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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on June 7, 2007
First let me say: There is nothing I found in the content of Joe Calloway's "Work Like You're Showing Off!" that is original. Those readers who have read as many self-help motivational books as I have over the past five decades will be familiar with the themes presented and discussed. Those who have read such iconic works as Robert Collier's "The Secret of the Ages," Napoleon Hill's "Think and Get Rich," or Norman Vincent Peale's "The Power of Positive Thinking" will recognize and be acquainted with much of what Calloway offers in his book. So, why bother with "Work Like You're Showing Off"?

A number of reasons come immediately to mind. First, Calloway's approach to the subject is somewhat different. He uses as a basis for his recommendations the concept of "showing off," an idea which is not explicitly promoted in the works by Collier, Hill, and Peale, nor do I recall any other author using such a concept as the starting point for a motivational book. Oh, I imagine one could argue that books such as those by Dr. Wayne Dyer or Robert Ringer or Willard and Marguerite Beecher use some "showing off" principles as a motivational and personal-growth device, but I don't think they're even remotely similar to the suggestions put forth by Calloway.

Second, Calloway is to the point. That is, in a mere 109 pages and twenty-seven brief chapters he summarizes the major principles he is promoting. His book is more like a handbook of advice via aphorisms than a long, drawn-out psychological explanation and philosophical justification for what he is suggesting the reader do in his or her life for personal betterment. In fact, this book is so small, one can carry it around to consult as the need arises.

Third, Calloway offers some very interesting twists to the usual presentation of motivational principles. And he does this with prose that is both easy to read and digest and often entertaining, although he doesn't pull any punches and can be rough and tough with the reader when appropriate. But then, he has more than twenty years of field work from which to draw.

Fourth and finally, we all need a "kick-start" now and then, as well as a reminder about how we might want to act in order to achieve those goals we find so desirable. Calloway provides much advice that certainly ought to be considered. We often forget those most simple principles which can contribute to enhancing our career not only in the workplace, but in ordinary life as well.

"Showing off," at least in the way defined and described by Calloway, is a good and positive affair. So, if you need to put some "zing" in your life, whether at the office or elsewhere, this just might be the book you want to read to help you out.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
I admire people who do their jobs with flair and class, and who appear to be having a great time in the process. Joe Calloway talks about those people and the underlying traits involved in the book Work Like You're Showing Off: The Joy, Jazz, and Kick of Being Better Tomorrow Than You Were Today. It's the type of book that you should be reading a chapter from every day...

Contents: Showing Off; Grand Stupidity and Absurd Bravery; All Hat and No Cattle; Let It Go; The Gold Standard; Get in the Damn Boat and Go; As Good as You're Going to Be; We See Things as We Are; Stupid Promises; Let's Be Too Much; Imagination Will Take You Everywhere; Get Back Inside the Box; Expect to Connect; Going All In; Joe and Muhammad; We Haven't Seen That; The Pursuit of Happiness; The Enemy of Future Success; What You Think of Me Is None of My Business; Whatever Happens Is Normal; Guess What I Want and Other Stupid Mind Games; I Said I Don't Know; The Golden Circle of Ignorance; What Have You Done For Me Next?; The Power Strategy; Your Next Best Idea Is Everywhere; What Matters Most

At 27 small chapters, you could easily work through this book once a month, with a few days left over to plan and contemplate the upcoming month. What a deal!

Much of what Calloway writes about is becoming completely sold out to whatever you're doing. Learn as much as you can, decide you're going to be good at it, and then act. Many of the people I look up to in my personal and professional life are like that. It's as if they do their work and "show off" in the process. They bring their best to the table and use every bit of it without hesitation. When you think of "showing off" in that sense, you realize that it's not the negative that everyone normally connects with the phrase. It's the type of person I want to be when I show up each day.

I especially enjoyed the writing style the book. Calloway doesn't pull punches and doesn't apologize for anything. I especially liked the chapter titled Whatever Happens Is Normal. Don't be surprised when your flight is delayed by snow in Chicago in January. That's what happens in Chicago in January! Instead, take a step back and alter your expectations. Maybe you can explore some shops in the airport, get caught up on some reading, or just be amused by all the other stressed out people. Yelling and screaming at the ticket agent isn't going to change the weather or alter your situation. If you learn to accept your situation as "normal", you can get past the emotions and experience something new and different...

This is one of those books that will likely contain one or more ideas that will resonate and change your way of thinking about life. It definitely did with me, and I plan on carving out the two to five minutes each day to reinforce the material here. I think I'll be a much better person for doing so.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
As someone who reads upwards of 120 business books a year -- I will now put this book up in my top recommendations (along with Tom Peters, Peter Drucker, Jim Collins and a select few others). This is an easy to read book (I read it three times while waiting for a delayed flight -- and it was really good every time!) full of sound, straight-forward and highly useful ideas and tools. Yes, you have seen much of this before -- but that is because it is such powerful information that truly needs repetition to be burned into our brains. However, Joe covers this timeless wisdom with a new set of eyes - in an honest, frank voice that cuts through all the clutter and fluff, and delivers a fun, accessible and extremely valuable book. It is a perfect book for anyone who is struggling in their job and wants to understand what it actually takes to excel in your career -- or would be great for anyone who is just starting their work life. It is also a super book simply to remind anyone that the key to success is having fun at being really good at something of value in the marketplace.

As soon as I returned from my trip I ordered 10 copies to send to friends and colleagues -- the book is that good.

John Spence
[..]
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Joe Calloway writes like he's showing off, and that's a good thing because he's practicing what he's preaching in his latest book. I got to read the book in advance and provided an endorsement because I like Joe's witty, snappy writing style and, more importantly, his message. If you want to go beyond the mundane and work in a way that is fun and fulfilling, this book will show you how. Nobody has to do this stuff--this is for the folks who want to put more punch and pizazz into their work.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Joe Callaway is a great example of Life, heart-pounding, joyous Life. In a time period in which 5 out of 8 new non-fiction book releases are all about what's wrong with the world, this entry is like a breath of fresh air.

Remember how Mom and Dad used to tell you to stop showing off ? Well, forgot that, follow your instincts to do your best and then await the applause. Humility isn't a highly regarded commodity according to the author, and he makes a lot of good points. We all love attaboys, and following Joe's advice will get you a lot more of them !

This is an extremely upbeat book about how to put the joy back into your work and life, how to excel at each, and how to get the appreciation you deserve. This book is highly recommended.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on June 17, 2007
I adore Joe Calloway's conversational style of writing. It is a style that makes you want to do the stuff he recommends. The material is not rocket science yet it is exactly what we need to be reminded of and then finally get around to doing everyday. Joe writes great books - this is another home run.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Work Like You are Showing Off is a very delightful book to read. The book is full of wisdom. It is very short and easy to read. You can probably finish it in a couple of hours. But the value is in absorbing the wisdom and taking action on the messages.

While many of the messages have been around for a long time, Joe Calloway has a unique approach to delivering them. The delivery is never stuffy.

Some of the more important messages are:

In order to get what you want, make sure that the other person gets what they want.

If you wait until everything is perfect, you will wait forever. Do it now.

Planning is okay, even essential, but don't get too caught up in the planning process or to attached to the plan. Things change. "If you want God to laugh, tell him your plans."

As a society, we are obsessed with getting ... we have too much already. To truly get the valuable things in life, we need to give up some of the things we are holding on to. It could be old friends, habits, values, ways of doing things. Unless we give up the old, we will not have room for the new.

Try giving instead of getting.

Eliminate the negative. It will be replaced with the positive. Stop talking about what you could do and just do it. Top performers in any field have a bias toward action. Vision without execution is hallunication. Most people know what needs to be done, they just don't do it.

There are dozens of other lessons, most of them we know. The problem as Joe Calloway points out is we don't do what we know to do.

The book is a great reminder for us to gain clarity on what is important in life and do what is important. If you will follow the simple philosophy laid out, you will change your life.

Well worth reading ... a few times each year.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on July 22, 2007
The business world is realizing that fun is profitable. This amazing book will show you how it's possible. If you want to get serious about having fun you have to read this!

Work Like You're Showing Off: The Joy, Jazz, and Kick of Being Better Tomorrow Than You Were Today is one of those brilliant books that makes you want to jump up while you're reading it because you think of something you just have to do now. This insightful, not-business-as-usual book will motivate you, excite you and turn your ideas about success upside down!

Remember the last time you showed off - wasn't it fun? Showing off as Calloway defines it isn't "I can do anything better than you" it's more like "I can do anything better for you"! He explains that not only do we delight others (and win their business) when we give it all we've got - we get the biggest kick out of it of all!

In this entertaining and refreshing book (no corp-speak or jargon here) Calloway makes finding your next best idea as easy (and fun) as going shopping. In one chapter, that is just what he does! He goes to the mall to shop for ten great business ideas and finds twelve! (That's showing off!) and explains you can get valuable, profitable ideas everywhere!

This book presents more clearly then any other book I've read, how to get and stay inspired. Calloway gives you invigorating, practical and unique concepts that will stimulate you and your people to reach higher, think bigger, become top performers and have a blast!

Calloway is a visionary business consultant, speaker and author who helps top organizations around the world show off. No one can show you how to do it better. And his secrets are in the book!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on July 19, 2007
Joe Calloway has the ability to make you think while he makes you smile. You already know that if you have read any of his other books, and Work Like You're Showing Off is no exception.

In 27 easy-to-read chapters, Calloway mixes solid how-to principles with just the right amount of motivation to give the reader both the inspiration and the strategies to be better tomorrow than they are today.

This book should be required reading if you are a CEO or just a regular person who wants to get ahead in today's competitive world. Have your highlighter ready. There are nuggets of useful information on every page.

Randy Pennington, Author
Results Rule!: Build a Culture That Blows the Competition Away
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
While reading this book I heard Joe Calloway's voice in my head, and if you've ever heard him speak, you know that that's actually a good thing. Joe is--no exaggeration--one of the world's best speakers, and the writing in Work Like You're Showing Off is just as rich, witty, valuable and entertaining as his spoken words. (And, yeah, I wrote a blurb for the back cover--now you know why). Carry this book with you for an instant jolt of Joe wherever you go.
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