Book Reviews: The Slight Edge, Basic Black

June 9, 2009

Short and sweet reviews from a couple of recent reads:

The Slight Edge: Secret to a Successful Life , by Jeff Olson

One of my favorites in a long, long time. Discussing the topic of why the successful are successful when so many others are not, Olson proposes that it’s all the little things that matter. The broke and unsuccessful could have achieved the riches, power, and success if, consistently over time, they had only accomplished one teeny tiny extra thing a day. The things that we do every single day, all of those tasks that don’t seem to matter? Yeah, those! Do all of those things, plus one extra. Day after day after day. A powerfully simple concept that leaves your brain swirling with thoughts of productivity, the power of daily tasks compounded over time, and paying attention to the little things. What little things are you missing that are making all the difference? They make up the slight edge and that edge makes all the difference. Highly recommend.
5/5 stars

Basic Black: The Essential Guide for Getting Ahead at Work (and in Life) , by Cathie Black

A great corporate guide, taught through detailing Cathie’s life. It’s very, umm…corporate, though. That’s where Cathie created and found her success, so from the entirely different viewpoint of an entrepreneur it’s a bit bumpy to travel page after page. A slew of pros and cons come to mind. Pro – each lesson holds its own and is separated into tidy categories of Drive, Risk, People, Fear, Power, Passion, Attitude, and Leadership. Con – the shear number of them drags you down a bit. Pro – her corporate experiences are varied and some of the off-the-wall reactions she’s had to situations over the years made for some interesting recounts of experiences and lessons learned. Con – Cathie has been in the publishing industry her whole career which can begin to bore a reader not particularily interested in story after story within that line of work. And finally, Pro – case studies dot the spaces between chapters providing an interesting inside peek into the deals that go down in the publishing industry, and neatly wrap around to the lessons previously discussed. Summary: a strong here-are-my-experiences-and-what-you-can-learn-from-them book, very corporate, 50 pages too long.
2.5/5 stars

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