Berrett-Koehler has an impressive repertoire of books, written by an equally impressive legion of authors. Their accomplishments are astounding and irrefutable, but sometimes I wonder if there aren’t other books we could be publishing within our current affairs/business/personal growth arenas. Here are five new books I’d like to see BK publish:
1. A High School Queen Bee’s Guide to Dominance: Who better knows how to claw her way to the top than a high school mean girl? Why pretend to like people and try to get along with everyone when you can ruthlessly mock them and take their dignity and become the most feared person in the company? Why not have minions carrying out your dastardly duties? It’s good to be the Queen!
2. Lessons on Rewarding Others I Learned in Grade Three : There are so many books on rewarding employees and providing reinforcement, and they’re fine but how about some more basic approaches? Invite me into your office to tell me what a great job I’m doing? Fine, but how about a fat gold star next to my name in the mailbox area? How about candy or extra nap-time? Basics, y’all, basics – that’s the stuff that really makes me happy. Wanna praise me? Send me an email, but really recognize me? Take me to the wharf and buy me cotton candy!
3. A Self-Help Book That Actually Helps: Granted, I’m a bit jaded and don’t go in for a lot of the self-help titles, but that’s because a lot of them hype things that are…spiritual. I mean, it’s all great to say that you need to align your chakras or talk to your inner child and all, but what about practical advice without the fluff? I would love to see a book that says “Forget meditation and mindfulness and all that stuff, eat French fries three times a week and everything will fall into place!” Fine, that’s an extreme (a wonderful extreme), but you get what I’m saying. I’m jaded and bitter, I want easy solutions not deeper explorations of my jaded and bitter self.
4. Current Affairs Books for My Current Situation: Yes, global economies are falling and DC is a mess, but what does this mean for me, really? I know I should be concerned, but honestly? My concerns are paying rent and getting food on the table. Yes, I know trickle-down economics and corporate behavior impacts my life, but don’t tell me that and say “rage against the corporations!” If they’re being sneaky, teach me how to be sneaky, darn it. I don’t want to be a noble protestor out there on the street getting arrested (I need to be at work). Instead, teach me how to rip them off and not get caught the way they rip me off and not get caught!
5. What Leaders Should Know About Leading: So many leadership books are written by big shots who tell other big shots about how to manage their little people. Here’s a news flash – neither of them has been one of the little people in decades. What about learning how to be a good leader from the people you’re leading and then writing a book based on that? Don’t hire a hotshot consultant, buy pizza for your admin staff and ask them to talk to you – it’s cheaper and way more effective. We’re the ones who don’t care that you’ve read “Good to Great” three times but that you keep your business running.
I eagerly await the flood of manuscripts, I feel like the new editorial intern is about to get a lot of interesting reading.