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More Secrets of Consulting: The Consultant's Tool Kit (Consulting Secrets Book 2) [Kindle Edition]

Gerald Weinberg
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

More Secrets of Consulting is a sequel or extension to The Secrets of Consulting, but the two books may be read in either order. One reviewer said: "Just buy this book and improve your life. I add Mr. Weinberg to a short list of those authors and persons in my life that have made me a better person and provided some direction to the chaos of the universe."

Here's how another reviewer described the book: The "Consultant's Tool Kit" of the subtitle is actually a complex metaphor. Each component of the toolkit is a metaphor for a certain aspect of your personality and personal capabilities. For example, the wishing wand is a metaphor for understanding, and being able to ask for, what you want from a professional relationship. The chapter around this metaphor first explores why most people either don't know what they want or are unable to express it, and suggests ways to make your wishes clearer. It places this in a professional context, contract negotiation, and emphasizes how the personal ability to express and value your wishes will help you negotiate more successfully.

In a similar way other chapters focus on developing wisdom and new knowledge, managing time and information, being courageous with your decisions, learning how to say yes and no, understanding why you and others are in the current situation, and keeping yourself in balance, avoiding burnout and other self-destructive conditions.

These are all important not only to consultants, but to anyone trying to establish a more satisfying professional or personal life by managing problems, by self-improvement and by better handling their relationships to other people.

Michael Larsen said, " More Secrets of Consulting" is a gem of a book, and remarkably quick reading.. Needless to say, a single read through will not impart all the wisdom and experience of this book, but there's much to ponder, and it's my hope I'll be able to put much of this in practice in my most recent venture. Perhaps a year from now, I'll be able to come back and see how well I did :).

Matthew D Edwards wrote: "Developing MORE of your soft and thinking skills. This builds on the first book in this series and is the same caliber, class and application value as the first. More insight from a consultant/leader/teacher with years of experience

Randy Given said, "This book is much better than the original 'Secrets of Consulting.' The original was released quite a while ago, and you can tell that the author has learned a lot in the meantime, and is better at presenting it. I would have given the original three stars, maybe four. This book I give five stars. Some of my bias may be that this book is more at the level of my current software consulting experience. Some of the topics (e.g., burnout) are sorely needed right now! It is good to see good books at good prices again. If you are a consultant, at least give this title a try.

Charles Ashbacher said, "If you were to buy this book and the previous one, 'Secrets of Consulting,' and read them, then your next step should be to place one in each of your hip pockets. For that is the only part of being a consultant not covered in these books. Wrapped in the guise of folk wisdom, the advice given here could and should be part of a business degree. For, no matter what the circumstances and the size of the companies represented on both sides, a business deal still reduces down to individuals who trust each other enough to 'like' each other in the business sense.

In many ways, you are being paid to tell your customers when they are not right and to do anything other than that is a moral breach of your contract. Weinberg spends a great deal of time in explaining how to deal with this critical situation and that advice hits the dime-sized target.

No one writes business advice better than Weinberg. If he ever decides to give up writing about business, he could make a career out of writing personal self-help books. It will be on my top ten bo


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 444 KB
  • Print Length: 216 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004J35LH6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #399,176 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good, but a harder read than "Secrets" 9 Mar. 2004
By Andrew Johnston VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The original “Secrets of Consulting” is probably one of the most important books in my collection, and I had great expectations of this follow-up volume. However, where the first book focuses outwards, largely on what a consultant does, the second book focuses in, much more on what a consultant is, and to my mind makes much less comfortable reading.
Don’t get me wrong. This is not in any way a bad book: it’s still as well written and humorous as Weinberg’s other books, and chock full of amusing stories and “laws” derived from them. Anyone involved in consulting of any sort will still get a great deal out of it. But if, like many men, you’re uncomfortable talking and reading about “feelings” you may find this less easy to read.
The “Consultant’s Tool Kit” of the subtitle is actually a complex metaphor. Each component of the toolkit is a metaphor for a certain aspect of your personality and personal capabilities. For example, the wishing wand is a metaphor for understanding, and being able to ask for, what you want from a professional relationship. The chapter around this metaphor first explores why most people either don’t know what they want or are unable to express it, and suggests ways to make your wishes clearer. It places this in a professional context, contract negotiation, and emphasises how the personal ability to express and value your wishes will help you negotiate more successfully.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book that left me wanting more 24 Feb. 2002
Format:Paperback
Anyone who has read and enjoyed 'The Secrets of Consulting' will want to get this book too. It is written in the same light style, but the lightness and humour hides a wisdom that many books aspire to, but few achieve.
The book is structured around 'the consultant's tool kit', a set of symbolic objects that represent the resources needed for effective consulting, or indeed life in general. The original toolkit was devised by the family therapist Virginia Satir, and has been added to and extended by Weinberg. For me this made the book feel somewhat more structured than its predecessor.
My only criticism of the book is that at 200 pages it felt too short and left me wanting much more. There is also an inevitable degree of overlap with 'The Secrets of Consulting', and to a lesser extent with some of Weinberg's other books. Despite this I think this is a book I will want to come back to time and time again.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The natural next step after SoC 4 Dec. 2011
By Ronald
Format:Paperback
I have read the "Secrets of Consulting" so the natural, next step is to take this one. This volume contains 167 pages (ebook version), and is like all Jerry's books well written with lots of humour. The first time read this book I had this feeling I was turning the pages to fast. So after a few weeks I decided to read it again. A good decision.

Jerry offers you a toolkit, full of metaphors. I like metaphors, I can remember them better.

For me personally the best metaphors are;
The Lump Law,
The Courage Stick,
The Wishing Wand,
The Yes/No Medallion.

Thank you Jerry for sharing.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Basicly self-esteem and life management howto 8 April 2007
Format:Paperback
This was not as mind blowing great as the Secrest of Consulting (SoC), but very good thou. I felt that this is mostly mr Weinbergs comments and additions that were edited out from the first book. Mayby it was good thing that SoC got cleaned from matter that this one speaks about because this book is harder to read and understand. The good clean SoC would have been ruined if it would have been mixed with contents this one. If you are interested about attitude and mental state of mr Weinberg towards consulting this book explain exactly that.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  10 reviews
39 of 39 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent advice, but advertising is annoying 9 Dec. 2002
By Anthony Barker - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Weinberg is the master of condensing useful tidbits and advice culled from other sources into readable books. So when I saw this new consulting book I immediately wanted to read it. Unfortunately he has stepped beyond the technical or managerial material that he wrote previously. The book is full of EQ (Emotional IQ) info that is better told by others, confusing acronyms, and ceaseless self promotion.
The book is a hodge-podge of self-management (EQ) and other consulting principles such as time management and contract negotiations. If you are a well-balanced individual and know yourself you may not find much new here. If you aren't - the material only scratches the surface - you'll be better off reading somethink like Dr. Phil's book, "Self Matter" and "7 Habits of Highly Effective People" combined with some NLP books.
Weinberg has given up on his "Wisdom of the Sufi's" approach to imparting advice. The previous book was full of ridiculous stories that somehow rang true. By taking himself more seriously the acronyms that he invents for the description of consulting principles eg "the yes/no medallion" come across as confusing, annoying, and pompous.
I really enjoyed weinberg's previous consulting book and was looking forward to this one. And while there is good stuff in this book - I found the blatant self-promotion a bit over the top. In every chapter he references previous books or seminars - giving away only enough information to peak the reader interest in an additional purchase. Why pay for what is essentially a thinly veiled ad?
Miscellaneous tidbits that I found useful:
Money - "the Wisdom box":
I would like to learn something new - but what I know pays too well.
When you stop learning new stuff it is time to move on because consultants only value is knowledge.
Don't disregard money - do what you love but keep a weary eye on value add
Contracts - "The Wishing Wand"
eg: don't kid yourself into thinking that contracting agencies are working on your behalf. Typically they negotiate the customer up and the contract consultant prices down.
Keeping contracts shorter can be useful
Burn-out - "Oxygen Mask"
Comes often mid-career through competence in your field (accepting too much work) and the allowing others to make choices for you - "shoulds" - see dr phil
Solution - saying no to work and leading a balanced life - see 7 principles
Conclusion - Worth checking out - but not a must have.
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Advice for all phases of a business relationship 13 Jan. 2002
By Charles Ashbacher - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
If you were to buy this book and the previous one, "Secrets of Consulting", and read them, then your next step should be to place one in each of your hip pockets. For that is the only part of being a consultant not covered in these books. Wrapped in the guise of folk wisdom, the advice given here could and should be part of a business degree. For, no matter what the circumstances and the size of the companies represented on both sides, a business deal still reduces down to individuals who trust each other enough to "like" each other in the business sense.
Truthfully, and to contradict the author, there really are no secrets to being a successful consultant. The ways to be successful are just the basic business rules that apply elsewhere, in that you need to find out what the customer really wants and deliver it at a cost that is good for you and acceptable to them. This is not easy, and the best advice is to listen hard, explore all options and most of all, be prepared to contradict the buyer when it is in their best interests. Even when it may not be in your best interests, at least in the short term. It is a fallacy and cowardly to try to follow the mantra that the customer is always right. They are not, and that is more a part of the consultant's life than any other profession. In many ways, you are being paid to tell your customers when they are not right and to do anything other than that is a moral breach of your contract. Weinberg spends a great deal of time in explaining how to deal with this critical situation and that advice hits the dime-sized target.
No one writes business advice better than Wienberg. If he ever decides to give up writing about business, he could make a career out of writing personal self-help books. It will be on my top ten books of the year list.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good, but a harder read than "Secrets" 9 Mar. 2004
By Andrew Johnston - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The original "Secrets of Consulting" is probably one of the most important books in my collection, and I had great expectations of this follow-up volume. However, where the first book focuses outwards, largely on what a consultant does, the second book focuses in, much more on what a consultant is, and to my mind makes much less comfortable reading.
Don't get me wrong. This is not in any way a bad book: it's still as well written and humorous as Weinberg's other books, and chock full of amusing stories and "laws" derived from them. Anyone involved in consulting of any sort will still get a great deal out of it. But if, like many men, you're uncomfortable talking and reading about "feelings" you may find this less easy to read.
The "Consultant's Tool Kit" of the subtitle is actually a complex metaphor. Each component of the toolkit is a metaphor for a certain aspect of your personality and personal capabilities. For example, the wishing wand is a metaphor for understanding, and being able to ask for, what you want from a professional relationship. The chapter around this metaphor first explores why most people either don't know what they want or are unable to express it, and suggests ways to make your wishes clearer. It places this in a professional context, contract negotiation, and emphasises how the personal ability to express and value your wishes will help you negotiate more successfully.
In a similar way other chapters focus on developing wisdom and new knowledge, managing time and information, being courageous with your decisions, learning how to say yes and no, understanding why you and others are in the current situation, and keeping yourself in balance, avoiding burnout and other self-destructive conditions.
These are all important not only to consultants, but to anyone trying to establish a more satisfying professional or personal life by managing problems, by self-improvement and by better handling their relationships to other people.
Weinberg could have presented much of this material in a style much closer to the earlier book, but instead chose a more introspective approach which demands a greater investment on the part of the reader. Only time will tell how this investment is repaid, but I believe it will be for me.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Problem solving techniques for consultants 4 Mar. 2003
By Johanna Rothman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
If you've ever had problems in an engagement, and you've already read Secrets, read this too. Weinberg includes numerous know-yourself ideas to become a better consultant.
A common consulting mistake is to spend time on work that shouldn't be done at all, or that the the client doesn't want or doesn't value. But, it's sometimes difficult to detect those problems. Two of the tools, the Wisdom Box and the Mirror can help you address these problems.
The WIsdom Box helps you determine when you shouldn't bother doing the work. As Weinberg says, "Anything I shouldn't be doing, I shouldn't be doing. Period." Easier said than done sometimes. Weinberg helps you detect when your Wisdom Box is telling you something that you otherwise can't hear -- when you're entering a situation you shouldn't even start.
Sometimes, clients engage us to perform work they don't value. In that case, the Mirror is an asset. I used the mirror once when I was working with a management team who didn't value testing, but knew that the parent company would ask them about the testing. Instead of taking on testing for the project, I committed to help with project planning, set up testing, and look for a permanent test manager who could work the day-to-day issues. If they couldn't commit to the planning and setup work, they wouldn't actually hire anyone, but my consulting job would be complete.
With the Mirror, you completely commit to part of the project, and provide feedback to the company. You have a chance to see how the project proceeds, and if either you or the client doesn't like where you're going, you stop.
I found the patterns of consultant reactions and Weinberg's tools and suggestions for dealing with those reactions helpful. You will too.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as the first Secrets, but still contains valuable advice 14 Oct. 2007
By Erik Gfesser - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Several years ago, I read the original Secrets of Consulting by the same author, Gerald Weinberg (see my review for that book). After reading some of the other reviews here for More Secrets of Consulting, I must say that I concur with much of the opinion written. The original Secrets is a classic work - there simply is no other consulting book in the marketplace of this genre, and not only is the information presented in that work very useful, it is very entertaining as well. Unlike the original Secrets, which presents a philosophy of consulting, More Secrets makes an attempt to present a number of consulting tools within tangible categories that consist of six self-esteem tools by family therapist Virginia Satir as well as another ten tools that Weinberg created himself. As a general rule, I like the tools that both Satir and Weinberg offer in this book. I like how Weinberg ties together the Wisdom Box and the Golden Key, for instance. Among my least favorite of the tools presented is the Courage Stick and the the Egg, the Carabiner, and the Feather. The last three of these least-favorites are presented hurriedly in one chapter, toward the end of the book, and I cannot help to wonder whether he was pressed for time as he began wrapping up his writing. The Courage Stick chapter is bizarre - Weinberg actually seems to be recommending to readers that they carry physical objects, apparently similar to good luck charms, to help individuals build up courage during the more difficult portions of consulting engagements. Strange. If the reader disregards these two chapters, however, they will find that many of the rules and principles which Gerald presents here are much in line with the original Secrets - not nearly as entertaining, but still worth reading. Some of my favorites are:

*Cary's Crap Caution: "Anything not worth doing is not worth doing right."
*The Mercenary Maxim: "One of the best ways to lose lots of money is to do something only for the money."
*Dani's Decider: "When you stop learning new things, it's time to move on."
*The Railroad Counter-Paradox: "When service is too good, the suppliers may never hear about it, and thus they drop the service."
*LeGuin's Law: "When action grows unprofitable, gather information. When information grows unprofitable, sleep."
*The Detective's Fourth Rule: "If you can't understand where the questions are coming from, they're probably coming from an agenda someone doesn't want you to know about."
*The Parallel Paradox: "If you're too much like your clients, you don't attract them; if you're too different, you frighten them away."
*Knaomi's Knowledge Knockout: "Experience is not just the best teacher, it's the only teacher. Experience may be the only teacher, but it doesn't necessarily teach anything."

Of course, many of the rules and principles are just Weinberg opinion. Immanuel Kant, the great German philosopher, for instance, said that "experience teaches nothing without theory, but theory without experience is mere intellectual play". Because I consider this book to be an extension to the original Secrets, I strongly recommend that these books be read in succession. Several other reviewers correctly note that Weinberg cites some of his other works in More Secrets. Although this can be seen as a bit of self-promotion (even a large portion of the bibliography for More Secrets consists of Weinberg writings), most of these citations are to the original Secrets because of the heavy tie between the two books, and I consider this facet of the book reasonable.
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