shows how to build personal networks. He discusses how to speak with power and to project confidence so that others will be inspired to follow.

Spaulding, Tommy. It’s not just who you know : transform your life (and your organization) by turning colleagues and contacts into lasting, genuine relationships. Broadway Books, 2010.

In this autobiographical self-help book, a popular kid with below-average grades and a learning disability grows up to become a CEO of a nonprofit and a leader in his community. He accomplishes this by cultivating his leadership potential. Spaulding argues that relationships based on trust and respect lead to influence, which he uses to help other people. He encourages readers to make the world a better place by developing deep, meaningful relationships without regard for personal gain. Written in a conversational tone, this deeply personal book contains countless stories from Spaulding’s personal and professional life.

Peters, Thomas J. The little big things : 163 ways to pursue excellence. HarperStudio, 2010.

Tom Peters (In Search of Excellence) offers an odd little book derived from postings from his blog, 2004-09. This collection of ideas and observations begins with “1. It’s All About the Restrooms!” To paraphrase: a clean and attractive restroom shows that the establishment cares. Random selection “132. If the Envelope Doesn’t Fit, Forget It” compares the customer service at Starbucks and Whole Foods to a mailing from Stanford Graduate School of Business with an enclosed envelope ill-fitting to the alumni survey. Sadly, this disjointed collection of thoughts does not transfer well from blog to print.

© Reviewer: Meg Trauner & Ford Library – Fuqua School of Business.
All rights reserved.

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