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Rules of Thumb: 52 Truths for Winning at Business Without Losing Your Self Hardcover – April 21, 2009
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Top Customer Reviews
This book is like a blog, but better, because you can highlight it, postit it and bring it on an airplane. If you find yourself enjoying books where you can mull over a nugget or two and suddenly find them changing your strategy, this is a great book for you.
With just the kind of chapter titles you would expect coming from one of the guys who invented Fast Company (the insanely great business mag that has never recovered the founders' absence), my favorites among Webber's various rules include: Change is a math formula; A good question beats a good answer; Learn to take no as a question; Facts are facts but stories are how we learn; If you want to change the game change the economics of how the game is played; Everything communicates; and Content isn't king, context is king.
You will find that each of these 52 entries includes a short story followed by a 'So What?' explanation of how this rule has practical application for the reader. Alan, thanks for a great, thought provoking read . . . and a flat forehead.
That's forty years worth of cards, including the ones he wrote up after interviewing people like Bill Bradley and Jim Collins and Helmut Schmidt. They're interesting and Webber is a great writer so this book is worth reading as long as you know what to expect.
But what we've got here aren't rules. They're more like lessons or observations.
That's an important distinction. You'll love this book if you dip into it from time to time and read a bit. You'll love it if you read a lesson a week and try to apply it.
But if you're looking for a real book, one that not only shares stories and insights, but connects the dots, Rules of Thumb will probably disappoint you. It's a collection of lovely tiles, but not a whole mosaic.
The subtitle also overstates things a bit. I'm not all sure what "winning at business without losing yourself" means, even after reading the book through. If I was a risk of losing myself before I read the book, it's still true afterward.
My bottom line: Rules of Thumb is a fine collection of little pieces. They're entertaining and some are thought-provoking. Most of them are business-related. If that's what you're looking for, you'll like the book.
Although Webber suggests that they can be applied to "winning at business without losing your self," I think they are relevant whenever and wherever there is human interaction. After about the first 12-15, I began to connect rules to specific situations. For example:
Rule #10: "A good question beats a good answer." This offers excellent advice to job candidates whose questions tend to reveal more about their abilities than their responses to an interviewer's questions do.
Rule #13: "Learn to take no as a question." Sometimes, no means no. However, on frequent occasion, no is a tentative rather than terminal response. Politely request an explanation and be well-prepared to respond to the reasons offered.
Rule #18: "Knowing it ain't the same as doing it." This reminds me of a book with an eponymous title, in which Jeffrey Pfeffer and Robert Sutton discuss what they call "The Knowing-Doing Gap." Long ago, Thomas Edison said, "Vision without execution is hallucination."
Rule #43: "Don't confuse credentials with talent.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An excellent book that is filled with practical information and stories. This is a great tool in any entrepreneur's library.Published 8 months ago by Cory M Tsuhako
Timeless book of good stories and good lessons. Its practical format makes it easy to digest and apply. Very enjoyable and highly recommended.Published 10 months ago by Elizabeth Eiss
I can't believe they took it out of print but happy I could find the book on Amazon. I agree with most of the concepts behind these rules of thumb and wish I could get the word out... Read morePublished 22 months ago by Rebecca Spilger
Great book, a lot of great real life scenarios that you can apply.Published 23 months ago by Eleazar Fuentes
Really well done. Short articles each with a good specific example of his rules. The guy has had some excellent experiences and is someone I would want to listen to. Read morePublished on December 4, 2013 by Amazon Customer
I got to see these dudes live supposedly talking about this book (where I got two free copies!!!) but really just getting semi-roasted by the room of other innovators (mostly... Read morePublished on October 6, 2013 by chuckles
I've read many business books, and found Rules of Thumb very good. The manner is which Webber provides the background information for each rule and the describes the "So What? Read morePublished on December 21, 2011 by Frank Kozak
The book got here fast compared to the other books I bought at the same time, and it was in great condition when I got it. Good Amazon experience.Published on September 24, 2011 by Nevil
This book was a fairly recent find, after I started my business in October last year. I picked this book from the library and at first I did not think too much about it. Read morePublished on June 13, 2011 by Soma Bhadra