At the July 7 First Friday Book Synopsis at the Park City Club in Dallas, I will present a synopsis of Eric Barker‘s best-seller, Barking Up the Wrong Tree: The Surprising Science Behind Why Everything You Know about Success is (Mostly) Wrong (New York: Harper One, 2017).
One of the first issues in the book is concerned with how safe someone ought to play in order to achieve the success that he or she desires. Should a person simply do what he or she is told?
The answer, according to Barker, is that there is no programmed, correct answer.
In the first chapter of the book, he says:
Know thyself and pick the right pond.
Identify your strengths and pick the right place to apply them.
“If you follow rules well, find an organization aligned with your signature strengths and go full steam ahead. Society clearly rewards those who can comply, and these people keep the world an orderly place. (p. 30).
“If you’re more of an unfiltered type, be ready to blaze your own path. It’s risky, but that’s what you were built for. Leverage the intensifiers that make you unique. You’re more likely to reach the heights of success – and happiness – if you embrace your ‘flaws’” (pp. 30-31).
In essence, self-knowledge allows someone to create value wherever that person chooses to apply it.
It is the choice of where that really matters.
“If you want to do well in school and you’re passionate about math, you need to stop working on it to make sure you get an A in history too. This generalist approach doesn’t lead to expertise. Yet eventually we almost all go on to careers in which one skill is highly rewarded and other skills aren’t that important.”
As I listened to Jim Leavelle at the Dallas Park City Club yesterday, I was thinking about some of my favorite books written about the JFK assassination.
Leavelle was the Dallas policeman who escorted Lee Harvey Oswald in the basement of the Dallas Police Headquarters on Sunday, November 24, 1963. Oswald was being transferred to another jail, and he was killed by Jack Ruby. He is on the left side of the photograph, wearing a hat.
Unfortunately, Leavelle has never written a book. It is my great hope that he will at least publish an “as told to” book, sharing his experiences, in the remaining years of his life.
In no particular sequence, here are my favorite books about the events surrounding November 22, 1963, in Dallas:
Five Days in November by Clint Hill (Gallery, 2013) – Hill was the secret service agent assigned to Jackie Kennedy, and he jumped on the president’s limousine to shield her as she attempted to crawl out the back of the car
Reclaiming History by Vincent Bugliosi (W.W. Norton, 2007) – despite its 1,648 pages and more than 900 additional pages of footnotes on a CD, this book by the Charles Manson prosecutor is highly readable
Rush to Judgment by Mark Lane (Holt, Rinehart, & Winston, 1966) – this critique of the Warren Commission Report should be entitled “rush to press,” as it contains so many inaccuracies they are laughable
Crossfire by Jim Marrs (Basic Books, 1993) – the best of the conspiracy theory books – I do not believe any of these, as I am firm in my conviction that Oswald acted alone – I saw Marrs speak in person in Fort Worth about this book
Mortal Error: The Shot that Killed JFK (Hunter’s Moon, 1992)- by Bonar Menninger – the most plausible alternative explanation outside of a conspiracy theory to account for the assassination; it was largely ignored by the media and public
Killing Kennedy by Bill O’Reilly (Henry Holt, 2012) – I cannot stand this guy, but this book is readable and contains material that I have never seen anyplace else, and that I doubt is even factual; as with all of his books in this series, Martin Dugard is a co-author
What about you? What are your favorites about this historical event? Click on “add a comment” below and share it with others.
On Friday at the Park City Club in Dallas, I will present a synopsis of this best-seller by Alexandra Cavoulacos and Kathryn Minshew: The new rules of work: The modern playbook for navigating your career. New York: Crown Books (2017).
You can register for this event on the home page of 15MinuteBusinessBooks.com.
One of the issues the authors discuss is whether job seekers still need resumes and cover letters, given the amount of information available about them on social media sites, such as LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter.
Here is what they say:
“Believe us, we’ve heard that question many times before. But heed our advice when we say that nothing replaces your formal resume and cover letter. Not your LinkedIn profile. Not your impressive personal website. Not your articulate expression of your skills and talents in your informational interview, or your well-written email to the hiring managers. These are all important, of course. However, you absolutely still need to have a polished resume and cover letter prepared. Because all those extra trappings won’t matter if you don’t have the right packaging to catch the eye of your target audience – the hiring managers” (p. 125).
They publish a list of resume and cover letter do’s and don’ts (pp. 149-150)
· Tailor your information
· Include quantifiable achievements
· Show, don’t tell
· Make contact information easy to find
· Stick to one page – two at most
· Check for skimmability
· Include key words from job description
· Use powerful and unique verbs
· Save as a PDF
· Share your personality
· Tell a relevant story about what brought you to the job
· Expand on your resume
· Highlight key transferable skills
· Use the company’s “voice”
· Address the letter to someone specific
· Make bullets read like job descriptions
· Include confidential information about a previous employer
· List “references available upon request”
· Neglect application instructions
· Squish it all to one page – six point font
· Fail to write one
· Regurgitate your resume
· Use stiff, formal language
· Address to “whom it may concern”
· Include a desired salary – unless asked
On Friday at the First Friday Book Synopsis at the Dallas Park City Club, I will present this best-seller:
Kouzes, J.M. & Posner, B.Z. Learning leadership: The five fundamentals of becoming an exemplary leader. San Francisco: Wiley.
If you have not yet registered, simply click here and save money from the on-site price.
The book’s authors are James Kouzes and Barry Posner. Kouzes is pictured on the left, and Posner is on the right. Their other famous books are The Leadership Challenge and Encouraging the Heart.
Early in the book, the authors address whether leaders are born or made. Here is what they say:
“Asking, ‘Are leaders born or made?’ is not a very productive question. It’s the old nature versus nurture argument, and it doesn’t get at a more important question that must be asked and answered. The more useful question is ‘Can you, and those you work with, become better leaders than you are today?’ The answer to that question is a resounding yes” (p. 4).
Just a few pages later, the authors talk about some myths associated with leadership:
Four Myths (pp. 5-11)
Talent myth – Leadership is not a talent, “but an observable, learnable set of skills and abilities. Leadership is distributed in the population like any other set of skills” (p. 5).
Position myth – Leadership is not a rank, title, or place
Strengths myth – You cannot do your best without searching for challenges, doing things you’ve never done, making mistakes, and learning from them
Self-reliance myth – the best leaders know they can’t do it alone
If you miss the synopsis live this Friday, you can access it later at 15MinuteBusinessBooks.com.
Last Friday, at the April First Friday Book Synopsis, we celebrated the beginning of our 20th year. Randy and I were overwhelmed with the many aspects of the celebration, including cards, well-wishes, and above all, strong interpersonal marketing by regulars inviting newcomers to attend.
We received some special gifts. The beautifully framed and matted picture that you see me reading to the audience was just terrific. We received shopping money for NorthPark Mall. We got a complementary dinner at the Park City Club. And, finally, we received a generous donation to our charity, Running 4 Clean Water.
I am appreciative of everyone’s input, but a special thanks to the team who drove the celebration:
- Ed Savage
- Ian Feuer
- Jim Young
- Bill Wallace
- Dan Weston
- Phil Barnett
- Russ Hicks
- Mike Davis
- Tom Niesen
- Tom Meyer
- Bronwyn Allen
- Nick Barretta
We look forward to another 20 years. Let’s do this again in 2037!