July 17, 2008
Jack Covert Selects: Jack Covert Selects - Good Is Not Enough
It's no secret that the leaders of America's largest corporations do not reflect the makeup of our country's population. Looking at the CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, there are: four African Americans, four Latinos, five Asians and 13 women.
Why is this still true in corporate America and how can we change it? This is what Keith Wyche tries to resolve in Good Is Not Enough, written with Sonia Alleyne. First, he suggests that not only is there a managerial issue to be dealt with on the corporate level, but that employees themselves must do things differently to make it in today's business world.
If a company's culture is counterproductive, it can be hard regardless of what you do to stay, get promoted and bring about change. So, get out. Find some place better. Once finding a new organization, the authors discuss how to "fit in" and make the corporate culture work for you, explaining that this can be accomplished by changing perception (how one is seen), visibility (making oneself accessible), and knowing when to move over/get out, find a mentor, and be more prepared. Each focal point has its own chapter and contains several examples and explanations.
Chapter 6, in particular, deals with the skills that one must have to excel in the corporate world, and applies to everyone making their way up in business. If you cannot communicate, don't have some leadership skills, and can't be a team player, you won't get far in any organization. Wyche counsels employees not to look for Gold Stars at work. In the workforce, just doing great things isn’t enough. You often won't get noticed by just doing outstanding work. You need to meet with your superiors, show others what you've done and let them know that you're there if they need you.
Good Is Not Enough demonstrates how minorities in the workplace can, and have, overcome obstacles to thrive in previously uncharted territories of corporate America. But the lessons laid out here are useful to anyone in the workforce who is underappreciated or thinks they may not be reaching their full potential within their company. With any job, some aspects are easy to change: how you approach a job or present yourself. Others are impossible. This book is a guide to the pieces that one can change to help overcome the challenges that one can't change.
About Dylan Schleicher
Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.