April 28, 2014
Staff Picks: No Bullsh*t
The red tape, the unpleasant processes, the difficult tasks, the challenging co-workers, the negative environments, the unfair advantages, and the list goes on. Yes, it's true, there's a lot of "bs" in business, but the path through it becomes much clearer by reading the new book by Geoffrey James titled, Business Without Bullsh*t: 49 Secrets and Shortcuts You Need to Know. Whether you're a manager of people, or simply a manager of your own work and relationships, this book has essential tips for making the day-to-day stuff more productive, and the long-term projection more successful. As James states, we're all essentially freelancers in this regard, and should therefore be more in control of our actions and our relationships. Consider this excerpt for starters:
Inherent in the obsolete notion of job security is a management hierarchy: you work for a boss, who works for a bigger boss, who works for the CEO, who works for the board of directors, which works for the investors. While that structure still exists in the corporate world, when you're a freelancer, it no longer makes sense to think of yourself as "being managed" by somebody else. A boss is more like a client or customer, which means you must manage the relationship. Similarly, the old concepts of what it means to be the boss are increasingly meaningless. Your employees - the ones who are smart and therefore "get" that they are freelancers - aren't going to fall in line just because you've got a job title. That's just the start. As a freelancer you must be capable of managing not just upward and downward, but sideways as well. You must influence and convince your coworkers to help you achieve your goals, usually by helping them achieve theirs. Finally, and most important, you must learn to manage inwardly, controlling your thoughts, habits, and actions so they serve your greater purpose.Though certainly thought-provoking and insightful, the 250+ pages of the book aren't theory-driven essays or long-researched case studies. They're quick, digestible, easy-to-act-upon chapters of clearly communicated ideas. And at that page count, means it's chock full of helpful ideas you can start right now, if not doing, than at least having a better understanding of. This is the kind of book you'll read, and then keep around for when situations come up, like asking for a raise, performance reviews, looking for a new job, participating in meetings, earning respect, offering criticism, hiring, firing, negotiating agreements, handling stress, spotting lies, and communicating better. Like I said, it's chock full! If you think there's a lot of "bs" in business, first off, make sure you're not the one causing it (this book shows you how), and keep this book as a handy guide to make your life, and your company's, more enjoyable, more successful, and without so much of the negative stuff that holds us back.