The Peace & Power of a Positive Perspective



Question: If we added clever titles to our Situation Reports and Progress Reports, would it make for better reading by our managers? 

Yes, yes, I know… you can’t judge a book (or Report) by its cover.  Which according to Wikipedia originates from the English idiom “don’t judge a book by its cover” a metaphorical phrase which means “you shouldn’t prejudge the worth or value of something, by its outward appearance alone”.  But I digress. 

One of my favorite book titles is Hope is Not a Strategy© by Rick Page.  I like the title because it can be applied to so many of life’s challenges, true?  I liked the book too, within the context of the sales profession – where we have to go out and find business vs. hoping business will somehow find us.  

The other day I saw a book titled,  How to Work for an Idiot © by Dr. John Hoover.  WOW!  That may say it all, right?  Question:  If I’m a Manager, do I buy that book for my people?  Alternatively, if they but it for themselves and I see it on their desk, what do I do?  What if they have dog-eared several pages?  It brings to mind words from our favorite, Unknown Sage:  

Owen’s Theory of Organizational Deviance:

Every organization has an allotted number of positions to be filled by misfits.  

Progress Reports, and Situation Reports – do you put titles on these for your manager?  It can be amazing sometimes how out of touch a Manager can be with his/her staff, don’t you agree?  Question:  Is the objective of your Progress Report to keep your Manager informed of your progress?  Or, is it to help your Manager show his Manager that he really isn’t uninformed?  Hmmm 

Another aspect of Progress Report writing is when we write our report; then (and sometimes, only then) we get a call from our Manager.  Now, she wants to discuss what’s in our Report.  Question:  If we are going to talk about it anyway, why did we have to write it in the first place?  Back to our Unknown Sage: 

Sweeny’s Law: 

The length of a Progress Report is inversely proportional to the amount of progress. 

Yes, I find titles often influence my reading priorities.  Of course, not every book (or Report) with a catchy title is a great read.  But at least it gets me started.  How about you?  Do book titles influence your reading priorities?  Here’s one that’s on my to-be-read-list,  What Got You Here Won’t Get You There © by Marshall Goldsmith. 

If you are interested in catchy book titles that, as it turns out, are petty good reads as well, I’m happy to offer these suggestions: 

Don’t Squat With Yer Spurs On © by Texas Bix Bender.  Cowboy logic applies very nicely to many of today’s business settings, don’t you think?  Henry Ward Beecher said; 

The common sense of one century is the common sense of the next. 

Then there is Leadership Secrets of Attila the Hun © by Wess Roberts.  The book description on 

Attila the Hun-the man who centuries ago shaped an aimless band of mercenary tribal nomads into the undisputed rulers of the ancient world, and who today offers us timeless lessons in take-charge management. 

Aimless band of nomads – has he been reading our Situation Reports? 

And to help you with your Situation and Progress Report writing, might I recommend, Only the Paranoid Survive © by Andy Grove? 


Did you like this little ditty?  You might enjoy my book, too:  The Peace & Power of a Positive Perspective©  Please check it out Subscribe.


One Comment

  1. Jim Anderson
    Jun 18, 2012

    My favorite is ‘How to Work for an Idiot’ and I can think of a number of persons that will benefit from it. I’m safe on this one as no works for me!

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