October 23, 2003
Jack Covert Selects: Jack Covert Selects - Who Really Matters
The subtitle of this book was what caught my eye, along with the incredible resume of Art Kleiner. After all, he helped write The Whole Earth Catalog and The Fifth Discipline series. I have been on this planet long enough to experienced exactly what Kleiner is talking about in this book the energy propelling every organization is the desire to satisfy an internal core group of people, and he shows why understanding the expectations of this group is the key to success. Kleiner explains that core groups differ from organization to organization. They are often the most senior people but not necessarily. Now that is all nice and good, but what does it do for me? Kleiner has a paragraph which I think both gives you an idea of how you should deal with this issue and what a breezy fun writer he is:
Your challenge is not to protest against the Core Groups existence, but to become more conscious of the dynamics of your particular organization, until you can see clearly the choices you have: to find a route into the Core Group yourself (if thats possible and it fits your own temperament); to leave for a different organization in which you feel more fulfilled; to start an organization of your own (and thus create your own Core Group); or to build an effective career as a transactional employee, taking advantage of the myriad ways in which working for an organization can improve your life and work.
What I especially like about this paragraph is that it contains useful information you dont normally see from thinkers like Kliener. He is actually getting to the nitty gritty of what you can do when you look at the world through enlightened eyes.
Folks, this is the best kind of business book. It brings to light something that you have seen but didnt recognize. It shows you how to use this information for your own good. And, all of this is done with incredible scholarship. To put the cherry on top, it is actually fun to read (I usually have a hard time saying that about most business books). Read this book, learn and enjoy.
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.