Saturday, April 15, 2017

Simple Book Review: "The Adventures of Johnny Bunko: The Last Career Guide You’ll Ever Need" (2008)

The Adventures of Johnny Bunko: The Last Career Guide You’ll Ever Need (2008)
by Daniel H. Pink (art by Rob Ten Pas)

Brilliant. Ingenious. Unique. This book is one of the first business books in Japanese comic format known as manga. Daniel Pink is well-known for his book A Whole New Mind come together with Rob, comic artist, to produce this fun-story-telling and wise-advice on career secrets.

The main character in this story is Johnny Bunko. He’s like many people today. He did what everybody – parents, teachers, counsellors – told him to do. But now, he stuck at a dead-end job. He realizes that his plan for the future won’t be like what he imagine… But one bizarre night, Johnny meets Diana, the unlikeliest career advisor he’s ever seen. Together with his friends Diana reveals to him the six essential lessons for thriving in the world of work (I’ll share lengthy quotes for each lessons okay):

#1 There is No Plan

“It’s nice to believe that you can map out every step ahead of time and end up where you want. But that’s a fantasy. The world changes 10 years from now, your job might be in India. Your industry might not even exist. And you’ll change, too. You might discover a hidden talent… The most successful people – not all of the time, but most of the time – make decisions for fundamental reasons. They take a job or join a company because it will let them do interesting work in a cool place – even if they don’t know exactly where it will lead.”

#2 Think Strengths, Not Weaknesses

“Marin Seligman and Markus Buckingham… their research has found that the key to success is to steer around your weaknesses and focus on your strengths. Successful people don’t try too hard to improve what they’re bad at. They capitalize on what they’re good at… What are your strength? What do you do consistently well? What gives you energy rather than drains it? What sorts of activities create “flow” for you? [Flow = the mental state of operation in which the person is fully immersed in what he or she is doing, characterized by a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and success in the process of the activity].”

#3 It’s Not About You

“It’s not about you. It’s about your costumer. It’s about your client. Use your strengths, yes, but remember… you’re here to serve not to self-actualize… Of course you matter. But the most successful people improve their own lives by improving others’ lives. They help their customer solve its problem… The most valuable people in any job bring out the best in others. They make their boss look good. They help their teammates succeed. So pull your head out of your… ego!”

#4 Persistence Trumps Talent

“The people who achieve the most are often the ones who stick with it when others don’t… Two questions: First, what do musicians and athletes do that others don’t?... They show up. They practice and practice and practice some more. That’s why they do so well in whatever career they choose… What’s the most powerful force in the universe?... Compound interest!... It builds on itself, over time… A little bit improves performance, which encourages great persistence, which improves performance even more. And on and on it goes…. The more you persist, the more likely you are to succeed.”

#5 Make Excellent Mistakes

“Too many people spend their time avoiding mistakes. They’re so concerned about being wrong, about messing up, that they never try anything… which means they never do anything. Their focus is avoiding failure. But that’s actually a crummy way to achieve success. The most successful people make spectacular mistakes – huge, honking screw-ups! Why? They’re trying to do something big. But each time they make a mistake, they get a little better and move a little closer to excellence.”

#6 Leave an Imprint

“You’re young now. But when you get older and look back at your life, you’ll ask yourself a whole bunch of questions. Did I make a difference? Did I contribute something? Did my being here matter? Did I do something that… left an imprint?... The trouble is, many people get towards the end of their lives and don’t like their answers. And by then it’s almost too late… I am asking you to think about your purpose… to recognize that your life isn’t infinite, and that you should use your limited time here to do something that matters… truly successful people deploy them in the service of something larger than themselves…”

Excellent reading!

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