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Book Review – Miserable @ Work

  

Miserable @ Work by Dr. Will Miller

Humor, misery and work rarely fit together so easily as they do with this light-hearted look at what’s really troubling many people in America today. I don’t want to spoil the fun for readers, so I’ll just say what many may already intuitively know. The misery ain’t all about the work!

One example of the humor injected into this book is a quote about the lack of exercise when the author was younger. “The whole time I was growing up, I never once heard any of the adults in my life use the words, ‘abs, pecs, glutes or reps.’ Complimenting someone on their abs could easily get you kicked in your glutes.”

The topic of workplace misery is one that will be of interest to anyone who feels like they’ve lost the joy they once had in their profession, as well as to leaders who wish to help those they lead find more engagement in their work. There’s no doubt that happy employees are more productive, which affects the bottom line; however, there’s a higher calling for most leaders who genuinely want their employees to see value in what they do for a majority of their waking hours.

The book balances good advice based on Dr. Will’s life experiences with solid support based on academic research. This approach helps overcome the naysayers who may suffer from self-help fatigue.

This short and relatable book is one that I’ll be sharing with those I lead as well as a few peers I thought of while reading the book over a recent weekend.

The book builds upon the common-sense advice Dr. Will argues for in his previous book, Refrigerator Rights. Other books and information from Dr. Will are available at www.drwill.com

This book review was completed by Alvin Plexico, PhD. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I was not compensated for this review, nor was I asked to write a positive review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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New Power Book Review

It’s not often I use the term, “page-turner” to describe a work of nonfiction; however, this is an accurate description of New Power by Jeremy Heimans and Henry Timms. I took the book with me on a trip for work and found myself wishing the flights and layovers were just a little longer, so as not to interrupt my reading. I even read the book in my hotel room at night after the workday, which was a mistake a couple of nights because I found myself reading instead of getting the sleep I needed.

The subtitle of the book is, “How power works in our hyperconnected world – and how to make it work for you.” What makes the book so compelling are the heavy doses of relevant examples sprinkled throughout each chapter. Some of the case studies are familiar, but many are not. The diversity of the case studies makes the work relevant to just about anyone interested in how to successfully navigate our world of instant communication and connection.

As an aside, I appreciate how delicately the authors shared insights about politically sensitive topics without pandering to or demeaning either side of the political divide. The sensitive topics they explored made the book relevant to many of the issues we face today, and they did a nice job highlighting hot button topics without alienating people across the political spectrum.

Heimans and Timms build on their own highly-successful experiences through a fascinating exploration of others who have used new power. They offer examples of how old power is often insufficient for success in today’s fast-paced, global environment. They also share recommendations for tapping into the art of blended power, which brings old and new power together to create a type of synergy between the two.

As a student, teacher and lifelong practitioner of leadership, I especially enjoyed their insights, “about leadership in a world of colliding – and overlapping – old and new power forces” (p. 162). The authors use their New Power Compass to describe how people lead. For example, “The Crowd Leader combines a new power leadership model with a commitment to, and articulation of, new power values” (p. 162).

The only criticism I can offer is that The Future: A Full-Stack Society outlined in the final chapter seemed a little vague to me and perhaps even somewhat Pollyannaish. There were examples offered to show how this might work, but it was hard to imagine how these recommendations could transcend across multiple, diverse organizations and societies. Perhaps others who read this will come away with a better idea of how this could work, or perhaps the authors will continue exploring ideas for future research that they can share on their website.

Overall, I really enjoyed this “page-turner” and highly recommend it to others who wish to learn more about how power works in our new, hyperconnected world.

More information about the book is available at www.thisisnewpower.com, Twitter: @thisisnewpower, Facebook.com/thisisnewpower.

This book review was completed by Alvin Plexico, Ph.D. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I was not compensated for this review, nor was I asked to write a positive review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 

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Principles of Communication-Based Leadership by @CliffWGilmore

Principles of Communication-Based Leadership by @CliffWGilmore

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S.M.I.L.E. #commoncourtesy #respect #inspire

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Note: I originally posted this in October 2015. In light of recent events, I thought it might be time to dust it off and share it again. Of course, there’s no “simple cure” for the complex nature of the issues we’re facing as a nation. I offer this as one way to start.

I’d love to hear your feedback. Consider this an open invitation to comment below.

Reposted from October 14, 2015

Have I ever mentioned how brilliant my wife is? We’ve had several conversations recently about the general unrest and the growing racial tension seen in story after story on the news.  While we didn’t come up with a fool-proof strategy to end it, we both felt like common courtesy and a positive approach would go a long way. She came up with an acronym, borrowed heavily from the old S.E.R.V.I.C.E. idea that businesses have used for years.

S – See people — really look at them — not with judgmental eyes or even colorblind eyes, but eyes that appreciate the inherent value of every human being.

M – Make eye contact.  I know it’s not always comfortable, but without it, how will they know you’re acknowledging them?

I – Initiate contact. Doesn’t have to be complicated, just a nod, a smile, a “good morning” or a “how are you?”

L – Listen for a response. How many times have I heard a “have a nice flight” from the agent at the airport ticket counter and responded, “you, too.”  I wasn’t really listening.

E – Excuse. If you don’t get a response, it’s less than enthusiastic or even downright hostile, understand that there are all kinds of situations going on that we don’t know about but could have influenced that response.

So make the world a better place and S.M.I.L.E.

 

 

 

 

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The bookish football star

Regardless which team you hope wins the #Superbowl, I believe we can all agree that Malcolm Mitchell is already a winner through  @ReadWithMalcolm as The Bookish Football Star

 

 

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When These Muscles are Fitter Your Brain is also Fitter

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When These Muscles are Fitter Your Brain is also Fitter

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Measuring Creativity: We Have the Technology

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Measuring Creativity: We Have the Technology by Werner Reinartz in Harvard Business Review

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