Top critical review
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The first section is worth the price by itself, the rest is
on June 1, 2017
Rise, by Patty Azzarello, is a book aimed at helping people "rise above their work". Whether this is in the form of getting a raise, promotion, or just getting control of your work life, there's a lot of good advice in this book.
The book is divided into three sections, "Do Better", "Look Better", and "Connect Better". In the "Do Better" section, Patty gives a wealth of tips on taking control of your job and work life. This section is full of golden advice that I wish someone had given me years ago. Every page hit me with another "aha moment", from learning to prioritize work into "Ruthless Priorities", to delegation, to accepting that you can't accomplish everything, to allowing yourself the time to think through problems. She also focuses on rooting your prioritization in what will actually bring value to your organization instead of killing yourself trying to do every single piece of work that comes across your desk.
This section is worth the price of the book in itself. Unfortunately, the other two sections for me didn't live up to that same level of awesomeness. The section "Look Better" is about not just presenting oneself better but ensuring that the work one and one's team does gets noticed by the higher-ups. The section "Connect Better" is about building one's network.
There are several reasons why I didn't get as much from the other two sections. For one, the language and advice in the first section are largely very practical. However, the second and third sections regress into gobs of corporate buzzspeak with lots of references to marketing oneself, personal brands, etc.
The advice itself in these sections ranges from somewhat practical (dressing better) to outright sucking up. For example, she has a passage about using flattering words to create an in with an executive. Advice like that may work but it's just not me.
These two sections are incredibly dense, as well. They contain a lot of advice, and I felt lost trying to wade through it. Compare that to the "Do Better" section where every tidbit felt like something I could immediately start doing.
The final nail in the coffin for me on the last section was how it contradicted the first. In the first section, Patty talks about using the "Do Better" techniques to get a better handle on the work/life balance because, in her opinion, that's important. However, in the "Connect Better" section, she states that to truly rise, one will have to regularly sacrifice family life. Throw in the previously mentioned sucking up advice and for me the book started reading like a "corporate lackey how-to".
None of that to say that the advice in the "Look Better" and "Connect Better" sections doesn't work. It's all sound, and I've seen many leaders have those qualities to some degree or other.
Regardless, for me, the "Do Better" section was worth the price of the book alone, and I highly recommend the book at least for that.