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on June 4, 2010
Very interesting book. Lots of comments from people who became successful and achieved happiness. A MUST on anyone's library.
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on June 15, 1998
The title of this book led me to believe I would learn shortcuts to becoming a CEO by tapping into the hindsight of current CEO's. Ironically, most of the CEO's and other leaders in this book, having already made it to the top, now wish they had spent more time with family, friends, etc. I really didn't want a sentimental book when I bought this book. Also, it seems easy to advise others to stop and smell the roses after they have already made the big bucks and conquered the business world. Perhaps a better title would be "CEO's share how they wish they would have spent more time with Family and Friends or at least think you should do that instead of worrying about being a CEO." I always feel ripped off when I buy a book and even one page is dedicated to the serenity prayer, which is so vague, obvious and overused it is nauseating. Some of the advice seems to be merely pet peeves or autocratic advice from theory x managers. However, having said that, it is worth reading because about half of the book is filled with useful advice. What in the world went wrong with the other half? I paid full, not half price.
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on August 28, 2002
There are a great many good books that share insight from business leaders on how young want-to-be-executives can advance through the ranks, unfortunately this isn't one of them.
On the positive side, there are a number of excellent quotes within the book, ranging from a suggestion of managing time by opening mail at 4:30 PM and thus not loosing control of your day every time a so-called emergency occurs to encouraging everyone to take more risks. The quotes are arranged into sections by their relevance to a particular topic. These topics include "things you should know", "things you'll be better off knowing", "things you'll be nicer off knowing" and "things learned the hard way". Edler does an exceptional job explaining some of the more cryptic or just incredibly short quotes.
Unfortunately, filling the 200-or-so pages not containing valuable insight are repeated suggestions to spend more time with family and find religion. While these topics are obviously important to their contributors, one really has to wonder if these people would be where they are now, if they had taken their own advice. Moreover, while the suggestions are clearly valid, they really don't need to be repeated numerous times throughout the book; some editorial discursion should have been exercised.
The 242 page book will take most readers only about an hour to complete, as many pages contain only 25-50 words, in very large print (note that this is not designed to be a "big print" book as Edler's side-column notes are generally printed in a very small print). Moreover, many of these "CEOs and Other Smart Executives" are virtual unknowns, like many of the companies that they work for. There are some pleasant surprises buried within, but much is simply filler.
If you are looking for a waxing, philosophical guide to living what the contributors feel would have been a better life, for them, then this is the book for you. If on the other hand, you are looking for a book about how to advance through the ranks, and become the successor to one of these contributors, you would be better served elsewhere.
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on April 27, 2004
My father and Mr. Edler were friends for over 25 years. Unfortunately, Mr. Edler passed away recently. It was a loss.
I am writing this not just to set jastraub straight, as anyone who is capable of thinking rationally will see that jastraub's opinion is lacking of qualification. While it is possible he or she is very knowledgable about business there is no evidence of this in his or her comments.
I must admit I am biased regarding any of the books or projects that Mr. Edler was a part of. Not just because I knew him, but my father is one of the contributors to the book. I remember when I got a copy of the book before it was released. I was a 25-year-old police officer at the time. I have learned a great deal from "If" over the years. I keep one copy in my bedroom and a copy as a reader in my guest bathroom. While I cannot speak for Mr. Edler I believe that he wrote this book to help people in not only their career, but in life. If I am not mistaken all of his works were of a similar nature. I strongly recommend "Through the Valley", also by Mr. Edler. This is an excellent book for anyone, especially those involved in fields or situations where there is unexpected death (hospitals, law enforcement, etc.)
Thank you for reading my review. Take care.
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on May 14, 2014
This book is a shameless attempt at reinventing oneself after experiencing loss. It is not useful as a business tool. Don't buy it if you don't want to hear about how you should really spend more time smelling the roses than working on your career.
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on March 24, 1999
I have no doubt about the intention and goodwill of the author. But, I have problem with the views he presented in this book. Chinese have an excellent expression of such tunnel vision which they called "the Frog in the Bottom of a Well". It means those frogs appreciate the sky as big as the opening of the well they live. Their life may be good in the eyes of many, but by no means depicts the life lived or ought to be lived. Some of the words are so rediculous, I even question the author's judgement in putting them there. The true lessons people should draw are not those others want you to believe. If you have a choice, I bet you you can learn more from a so-called loosers or failures who were not silver spoon, who have seen the world and lived a life. People in the PR, advertising or "creative" business are good in leading people to believe what they want you to believe. Beware of the lines and words you read or heard from them regardless it is an ad or a book like this one. This book is still readable, but again as an old Chinese saying warned us "Indiscriminately believing a book is worse than not reading it." I am 47 years old now. I have seen a lot as a soldier, an entrepreur, executive of several firms, a teacher and a father. My advise to young people is - live your own life. Be a Romeo or be a Juliet! If they got married, Juliet might be a 250-pound Mama-mia. Romeo might get worned out by his mother-in-law before reaching 23. They might have five children, three died as infant. Do you believe they will ever live "happily ever after"?
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on July 19, 2002
Reading the book I guarantee, that every single reader will find at least one idea, advice or thought useful or important... Many of these ideas are absolutely new, were not published in quotation books. (I worked for a publisher, and we published several quotation books... I know, what's "out there".)
And if you only find one important thought in this stunning collection, don't you think it was worth to read it?
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on June 24, 2000
I have had the extreme privilege of knowing Rich Edler on a personal level and working side by side with him. At the age of 18, I am forging the path for future success. Rich has really become my mentor in this journey, and if Rich is my mentor, then this book is my guide. You will read this book straight through to the end, it's great for any age.
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on November 13, 1997
This book is simply one the most compelling collections of intelligent opinions, observations, and suggestions that I have ever had the pleasure of reading. Any person, regardless of age, will enjoy reading these varied opinions on what it takes to become successful in business and in life. What a pleasure!
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on August 26, 1999
I picked up this book in a bookstore one day and read the entire book on my lunch hour the next. Page after page, it just "hits home." I would recommend this book to anyone, young or old, who is unsure of themselves or where they want to go in life. There's nothing like the voice of experience!
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