Book Title: Look: A Practical Guide for Improving Your Observational Skills Author: James Gilmore Format: eBook Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Look: A Practical Guide for Improving Your Observational Skills by James H. Gilmore focused on being more aware using a fresh outlook on observation. Gilmore was inspired by Edward de Bono’s Six Thinking Hats Method to create a metaphor known as the Six Looking Glasses. Binoculars, bifocals, magnifying glass, microscope, rose-colored glasses, and blindfold looking are the six skills that Gilmore provides intense instruction.
I enjoyed Gilmore’s ability to explain each skill thoroughly. Additionally, he provided examples and exercises to ensure mastery of each skill. The text lacks variety and becomes somewhat repetitive. Once, I reached the microscope skill the book became dull. Honestly, this book reads more like a textbook than a book for leisure.
The practicality of the book is immense. If you can trample through the dullness, it is jammed pack with information that can enhance your observational skills. I would suggest reading the book at a minimum of two times and not in one sitting.
Each skill must be read individually, digested, practiced, and implemented to grasp Gilmore's perspective on observation fully. I would recommend this book for people, who are looking for innovative methods to be more aware of their surroundings.
Book Title: Basic Black: The Essential Guide for Getting Ahead at Work (and in Life) Author: Cathie Black Format: Audiobook Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Recently, I listened to the audiobook version of Basic Black during my work commute. Basic Black shares the story of Cathie Black, who is known as the media's world guru. Cathie Black is the president of Hearst Magazines, and she uses her memoir to emphasize how to be successful in career and life by sharing her lessons. Her humble beginnings, her determination to be successful, and her perseverance inspire me.
I like Basic Black because of Cathie's honesty. She does not paint a picture of her life being a bed of roses. She not only shares her successes, but she includes her mistakes. She desires for the reader to learn from her mistakes or her exposure to the mistakes of others. Laced with humor and wisdom, Basic Black functions as a manual to maneuver through life and work.
The beginning of the book sets the tone for it. Cathie explains how she was caught using company time and resources to copy her resume. She forgot to remove the original copy from the copier. The senior executive was the person, who informed her about this mistake. I am sure that she probably could have died, but Cathie used this as a learning experience. I especially liked the story of getting Oprah to create a magazine with Hearst. Through the story, I gained insight about being adequately prepared and knowing the audience.
Additionally, Basic Black identifies the importance of being driven, having passion, choosing risks, and developing as a leader. Through her book, Cathie gives advice that people, who do not have a mentor, can benefit. The advice that she gives is not a one size fits all, but she shares her lessons to ensure that you can understand what you could learn from her experiences and mistakes.
I would recommend Basic Black to entrepreneurs, career changers, and anyone interested in being inspired or motivated in their current jobs. I am glad that I read this book for the second time.