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

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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WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD

A LIFETIME OF RECORDINGS

Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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