In Search of the Lean Six Life

Smarter, not harder. Preferrably A LOT smarter.

If it ain’t broke… I still want a shot at making it better!

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I am a fixer.  I like having things to fix.  If I’m not fixing something, I become fidgety and anxious, and then I turn my need to tinker on myself.  I’m not broken, per se, but I’m sure I can always be better.

Thus, on my reading/listening list you’ll see a lot of books that are most easily classified as “self help” although a lot of them are “spiritual” and – especially lately – there is a smattering of business-related reading thrown in as well.

I’m done (or as done as I’m getting, anyway!) with my current “On Deck” titles, so before I get new ones let me say a word about the old ones.

Making a Difference by Being Yourself: Using Your Personality Type at Work and in Relationships

The book is based on using your Myers-Briggs Type Indicator preference to talk about how you can get increased job satisfaction by focusing on what types of difference you can make. I was drawn to this book because I’m constantly kvetching that I don’t feel like I make any difference on the job.  Any book that promises to help is worth a read.  And I did find it VERY satisfying.   This whole time, I have been defining “making a difference” in a very grand way.  Nurses make a difference.  Physical therapists make a difference.  People who work every day with people to make their lives better – those are the people who make a difference.  Those of us with IT careers are doomed to irrelevance, left hoping that our technological traces someday have some impact on the lives of an anonymous user we will never know.  When I saw the title of this book, I couldn’t pass it up!

Some people poo-poo MBTI and similar personality type frameworks as having as much basis in reality as astrology.  Personally, I found that knowing my type has helped enormously in understanding why I respond the way I do in various situations.  And _Make a Difference by Being Yourself_ was just as helpful.  It focuses on the middle two letters – the core of your personality – and then gives various scenarios on how people with that type can make a difference on the job (and in relationships, for that matter).  I am an “NT”, or “Visionary”, and we love being the expert, the advisor, the person who explains things in such a way that others “get it”, the forward thinker, the big picture promoter, the advocate for progress.  After reading the chapter on Visionaries, I understood what makes a “good day” for me on the job.  Whenever I help fix a problem or teach somebody something new, or demonstrate how a great new idea will help make things better, that is a good day.  Whenever someone doubts my competence, or whenever I think nothing I do will ever have a lasting impact – that progress is basically impossible – that’s when I come home from work frustrated and angry and looking for a new job.  Since I actually like what I do (most of the time), just this bit of insight alone was worth reading this book.  Now when I feel that anguish in the office, I’ll be better equipped to deal with it and move on.

I think anyone who knows they should enjoy their job, but somehow doesn’t, should read this book.

Lazy Man’s Guide to Riches (Audio Book)

I am glad I did not spend the money on this book.  I have to agree with several Amazon.com reviewers who despaired of the extent to which Richard G. Nixon drowned the original author’s content with his own.  Since I never read the original 70s version, I was left to speculate how much content was “original” and how much was “new”.  My personal guess is that most of it is new.  The only thing which sounded like it could be original was some of the “believe in yourself” type stuff, and the ultimate punch line: the “secret” to the lazy man’s guide to riches is Direct Response Marketing.  This apparently translates to “advertise EVERYWHERE about your product.”  Um, ok…you still have to have a product or service to sell first.

A particular beef I have about the eBook – which I accessed for free with my library card – is that it kept. on. referring. to. the. workbook.  I didn’t have a workbook, and on several occasions I found myself frustrated at what seemed like FINALLY getting to the good part when the narrator would say “See your workbook for more details.”  ACK! 

I didn’t finish listening to the whole thing… the last several chapters were specific to internet marketing (again, not part of the original content), and when I want to read up more on that I will find a book specific to the topic.  I’m moving on!

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