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Business Without the Bullsh*t: 49 Secrets and Shortcuts You Need to Know Hardcover – May 13, 2014

4.6 out of 5 stars 92 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"The most useful, snappy career book I have seen in maybe five years."--Penelope Trunk

"The most timely book of 2014."--Guy Kawasaki

"I started reading it and BOOM I was on the last page! BUSINESS WITHOUT THE BULLSH*T is a concise masterpiece. James' humor and practical wisdom makes every page a joy to read." —Robert I. Sutton, Stanford Professor, author of The No Asshole Rule, and co-author of Scaling Up Excellence.

"This powerful, practical book gives you proven techniques to get better business results faster than you ever thought possible."—Brian Tracy, author of How the Best Leaders Lead

"Whatever and wherever you are in your career, you will find here a page-turner and a way of turning trials to triumphs."—Linda Richardson, author of Perfect Selling

"I've read James' compelling articles for the past two decades and this new book is a must-read, sparkling gem."—Gerhard Gschwandtner, publisher of Selling Power magazine

"James, author of the "Sales Source" column on Inc.com, outlines the secrets of navigating today's workforce, starting from the point of view that in the modern work world, everyone is, in effect, a freelancer, their own boss, and should always be looking for their next job. James tackles essential workplace skills and techniques, including how to be a great boss and colleague (and survive bad ones); navigate office politics; ask for a raise; and deal with stress. The author's pithy and frank style matches his title and his recommendations are similarly to the point, such as his assertion in the chapter on asking for a raise that "nobody cares what you want, need or expect to be paid," followed by helpful suggestions on how to effectively establish the discrepancy between your value and pay. Equally terse is his counsel on firings and layoffs, which "should be handled like a life threatening operation at a hospital. You want the patient (i.e., your firm) to get through trauma as quickly as possible, not bleed the death of a thousand cuts." Relevant for leaders or employees of any generation, this is a quick, impactful primer for anyone wanting to be more effective on the job."Publishers Weekly

"Yes, it's true, there's a lot of "bs" in business, but the path through it becomes much clearer by reading the new book by Geoffrey James."—800 CEO Read

About the Author

Geoffrey James writes one the world's most-visited business blogs, the award winning "Sales Source" column on Inc.com. His writing has appeared in Fast Company, Wired, Men's Health, and The New York Times.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Business Plus (May 13, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1455574589
  • ISBN-13: 978-1455574582
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (92 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #518,507 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Ryan J. Dejonghe TOP 1000 REVIEWER on May 13, 2014
Format: Hardcover
As the title of this book alludes to (hereby referred to as BS, to get around the censors), this is a book that serves as a shotgun blast of information, cutting the rhetoric and firing off the essential. Mostly. James says he has interviewed “hundreds of executives” to compile this book of helpfulness that “isn’t intended to be read from cover to cover”, but rather offers “step-by-step plans to handle specific situations.”

There is a ton of content crammed in: managing up, showing interest, mastering reviews, how to say “no”, earn respect from peers, shine in a meeting, reduce stress, and on and on and on. Each chapter follows a theme, offers wording around several major concepts, and bullet points it at the end. The overarching focus seems to be a focus on the importance of people, clarity, and courage. Which reminds me: be sure to read the introduction—don’t skip it—there’s a lot of good advice in there, too.

Now for the misnomers. Most of this book is serious and offers meaningful advice. However, some of the book reads like a parody. For instance, chapter one talks about the “twelve types of bosses”, but I don’t think he’s serious here. Referenced are the visionary bosses that you need to drink their Kool-Aid and work long hours for, and the bureaucrat boss that is easy to please but “can grind your creativity into dust.” And the chapter about “the seven times it’s ok to lie to the boss”—huh? James says it’s okay to lie to your boss if it is your business to lie with statistics, to protect a co-worker, or even if your boss tells a lame joke. Maybe I’m old fashioned, but growing up with Covey and others, I still say integrity is where it counts.

I really wish James would attribute where he’s pulling his material from.
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I'll start with the good. I did find some areas of this book very helpful: different types of managers, how to work with your coworkers, and the section about negative/'evils' that exist in the workplace such as types of lies.

That said, some of these techniques certainly would not fit in with the company culture of my current employer. For example, lining up other jobs... word spreads fast and if it were discovered that an employee was 'exploring' there's a very good chance that would be discovered and would not end well (i.e., would be seen as 'sneaky' and affect current job which then may affect reputation/respect).

Advocating to lie to your manager because they do it to you? Doesn't sit right with me... I've advanced quickly in my career by having strong ethics and being honest with my managers which results in building trust.

Advocating to lie if your manager wants you to? No thanks. I'd rather find a new job them compromise values.

Those are the examples taht come to mind which didn't leave a good feeling... maybe this is the way the business world works but that doesn't work for me.
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Format: Hardcover
For those who are fortunate enough to have read (or soon will read) the newest book by Inc contributor, Geoffery James, the first thing we realize is that there is no BS as the title “Business Without the Bullsh*t” clearly states. It is written in seven parts and is designed for the reader to jump in right where they need Geoffery’s advice most.

Those on topic seven How-to parts are:
1) How to manage your boss
2) How to manage your coworkers
3) How to manage your employees
4) How to manage yourself
5) How to communicate
6) How to handle emergencies
7) How to cope with evil

I am in the fortunate position to have a boss who is a true mentor, so just out of curiosity I read how to manage your boss. In that section, James identifies twelve management styles and (and I’m not intending to “brown-nose” here) I am happy to report that my boss landed in the hero classification in that he coaches and is able to figure out what I need to do a great job for him. One note: these bosses ruin an employee’s tolerance for the bozo boss.

But I digress.

I decided to dive right into the section that is most pertinent to me: How to communicate. I’m a marketer. Besides business, the importance of being one’s own best promoter can’t be emphasized enough. Part 5 covers that very well.
Throughout the book, James breaks each part into a number of “Secrets,” and in Part 5 there are seven. To review each Secret would generate a very long review (Not to mention if I reviewed the entire exceptional work), so to keep this digestible, although all of the Secrets are equally important, I’ll only touch on a few.
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If you want tips on running a business, look somewhere else. If you want a book about office politics and life in the workplace, this might be for you.

I was expecting a short, insightful read about running a business - things like customers, marketing, finance, or product development. Instead, this is about how to be an employee in somebody else's business. It covers resumes, job interviews, dealing with your boss, and tips about office environments.
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