Back with a book ...


Well, as noted in my last post here, I got tied up with a humongous freelance project over the past month and a half, and as it progressed it went from taking up 8-10 hours a day to as much as eighteen hours per day.  Needless to say, I had very little time for anything else, which included reading either books (for review features) or Twitter (for those Friday "link dumps").  However, with that project over, I'm back to being able to give some attention to this blog.

I thought I'd get back into the swing of things by featuring a book that I'd read in early December, but only got around to reviewing this past weekend.  This is another of those "it's not about the job search, but it's good for you" sorts of books, and I highly recommend it.  This is Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard by the Heath brothers (Chip and Dan) writing team.  I'd been at an event way back in March of last year where Dan Heath was speaking, and part of the deal was free books (signed, even) for the attendees, but because this was sort of "in between genres" I didn't get around to reading it for quite a while

I was certainly pleased when I did, as this is quite an engaging book, looking at how one can create change in one's life, in one's company/organization, and even in one's society (various case studies from different contexts are all through the book).  As I note in my review, this is the best explanation for the "emotional pitch" that I've ever read, putting what I typically feel is a near-fraudulent approach (targeting fear, avarice, lust, envy, etc.) into a plausible context.  They use a model of "The Elephant" (the non-rational, emotional self) and "The Rider" (the thinking, controlling self), along with "The Path" and show how these need to work in careful coordination to make change happen.

Sprinkled throughout the book are remarkably counter-intuitive study results ... and amazing ways that some people have managed to produce substantial institutional change with simple, but highly evocative, displays of "what's wrong" with a situation.  For the job seeker, this is one of those books that the hiring managers have probably read at this point, so being able to refer to it would be a bonus in an interview setting!

The Heaths lay out a general plan that provides guidance for creating change on a wide array of levels, although due to the breadth of the contexts possible, it's not set up as a "manual" per se, but more of a guide book on how to find your way from point A to point B.  They have a program featuring three things to address when dealing with "The Rider", three things to address when dealing with "The Elephant", and three things to address when dealing with "The Path", and, generally speaking, using this template will allow approaching most settings with at least the outline of a plan for change.

This was one of the better books I read last year, and, as always, more details are over on my review site if you want to check that out.

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