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on 21 April 2010
I have read parts of this book at a colleagues desk and found it really intriguing although this review is intended more about how this book should be used.... I had the great pleasure to see Adrian Webster at a conference this week and he was amazing.

Hearing Adrian discuss his book and his findings was just the ticket to re-energise my belief and motivation levels. Within minutes his no nonsense and humourous over-view of team roles revealed an incredbly useful insight into some of my team members. I can't wait to get into work tomorrow.

Will this book change your life, probably not, but (ironically) inline with Adrian's view of sucess, reading this book this will almost certainly be one of the 'small steps' you may need to take to make the changes you are probably needing. It will remind you about all the really important things that you have done in the past which you have probably forgotten to keep doing.

I wish I'd seen this when I first started managing people as it would have saved a lot of mistakes.

Enjoy the experience and show that you are having fun while you do it.....eg. smile

Thanks Adrian.
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on 27 January 2014
Often people ask me what gives me the drive and relentless energy to be involved in so many things. I simply give them a copy of Polar Bear Pirates and after they read it, they know. I am a PBP and on my way to Fat City. On my way I am not being stopped by all sorts of people we encounter in our lives. The negative people, or the people who tried it before (and failed).

When you read this book it will open your eyes. Either for who you are yourself and how you interact with others. Or you will recognise many people that work and live within your life. Be prepared!
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on 24 February 2016
No wonder this guy makes his money doing motivational speaking. That doesn’t give you time to realise how shallow and derivative this is. Unfortunately, reading it does.

If you remember from about thirty years ago a sheet going around aligning workers to characters from Winnie the Pooh- Poohs, Piglets, Eeyores, Owls, Rabbits, then you may think this is simply plagiarising that. Well, sadly the author of that might have fallen foul of the copyright owned by Mouseschwitz Industries, so couldn’t claim a copyright. However, that contained pretty much all that’s in this.

Yes, there are one or two fair quips in here, but mostly it’s pretty much in the area of school playground raspberry blowing and toilet humour. I bet many modern so-called comedians think it’s genius.

Probably two pages worth reading, certainly not the hour and a half it takes. Good job it was on the penny plus postage pile or you’d feel robbed.

The very funniest thing, and this is ironic, rueful funny, rather than laugh out loud funny, is that if you look at the people in your organisation who'll love this book, they will almost certainly be of the groups the author is most contemptuous of, making his an entirely circular and specious argument.

If you want some incisive, in-depth philosophy and life coaching, read “Illusions” by Richard Bach, a hugely enjoyable book by a man who doesn’t promise anything, and all the better for that.

There are very good Management books in the form of fables- “Who Moved My Cheese” and brilliant ones like “Our Iceberg is Melting”. This is a Dorothy Parker follower- not a book to be tossed aside lightly. It should be hurled with great force. I’m not sure if it’s morally right even to pass it onto a charity shop. Avoid this like a neg ferret.
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An innovative writing style makes this book easy reading with humorous names and images for the less than positive people adding to the fun of the book.
Underlying all of that is a simple strategy for achieving personal success.
I want to be a Polar Bear Pirate and am making the changes necessary to achieve that goal.
A good starting point for anyone at an impasse in their lives; personally or professionally
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on 17 May 2016
Without doubt, the best book I have read this year. I had heard good things about this book prior to purchasing it, however I never expected it to be this good. The fantastic use of well known business theory translated in a easy to read terminology which is very easily understood and followed. The humour used to make the book so easy to read is just perfect.

This book clearly details how to progress within busy organisations against hardfought competitors and very understandingly details who and what to avoid and what not to avoid. Just brilliant!!
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on 18 July 2010
Written in a style that is growing in popularity, easy to read and tongue in cheek, this book promises much but, for me consistently failed to deliver. Full of catchy nicknames and ridiculing titles for types of people, it never really explains the types or the reason for the names. From "head treads" to "neg ferrets" and beyond, there are just too many shallow characters in a confusing morass of apparent in-jokes.
I found this book cynical, the humour obscure and not even funny. The author pointlessly invents dozens of nicknames and acronyms, which add nothing to the message. It does dip into lots of useful concepts around goal setting, self motivation and assertiveness. However, these are covered very superficially - fine if you know the theory, otherwise confusing and frustrating.
This may (possibly) work as an aide-memoire if you have attended a training session with the author, otherwise a waste of time and money. There is a link to a very clever website, but that is also just a teaser to book on the training.
Not sure who it is aimed at - no depth and nothing really new except a lot of glib invented jargon.
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on 25 February 2017
seriously one of the worst 'motivational, personal growth' books I have ever read. Starts of in the first chapter with the phrase ' nothing is certain in life except death and taxes' absolutely nothing original or thought provoking about this book...don't waste your money
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on 15 October 2002
Polar Bear Pirates and Their Quest to Reach Fat City must be the most refreshing business book around. It's great fun labelling all those work colleagues and friends that drive you up the wall, but just think 'Neg Ferret' or 'Bloater' and they will never have the same effect again. Not only is this book fun and amazingly illustrated, it is inspiring and motivational. I couldn't put it down!!
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on 13 June 2005
At first sight, this comes across as original and engagingly written. Many of us will initially recognise the archetypal characters lampooned, especially from work. Don't be fooled, though. Keep whatever wits you have about you, and you realise a couple of chapters in that the whole thing is getting a little wearing. You begin to ache for a bit of actual advice amidst all the increasingly forced joviality.

What starts out as caricature soon becomes stereotyping - not the best habit for the workplace. No-one is always true to type; but the author is so far into his own rather repetitive creativity, and so far from any coherent theme, that he implies just that. Rather limiting for a "champion of change"!

The acronyms become especially tedious. It seems any clever-clever phrase is going to be initialised, so that the effort of remembering what it's actually for starts to sap any enjoyment or mnemonic effectiveness. The level of contrivance we're looking at is ultimately equivalent to David Brent on a bad day. You start to wish he'd just STFUAGOWI... (hoho, heehee).

This is fodder for the enthusiasms of personality-challenged business geeks on whom opposable thumbs are largely wasted, other than for twiddling or leafing through this sort of puerile gibberish. Nothing is developed; the list of cute nicknames just stretches on and on, ultimately becoming witless evidence of Webster's own zero disposition to change. I agree that the negative types need resistance, even ridicule, on occasion. But simply despising people, writing them off as one-dimensional, and offering no thoughts as to how we can change them - or our dispositions towards them - is an approach as ironically negative and rigid as the attitude it seeks to challenge. Good old "positive reinforcement" seems to have slipped our Adrian's mind in the gleeful momentum of making up names to call people.

This is when this kind of stuff, and the way it's spoon-gobbled by desperately out-of-touch, snake-oil swallowing execs looking for their latest fix, really starts to make me despair. To all those at the trough, can I just say: "Why don't you get your snouts out of this swill and try injecting a bit of your own personality and humour into work, for God's sake!" Honestly, if you have to rely on this sort of pap for inspiration, you're very likely ITWJ (In the Wrong Job, haha, teehee).

Ultimately, we realise we should have expected this from the start. From the outset, this guy says if you don't want to change, don't bother reading this (and, by extension, buying it). In fact, he tells us that if we feel OK, we shouldn't be happy about it; and then if we are - again, there's nothing for us in here. What a pity he didn't have the "courage and innovation" to put that on the back cover! I'm also willing to bet that this is one of those cast-iron egos that, if challenged, defaults to the safety-mechanism embedded in this book: "Hey, relax! It's a bit of fun! and if you disagree - you're just another Neg!"

Well, sorry to dampen the "fun," but where this has any use, it isn't original. What's actually new is pretty useless; and, in the end, self-contradictory. It's a one-joke, finger-pointing, anti-redemption gig; and, if you read with care and insight, the joke ends up on the author. If you want a truly witty and endlessly evolving, beautifully thought-out, on-going critique of business behaviours, I recommend the "Dongethigedilb" approach - Don't get this, get Dilbert.
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on 5 April 2011
If you want a quick read that will provide some insights into how to progress your career I would recommend Polar bear Pirates.
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