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Book Review: What Makes You Tick?
Posted By Ron On July 14, 2009 @ 2:43 AM In Book Reviews,Motivation | Comments Disabled
I was thrilled when Harper Collins contacted me to begin reviewing their new books but What Makes You Tick was a let down. The book DID make some good points and I’ll review them here.
To begin, the book’s authors, Michael Berland and Douglas Schoen, assert that there is no one way to achieve success, but that success is achieved by enhancing your innate skills. Don’t try change your personality (it never works anyway), but use your own personality to chart your own course.
The book asserts that many people confuse success with winning, and I think that’s a valid point. Though they can be sometimes intertwined, they aren’t necessarily the same. Success is more of an internal, emotional, and personal thing whereas winning is usually much more quantifiable. Winning can be part of success, but it is just functional to successful people and is simply something they do along their path to success.
The authors break down successful people into four primary categories:
All that information was in the first 14 pages, the next 257 pages are “interviews” that read more like a questionnaire answered by the different people that the authors put into one of their five categories. Wait. FIVE categories? I thought there were four! They slipped one in without any discussion of it and made the book a little confusing. The fifth category was Independents Who Follow Their Dreams and that section follows the same “interview” process.
The “interviews” begin with what feels like an introduction at a graduation ceremony, and follows with the interviewee writing about his or her ideas, history, failures, ideas, thoughts, and philosophies. In essence, the book was written by interviewees and edited by the authors.
The interviews are rambling, some are vaguely interesting, many are quite boring. Some are very short, some are far too long, and none really seemed to follow the premise of the book, namely finding out what makes someone “tick?”
Late in the book, the authors reveal their political leanings and it’s the same old, tired, Bush bashing rhetoric. Yes, they actually mention names and say that Bush was a bad, “independence seeker” who lost interest in the Iraq war and Obama is a great, natural born leader who’s election to the Senate was a natural progression in his quest for goal achievement (conveniently forgetting that the highly popular Republican he was running against was caught up in scandal late in the campaign). In reality, Obama fits the classic “do-gooder” profile, serious, idealistic, pursuing what he believes is the greater good over the interests of the organization as a whole, and a management style based on personal contact and connections. Then I read that the authors were Democratic strategists and it all began to make sense. “Natural born leader” is much more flattering. When you look at who all they “interviewed”,” it really shows through. At some point, all this political nonsense needs to end.
Don’t buy. Period. This wasn’t a particularly inspirational or motivating book and held no information that isn’t readily available on this blog or any one of a number of others.
Hopefully, my first review of a Harper Collins book won’t preclude me from an invitation to review others,. Even though the first 14 pages and the last 6 pages were well written and somewhat informative, this book struggled to reach the level of “mediocre at best” in my opinion.
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