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62 of 68 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you can't handle the truth, don't bother buying it.
I debated for a long time whether to give this book 2 stars or 5. Normally, it wouldn't be an issue -- I mean, you either like a book or you don't. The problem with this book was that I loved certain parts of it, and other parts I questioned. However, in the end I decided to give it 5 stars for one simple reason.... the author tells the truth, and sometimes the truth...
Published on January 17, 2007 by Robert L. Stinnett

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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Excellent For Some; Not Very Good For Others
I also couldn't decide for a long-time whether a 5 star or 2 star rating was appropriate. Larry's blunt drill instructor caustic style really could be very USEFUL for those who've either forgotten, deliberately ignore or never learned the obvious truths Larry delivers. It would be too easy - although largely true - to say that Larry repeats himself, rarely uses one...
Published on November 11, 2008 by Taylor Rand


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62 of 68 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you can't handle the truth, don't bother buying it., January 17, 2007
This review is from: It's Called Work for a Reason!: Your Success Is Your Own Damn Fault (Hardcover)
I debated for a long time whether to give this book 2 stars or 5. Normally, it wouldn't be an issue -- I mean, you either like a book or you don't. The problem with this book was that I loved certain parts of it, and other parts I questioned. However, in the end I decided to give it 5 stars for one simple reason.... the author tells the truth, and sometimes the truth isn't what you want to hear.

To be fair, in the very beginning the author will tell you that you will like certain parts of this book and hate other parts. But believe me when I tell you this -- the parts you like, you will love with a passion. Honestly, I have never read a business book as good as this one. It was an impulse buy at the airport while waiting for a flight and believe me, it was the best buy I ever made.

The author does a terrific job of basically telling it like it is -- work is WORK. It is not play time, it is not social hour and it is not time for doing your personal errands. He points out why our workplaces are overloaded with people who do nothing but pull the entire performance of the company down. People who should be fired, but management doesn't have the guts to do it. He also does a 180 and goes on to say that there are also companies out there who treat their employees like they are nothing -- that they think low pay and dissrespect is a wonderful way to keep those employees in their chairs and thankful to have a job.

That's part of the love/hate relationship with this book. He examines both sides of the business coin. Both the employee and the company. And when he does it he doesn't hold back any punches!

One part I particularly enjoyed was his whole take on this "team" nonsense. I'm sure you've read plenty of books about the precious team and how we all must "get along" and "work together". Well he flat out says that teamwork doesn't do anything but let the slackers hide amongst the group while bringing down productivity. Individuals wants recognition when they do something -- and a true superstar does not want to share that with anyone. They did it, they deserve the credit, not the other bunch of people who did nothing but call useless meetings to discuss the same items over and over again.

The same goes with another example he gives of superstars. Who cares if they come in at 9AM and leave at 10AM? If they are doing 4x the work of everyone else then they have EARNED it! As an employer learn that superstars work by their own rules and tell the complainers who have a problem with it that when they start doing 4x the work of everyone else then they can talk -- but until then sit down, shut up and get to WORK!

If you are an employee... READ THIS BOOK!

If you are an employer... READ THIS BOOK!

If you are a CEO... READ THIS BOOK!

Read it, undertand what he is saying and then ACT! For the sake of the employees left who still are trying to be productive and get things done... ACT!
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Excellent For Some; Not Very Good For Others, November 11, 2008
I also couldn't decide for a long-time whether a 5 star or 2 star rating was appropriate. Larry's blunt drill instructor caustic style really could be very USEFUL for those who've either forgotten, deliberately ignore or never learned the obvious truths Larry delivers. It would be too easy - although largely true - to say that Larry repeats himself, rarely uses one sentence when three will do, contradicts himself and frankly is a shameless self-promoter.

BUT if you're tired, depressed, discontented at work, his "snap out of it" truisms could get you moving positively: either doing your job better, enjoying it more or finding a better place of employment. And frankly, there are more than a few people out there who've never incorporated Larry's simple truths.

However, if you're relatively well-content in your job, doing it well, but looking for some solid non-intuitive tips to getting ahead, then this isn't your book. You'll see behind the "stop whining" bluster that other reviewers have already pointed out.

Larry's the king of the obvious, prince of the basics; but sometimes the basics are needed. If Larry had written a dating handbook, he'd tell you to shower more, wear clean clothes, stand up straight, etc. and talk to the girl. If he'd written a personal finance book, he'd tell you to spend less than you earn and have savings. If Larry were coaching baseball, he'd explain the rules and tell you to keep you eye on the ball.

Well, ok, Larry, but some of us need more help when stepping up to bat. I'm not saying I didn't enjoy or benefit from Wingate's opinions - it's far better to have tough love than to keep complaining alone or with others - but there's a lot more in earth and heaven than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well worth reading, January 23, 2007
This review is from: It's Called Work for a Reason!: Your Success Is Your Own Damn Fault (Hardcover)
This is a well written, easy to read book that contains a wealth of great information. Larry's style is in your face, confrontational. And no doubt some of what he says will rub you the wrong way, most of it is right on target.

He starts with the basics. If you are looking to place fault, find a mirror. He has a lot of fun attacking many of the stupid things businesses do. He constantly tells us to stop and think about what we are doing and make sure the why we are doing it makes sense. Good advice for so many businesses we are all forced to deal with on a daily basis.

He tends to make broad general statements and then makes other statements that might not be in total agreement. For example, he says that you should fire any employee that is dishonest. We all know that there is no such thing as total honesty. (Remember Diogenes spent his life looking for the honest man.) There is degrees of dishonesty. Later in the book, under "Short Lessons" he tells us that "People will generally lie to protect themselves." This is a truth. What you really need to learn is that if you make it too expensive for anyone (spouse, child, employee) to tell the truth, they won't.

He also cites the oft told story of the three brick masons who were asked what they were doing (but he fails to properly credit the story to Sir Christopher Wren - the architect responsible for rebuilding St. Paul's in London). He finds fault with the third brick mason because he saw a higher purpose in his work. But he does tell us that the major job of a leader is to share the vision of the buisnes with all the employees.

All in all, it is really a good book with lots of sound advice. He does fill the book with very interesting stories and talks a lot about his personal life. His "Short Lessons" are worth reading and commiting to memory. Great obeservations on life.

Don't just read the book, study it, learn form it and then put the lessons into practice.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent Book, June 18, 2008
By 
P. Monaghan (Princeton, NJ area) - See all my reviews
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The book is a good read, however it is focused towards individuals who have poor work ethic. Also, it seems that he repeats many concepts over and over. Many of the chapters seem to have the same exact concept as the one before, although it is titled and worded differently.

Good book for those lacking motivation at work. Of coarse, if they are lacking it at work, they probably won't be very motivated to read this book.

I do want to say that I have enjoyed his writings on other things, but this is defiantly the worst of his work.
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22 of 30 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars lacking substance, June 18, 2007
This review is from: It's Called Work for a Reason!: Your Success Is Your Own Damn Fault (Hardcover)
Pretty much common sense basic material. It is the 5 minute speech given by your father on your first day of college or the basketball coach before the big game. Sadly the content could fit in a well written 3 page magazine article, it definately does not need to be a book. I thought "Stop Whining" was interesting, but Winget's latest book is just a rehash and a needlessly winded one at that.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Elevation of the banal, August 21, 2010
This review is from: It's Called Work for a Reason!: Your Success Is Your Own Damn Fault (Hardcover)
Larry Winget has a pretty good thing going. He makes a lot of money traveling the country and yelling at large groups of strangers to live their lives by what most of us would call common sense. And he makes as much money for one speech as some of us make in a year.

In this book, one thing he stresses is the importance of branding (even though he claims to hate that word) yourself so you can highlight your uniqueness and separate yourself from the competition. Larry has certainly done that. His professional dress puts him somewhere between a Hell's Angel and a carnival worker.

Another part of Larry's branding is that he's the "Pitbull of Personal Development." If Larry thinks the way you're living your life is stupid, he'll say it to your face. Thing is, this style of professional tough love was cliched 20 years ago. But enough people apparently want to be beaten into submission, and Larry keeps on doing his thing.

The first troubling thing about the book I noticed is that the margins are extremely wide--lots of white space. This is something you do when you want to make your book seem more substantial than it really is. It starts off nice and easy---if not obvious--with bon homilies like "Keep it simple" and "Results are everything." But then it strays into questionable territory by saying that "your results are your own damn fault" and recommends becoming "the employee your company can't live without." Sounds logical, but it ain't true, Larry, at least not anymore. Great employees lose their jobs (I know--it's happened to me) because either 1) the company did poorly, or 2) the boss was a jerk and didn't know any better. The "indispensable employee" no longer exists.

Larry is so caught up in his own wild style that he contradicts himself throughout the book. We get an ethics lesson in which he tells us that anyone who will lie about the little things will lie about the big things. Nope, Larry, you're wrong. Sometimes telling a small lie in order to protect someone is the best thing you can do. Then Larry tells us to practice what we preach, obviously something he doesn't do: he tells is that there is no grey area in ethics--either it's wrong or it's right; and then goes on to justify stealing hotel towels. He also could not understand why airline security would take a small plastic knife off his person and complained about the inconvenience it caused him. Larry, those things are pretty sharp, especially when you sink them into someone's neck. He lays down the law about employee/employer relations, saying that he's sick of the whole "family" thing and birthday parties at work, claiming that workers are not a family; you're supposed to work together, no more, no less. Then he goes on to say that you should give your employees fun and happy, personal rewards when they do well.

Larry recommends that we "Look great and dress well." Well, I don't know what you call that costume he's wearing on the book cover, but that's exactly what it is---a costume, and it certainly isn't business-like. Larry further sends your head spinning when, after complaining that people don't know what working hard and regular means anymore, says that if you're an employer and you're tired, you should go see a movie in the middle of the work day!

Larry then relates a bunch of stories about lousy customer service and recommends that you should always complain. Why? Because "it just might make the company or individual think twice about the service they give the next guy." That's not true, either. People who give poor customer service do so because they don't care. And the reason is because their boss doesn't care, either. If you complain, they will only get angry, be happy to see you leave, and then treat the next person just as poorly. Self-help people love those phrases that promise possible results: "It might lead to..."; "Perhaps it will make..."; and "It may cause..." That's what you say when you have no proof that anything you just recommended will work.

In one customer service story he couldn't understand why a store owner didn't want to sell him the entire stock of a certain cigar. I can tell you, Larry: because you're only one customer. He may never see you again, while if a bunch of people come in and buy the cigar, chances are they'll all want to come back. He'll make more money that way than if he only had you coming back. It's basic economics.

Larry admits he smokes cigars and eats high-fat food, which fit his rough-and-tumble image. His justification for harming his health? "You are going to die of something," as if taking care of one's health was a silly notion. No, that's not true that we all die of "something." Having an unhealthy lifestyle means you will take a lot longer to die than a healthy person: lying in a hospital with lung cancer, mouth cancer, or cardiac disease and clogged arteries, and dying very slowly. Meanwhile, healthy people his age or older will be outside exercising in the sun.

Effective advertising has been called "the elevation of the banal," and that certainly fits what Larry is doing here. The truth of this book is that it is almost all common sense, but Larry turns common sense into a show and makes it seem like he's the first one to think of it. Trouble is, in many companies, common sense amongst management and staff has indeed taken a back seat, and they need people like Larry to show them the way, especially in places lacking in anything remotely qualifying as creativity.

I like Larry. I like his in-your-face attitude, and his intolerance for whining and low self-esteem. And he does hand out some good suggestions in this book. But even his basic---and as I said, almost everything is indeed basic--suggestions for how to succeed are prone not to work anymore, because of the economic situation. That is, of course, not a reason to give up. But succeeding in the workplace is not as easy and simple as he makes it out to be.

At the end, Larry summarizes the entire puffed-up tome of 236 pages into seven short sentences. Is that worth a $26 cover price? And then, he rhetorically asks if this stuff will work. His answer? "Beats me. It might. It might not." Do you really want to buy a book filled with techniques that the author himself can't recommend?

I paid $5.98 for this hardcover book, as it was in the local store's bargain bin. That's 23% of the original cover price. Based on the amount of useful information in this book, and its conclusion, I paid too much.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sometimes the Truth hurts - Take control of your life, January 3, 2010
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This is a great book for anyone who wants to become better at whatever they do. In it, Larry teaches simple lessons that almost anyone can apply to themselves and their lives. The underlying message? Take personal ownership and responsibility for your life, your actions and your dreams. Take pride in what you do and how you do it and you will be successful. Larry didn't really teach me anything in this book that I didn't already know. It took him and his book however to bring it back to me as over the years I had let many of the basic truths it presents, slip away. I had become something of a whiner and a complainer. I slacked off at my job. I was not the shining example of the person I wanted to be or wanted others to see me as. And sadly, I don't think many of you are any different. That's why so you few people are living the lives they really want. The good news? We all have the power to change and reset our compasses and our lives. I'm lucky that I still have a very good job, home, family, friends etc. I am making it my mission to be the person I've always wanted to be. And for that I owe a thank you to Larry and his book for "waking me up". Larry talks tough and direct and if you aren't really ready to look yourself in the mirror and see flaws and problems, you probably won't like the book. If you're ready for honest self evaluation and self improvement, pick up a copy today.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars He calls himself an IRRITATIONAL Speaker for a reason...., February 8, 2007
This review is from: It's Called Work for a Reason!: Your Success Is Your Own Damn Fault (Hardcover)
Larry Winget is un-American.

He actually believes that people should take personal responsibility for their success or failure. This runs so counter to the grain of the "I am a victim" mentality of modern America but is a bracing dose of fresh air. Motivational speaker, or I should say self proclaimed irritationll speaker Larry Winget calls himself the "pit bull of personal development." With his bald head, hook nose, goatee and flamboyant cowboy boots, he looks something like Mahatma Gandhi at a Harley-Davidson convention.

Looks aside, Winget preaches an incessant in-your-face sermon that is at times infuriating, often entertaining but always challenging. He is down on much of American business and feels that most companies and organizations are working on a fractional capacity of what they are capable of accomplishing. That is why they call it work for a reason!

Winget has traveled many thousands of miles in his profession as a motivational/irritational speaker, so you can imagine the war stories he has about hideous customer service. They would be appalling if they weren't so hilariously funny in their idiocy. Let's just say that you might think twice before staying at another Doubletree Hotel or shopping at Radio Rhack.

Winget's message is timely for our age and is delivered in an easy-to-read, humorous and unapologetic tone. He will not be everyone's cup of tea, but he is totally okay with that.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Work is . . . work, February 1, 2014
By 
KLM (Chicago, IL) - See all my reviews
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What a concept. It takes work to be successful at work. Larry reminds us to "work to live" and not "live to work". Often people forget that they have been hired to do a job for a company to be successful. That means they need to put forth the effort to get results. That will lead to personal success.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Irritational Speaker, January 11, 2011
By 
Andrew Everett (Santa Monica, CA USA) - See all my reviews
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In It's Called Work For a Reason, Larry Winget rants about problems in the workplace, especially the lack of productivity and the abysmal level of customer service. He calls himself an Irritational Speaker to differentiate himself from the 5000 competing motivational speakers.

While I agree with most of his observations and opinions, there are a few points where I think he misses the mark.

He says that constructive criticism is stupid, because construct means to build up and criticize means to tear down. That's a stretch. I think most people understand constructive criticism to mean offering a suggestion for improvement.

He writes, "When the new employer calls the old employer for a reference, the old employer can't legally say anything bad about the person." That is not exactly true.

In a couple of sections, he derides branding as a hot new buzzword of the day. Then he goes on to say, "I am a brand. I worked hard at establishing that brand." First of all, branding is not new. Procter and Gamble introduced Ivory soap in 1879 and has been building brands ever since. Second, it is inconsistent to ridicule branding and then brag about building your own brand.
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It's Called Work for a Reason!: Your Success Is Your Own Damn Fault
It's Called Work for a Reason!: Your Success Is Your Own Damn Fault by Larry Winget (Hardcover - December 28, 2006)
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