Otting, Laura Gassner. Limitless: How to Ignore Everybody, Carve Yor Own Path and Live

Reason read: work

The emphasis of Limitless is this: do not be afraid to start your own business; do not be scared to leave the rat race of working for someone else; learn how to want to be your own boss. Most of the examples in Limitless are of high powered executives and/or people who can afford (literally) to take big risks. You never hear about the McDonald’s burger flipper who cashes it all in to open a soap store. Case in point – the lawyer who took an 80% pay cut to do something she loved. The other lawyer who quit her thriving practice to start a chocolate company in her kitchen (guess it wasn’t a galley kitchen with a one-burner stove). How many of us are called to lead an expedition to Mount Everest while working at Goldman Sachs? The example of the veterinarian who went from in-clinic appointments to home visits was the first real down-to-earth example with which I connected. That was a career adjustment I could get behind. Another observation: I would argue that gig-economy only works if a), you stored up enough reserves to see you through while you are trying to find your calling and b), you have a family network willing to support you during the paycheck gaps or c), you cobble together enough jobs to pay the bills without interruption.
The mantra is finding purpose. What if you don’t know your purpose so you wouldn’t recognize it if you saw it? The trick is to harness ambition. What if you have no idea how to do that? Of course the book ends with a bonus quiz, but in order to see the results or learn anything from them, you have to log into a website.

Book trivia: Limitless includes a list of books to read.

Always Eat Left Handed

Bhargava, Rohit. Always Eat Left Handed:… and Other Secrets for Killing It at Work and In Real Life. IdeaPress, 2018.

Reason read: this was a work recommendation. Maybe because I am left handed?

Chapter titles are catchy like “Start Smoking.” He doesn’t literally mean start an unhealthy habit to get ahead in your career (although he started smoking for just that reason). He means be willing to take risks. He reminded me of the headmaster at my boarding school. His mantra was Take Risks, Take Risks. That has always stuck with me although I suck at heeding that advice. What if I am a healthy mix of taking and abstaining?
Chapters are punctuated with white illustrations on a black background. They are simple drawings on even simpler objects: an airplane window, a watch, toast with butter, an ipod playing music, a CV, Sharpie, jeans pocket, cauliflower, a high-heeled shoe, a pair of lips, a violin, a pile of books, a suitcase, cigarette, Lego, heart, eye crying, a string tied around a finger, Maybe this is a spoiler, but here are the corresponding lessons: choose your destiny, read books like choosing music for a playlist, read only what is important to you, take risks (did I already mention that?), and so on.

Playlist: Lady Gaga, Beyoncé, Ed Sheeran,

Organizational Behavior Essentials You Always Wanted to Know

Self Learning Management Series. Organizational Behavior Essentials You always Wanted to Know: Master Organizational Behavior Concepts with This Self-Study Book and Become a Leader of Better Management Practices. Vibrant Publishers, 2021.

Reason read: As a member of LibraryThing’s Early Review Program, I requested this book in exchange for an honest review.

I have to say, right off the bat, it is off-putting to have two pages of advertising followed by four pages of what the experts say at the beginning of any book. In total there are fourteen pages wasted before you get to any actual text.
What follows is a historical overview of organizational behavior, including global perspectives. Buzzwords like diversity and inclusion are thrown in along with the concept of shared services (been there, done that). I did appreciate the idea of virtual cross functional learning and the emphasis on diversity to allow for varying perspectives and opinions. There was more a focus on global than I expected and while I appreciated the concept of a reward system that not only looks at monetary incentives but a reward of a sense of belonging there was no clear example of how to reward when the practice of making employees feel like they belong should be the norm.
Everyone is all abuzz about assessments these days and Organizational Behavior is no different. The book includes quizzes but unfortunately the numbering was full of typos. Question #9 was missing option C (and, you guessed it, C was the correct answer). Another complaint was the lack of authorship. How does one critique authority when there isn’t an author to review? One last complaint was how difficult it was to download my copy. I was told I needed to read it on a Kindle. Guess what? I don’t have one of those…

Liar’s Poker

Lewis, Michael. Liar’s Poker: Rising Through the Wreckage on Wall Street. New York: Penguin Books, 1989.

For some reason people can’t bring up Liar’s Poker without mentioning Bonfire of the Vanities as well. It’s almost as if Liar’s Poker is the nonfiction counterpart to the fictional Bonfire of the Vanities. Yes, they are both about the innards of life on Wall Street in the mid 80s, but one could stand without the attachment of the other and still be entertaining.
Michael Lewis retraces his beginnings with Salomon Brothers, first as a bright eyed trainee, then as a bond salesman. It is his knack for writing that makes Liar’s Poker such a treat to read. It is bitingly funny, wicked and fun. My favorite part is about the new guy, so nervous about his first day on the job that he does nothing but ride the elevator up and down until he has the courage to finally get off, exit the building and disappear forever.

Line I liked, “In the midst of the hysteria I was suitably hysterical” (p 25).

Reason read: July is job fair month. What better way to honor it than with one of the best business books out there?

Author fact: I find this really interesting. According to the author page of Liar’s Poker Lewis was at one time “a tour guide for teen-aged girls in Europe.” Hmmm…interesting. How does that work?

Book trivia: Liar’s Poker was a best seller and was made into a movie in which Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers had a part.

BookLust Twist: from Book Lust in the chapter called “BBB: Better Business Books” (p 33).

Tipping Point

Gladwell, Malcolm. The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 2000.

Judging by how many people have Tipping Point in their LibraryThing libraries and how many reviews have been written about it I feel as though I am late to the Tipping Party. And I call myself a librarian! Sheesh!

This book was fascinating! Within the first 22 pages I was hooked. I found myself googling different references Gladwell made like the names Darnell McGee and Nushawn Williams. To explain a tipping point Gladwell used some variation of the word ‘yawn’ no less than 25 times. His point was yawning is contagious and by using the word over and over he could get me to yawn. He didn’t, but I understood his point.

Malcolm Gladwell explains the tipping point as epidemics, fast-paced mysterious changes in society such as the sudden interest in a fashion or a sharp decline in crime in an isolated area. It’s a fascinating look at why major shifts in societal influence happen so suddenly and without warning. He explains how a single idea or behavior can influence an entire population. Everything from fashion trends to severe life-threatening epidemics are analyzed. Have you ever wondered where the game Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon came from? Gladwell explains it and the root of where it came from. You can thank a man named Stanley Milgram.

BookLust Twist: From Book Lust in the chapter, “BBB: Best Business Books” (p 33).

The Last Word

I’m having a battle with my email. One of my 2009 resolutions is to pare down the amount of shouting shopping emails that sneak into my inbox. You know the ones: 70% off sale through this email offer only! Newest arrivals – first peek in this email! Keep your new years resolution! Lose more weight with this email!
Every day I “unsubscribe” to one. It’s interesting how each company handles the UNSUBSCRIBE process. Some are incredulous, “what do you mean you want to unsubscribe? Are you sure? Are you really sure? Really, really sure?” Some are stubborn to stay, “Can you tell us why you want to unsubscribe?” I almost expect them to say ‘Give us your excuse and make it a good one. If we don’t buy it we’ll continue to send you crap.’ Others make you work for the unsubscription: fill out this form, reconfirm your name and email address, give us your first born. Some sound pitiful by claiming it will take weeks to get off the mailing list. They apologzie for the emails that might continue “in the interim” but, rest assured, they are working to save your profile changes. The threatening ones are the best, “You will no longer receive announcements from —. You will miss out on great savings opportunities!” I almost expect them to add a shrug and sniff and add, “your loss!”
Today I received a new reaction to my unsubscribe request. All I had to do was click ‘unsubscribe’ and I was done. Deceivingly simple and painless. No incredulous attitiude. No forms to fill out. No apologizing or threatening. One click and supposedly I was off the list…Too good to be true. This company just had to have the last word. They not only sent a follow up email saying “your request will not be fulfilled until you reply to this email, but they also sent a confirmation that my request had been received. Are you keeping track? In the process of trying to get rid of one email they sent a total of three. And here’s the kicker – I still don’t know if I sucessfully unsubscribed!