SMALL DECENCIES by John Cowan

SMALL DECENCIES

Reflections and Meditations on Being Human at Work
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 Cowan, once a working priest, now a management guru, presents more than two score sermonettes advocating general probity in the world of mammon. Doffing his Roman collar to join the suits, the quondam cleric successively joined the Ordinance Division of Honeywell, a consulting firm, and then Control Data before finally becoming a self-employed ``facilitator'' and consultant on leadership, teamwork, and goodness in commerce. Rather than a punchy action program, Cowan offers easy philosophy, often wrapped in platitudes, rarely in attitudes. He is to fierce self-promotion what Barry Manilow is to M.C. Hammer, with a smooth, folksy style, digestible if not taken in one gulp. Unfortunately, the text is more about the author and his Deep Thoughts than an organized guide for the perplexed about their niche in the marketplace. ``Give me the tiller every time,'' he proclaims from the deck of his beloved boat. ``I want to steer.'' Too many of Cowan's little homilies are tied to his evident love of sailing. (The book jacket might well bear a warning to those prone to mal de mer.) The morality of these pieces is unimpeachable, naturally, and salted with the merest hint of malarkey. This is a self-helper that teaches unperturbed cooperation and ``nurturing'' as organizational skills. A small, well-written work, decent enough, that gives no real prescriptions: It's simply a sentimental get-well card for those suffering from corporate malaise.

Pub Date: July 1st, 1992
ISBN: 0-88730-559-8
Page count: 144pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 1992