A cynical manual that features valuable, if often depressing, insights.

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The Success and Confidence Manual

An engineer and trainer discusses the maneuvering that really leads to job and business success in this debut how-to guide.

If a person wants to triumph at work, competence alone likely won’t cut it. That’s because, the author writes, “today, you climb up the ladder, not on your skills, but on the strength of your demeanor and a failure to make observable mistakes.” Thus, an employee must gain mastery in what Matlick terms “the banal arts…bsing, backstabbing and brownnosing.”  In this guide, he takes readers through various scenarios and examples of this philosophy, including how to be a smooth talker, how to “cover your butt at all times,” and how to lie effectively. In 30 chapters, Matlick touches on a variety of topics, including the power of the dismissive put-down (he suggests responding “Oh well” to “whatever they say”), and how to snag a job “especially if you know zip” (one suggestion: place an ad to collect résumés, then interview and even steal the documents, references, etc. of respondents in your desired field). He outlines how to “add strength to your demeanor by building self-esteem,” which includes focusing on appearance (“dress one level up from your peers”) and looking purposeful (stand up/sit straight; look people in the eye), competent (always be calm and unhurried), analytical (“do more asking than telling”), decisive (“do not waste time”), and confident (“you know the art of small talk, and you aren’t tense with superiors, and you talk about challenges, not obstacles”). Matlick, an engineer as well as a “personal success and confidence trainer,” is certainly passionate about his world/work view, an emotion underscored by his putting many words and even complete sentences in all caps and boldface type. This formatting makes for a rather hectoring narrative, yet the book also contains plenty of sad-yet-real-world truths, including that flattering the boss may well be a key tool in advancing one’s career. But some of Matlick’s ideas compete and conflict with each other. He advises readers to consider backstabbing “your 2nd language,” but also urges them to cultivate a demeanor that “makes people want to be around us.”

A cynical manual that features valuable, if often depressing, insights.

Pub Date: July 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-692-24784-6

Page Count: 288

Publisher: GSP Press

Review Posted Online: June 15, 2016

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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IN MY PLACE

From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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