Glow: How You Can Radiate Energy, Innovation and Success by Lynda Gratton
|Glow: How You Can Radiate Energy, Innovation and Success by Lynda Gratton|
|Category: Business and Finance|
|Reviewer: Ruth Price|
|Summary: Glow is a useful and readable guide to success in the workplace, with many ideas beneficial for life outside the world of work.|
|Buy? Maybe||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 248||Date: March 2009|
|Publisher: Financial Times Prentice Hall|
|External links: Author's website|
Have you ever read a self-help book and found that simply reading the first chapter tells you all you need to know about any wisdom contained therein? Well, fortunately with Glow by Lynda Gratton – that's not the case. While its essential principles are neatly summarised in the first chapter, the remaining chapters, packed with pleasantly jargon-free examples, are well worth reading for anyone interested in improving their working life, forming empowering networks and thinking creatively.
Lynda Gratton is a psychologist and Professor of Management Practice at the London Business School; she writes elegantly and for the lay-reader, peppering her text with numerous memorable examples of business people whose ability to radiate enthusiasm and reach out to others have enabled them to build innovative businesses and implement fresh ideas.
The key principles mentioned in the opening chapter, and explored in depth throughout the rest of the volume, are cooperation, reaching out to others by networking and finding an inner quest by asking audacious questions. The first two are hardly original in a volume on business; however, they are extended in interesting ways through the use of questionnaires, interactive models and illuminating anecdotes. Gratton also has a website for readers to plot their progress and refine their skills.
Glow isn't entirely free of jargon – Gratton's previous book, is referred to (Hot Spots: Why Some Teams, Workplaces, and Organizations Buzz with Energy - And Others Don't), and like Glow, Hot Spot is always Capitalised And Italicised, as are other words and phrases. However, although I do find this kind of branding a little irritating, it does make things easier to pick out and remember (when you aren't distracted by thinking about it being annoying). Another minor bugbear for me was, despite Gratton being British and London-based, US spellings are used throughout. I presume, to use one of her phrases, this makes Jumping Across Worlds a little easier.
Some examples of individuals Gratton uses to illustrate her text are more convincing than others; I liked her story about the audacious question asked by Indian motor manufacturer Ratan Tata – Why can't we build a one-lakh car? which ultimately resulted in the production of a very low budget family car; also, the story of the Lynx chocolate-fragranced deodorant coming about by a serendipitous meeting between people with very different working backgrounds. However, unfortunate Fred who worked alone and struggled, and fortunate Frank who cooperated and flourished didn't have quite the ring of truth. I don't think networking and asking for feedback from others is always the solution to creativity - products and ideas have also lost impact by being watered down, committee-style into so-called acceptability.
Thanks to the nice publishers, Financial Times/Prentice Hall, for sending this useful manual to Bookbag. I think people thinking of a career change, or managers wondering how to improve cooperation and build networks in their existing workplace, will find it helpful. There's also a short but perfectly-formed bibliography, which those wishing to do further research in related areas will find invaluable.
Further reading: For more ideas on becoming successful, try What Got You Here Won't Get You There by Marshall Goldsmith. For a jargon-free overview of management ideas, Bookbag recommends Guide to Management Ideas and Gurus by Tim Hindle. You might also appreciate How to Win: The Argument, the Pitch, the Job, the Race by Dr Rob Yeung.
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You can read more book reviews or buy Glow: How You Can Radiate Energy, Innovation and Success by Lynda Gratton at Amazon.com.
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