A lean, general-purpose business-success guide that largely treads familiar ground.
This debut work by self-made Australian businessman and international speaker Oxford addresses such success-related topics as making positive change, building self-esteem, improving communication, resolving conflicts, setting goals, and using feedback from others. The author exudes enthusiasm and offers tidbits of useful advice that draw from his own experiences. Oxford writes, for example, “If we continually absorb negative feedback and we believe this, this will become our destiny.” About having the will to succeed, the author advises, “The strategy is always to drive, not to be driven; lead, not follow; always have that petrol tank quarter full; and have 20 percent of your healthy energy in reserve every day!” Readers may also benefit from one of the long chapters about communication, which the author writes is “the essence of success”; Oxford discusses and explains three types of interaction: voice communication, “non-voice communication and physical language,” and “action listening and paraphrasing.” That said, a lot of the author’s topics have been covered repeatedly in many other books. Most chapters run no longer than four pages of text, including an occasional full-page cartoon, so the content often feels abbreviated; at less than 75 pages, including the index, there isn’t much room for any depth. Overall, the book is hampered by informality and a lack of precision, and the prose can be awkward and uneven. For example, most chapter titles are, appropriately, short phrases, such as Chapter 2, “Managing and Understanding Self-Esteem,” but Chapter 3’s title is woefully overlong: “How do we start reprogramming and programming our control centre for a much better life and for great success, let’s stop talking about it and get on with some simple—however effective—strategies!”
A well-intentioned, sincere work that’s heavy on inspiration but light on substance.