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Myself and Other More Important Matters Paperback – 3 May 2007
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"[Goes] deeper into the heart of business than almost any book that tackles the subject head on ... A compelling, touching and finally inspiring journey ... To paraphrase TS Eliot, his remarkable achievement is to bring us back to our starting point - but allow us to recognise the place for the first time" (Observer)
"Highly readable ... A wise work from which we will all learn" (Sunday Times)
"Handy at his best; humane, thoughtful and serious" (Financial Times)
"His writing is both spiritual ... and practical: he makes you want to do something about your life, and at the same time convinces that you can, and furnishes you with some good examples of how to go about it ... So much of it will strike home ... Real inspiration ... excellent advice" (Times Educational Supplement)
"Charles Handy is a true statesman in the field . . . a wizened dean of faculty for the world of independent thinkers" (Jim Collins, author of Good to Great)
The bestselling author of THE EMPTY RAINCOAT and THE AGE OF UNREASON examines life's big choices - taking the format of his famous BBC 'Thought for the Day' programme to frame the key phases of our life.See all Product description
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Top customer reviews
Why 4 stars? Well, a note about proof-reading in the book: I do not know if this vexes many people, but it irritates me because poor spelling, missing words and malapropisms can distract from a perfectly engrossing piece of writing. Why do editors let authors down like this? If I were 12, I would find 'pubic' instead of 'public' funny, but no more.
This is an interesting stroll through Charles Handy's life and work - but what comes through for me is his sense of humility - decency even - that frankly you'd be hard-pushed to find amongst most people who ply his trade. At the core, simplicity and a sense of integrity seems to drive everything Handy stands for, which are sound values in anyone's book.
Easily read and digested, Handy's book lingers in the mind beyond the last page. The tragedy is, that in a market dominated by ghost-written biographies of non-celebrities, this gem of a book should be read by more people - but probably won't be. A shame.
Handy is the author of The Empty Raincoat, The Elephant and The Flea, The Age of Paradox, 21 Ideas For Managers, and other books that help us stop, think and analyze exactly what it is we are doing at work and what we are for.
Myself and Other More Important Matters is Handy's autobiography so far. It is a pleasure to read, and you learn about leadership, work, management, life, parenting, yourself, while you are enjoying reading it.
There is a growing consensus now that, after decades of process improvements, what people are looking for in the organizations they work for, invest in, lead and buy from is organizations that act more like people and less like machines. It is time for the more human organization to emerge. Handy has been teaching us this for years.
My own area of interest is business leadership. This book is full of insights into organizations, their culture and how to lead, such as "Great leaders seem to live with a mix of humility and confidence, which includes the ability to admit on occasion they were wrong."
From McGregor's Theory X and Theory Y to Aristotle's definition of happiness or 'eudaimonia' meaning to flourish and be fulfilled - challenging the prevailing assumption in the west that hedonism is happiness - to how JoHari windows work, the learning you pick up almost in passing from Handy is rich and deep and enjoyable.
Six years on from writing this review I've upped my ranking to 5 stars, I've not re-read the book but I've tried to live by some of Handy's thoughts and I'm more fulfilled as a result.
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