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on 21 May 2017
This book is astonishingly vacuous. I can't remember reading anything more insubstantial. In 18 point font it basically tells you that you and everything around you is BRILLIANT!!!!
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on 5 April 2017
The book is a uncorrected proof...
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VINE VOICEon 5 September 2011
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is a book which you will either love and find really useful for its sensible and, rather obvious advice - if you're feeling positive then you will act and produce positively, dont be stampeded, change your routine/habits ... etc etc... , or you will find it irritating and predictible, full of obvious advice and few insights.

Much of the advice is sensible and straightforward and if it helps you to have a little book to hand that you can dive into - you are NOT going to spend hours reading this! - and dig out a nugget which will then refresh you, then this is a good one for you - it can be very useful for that, but ... I confess that I found it irritating - the use of BIG letters on red pages etc - very gimmicky! To be quite honest, I will probably dip in and out and may find it useful for a short while, but this is not a life changing book - it is light weight and pretty obvious.
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I am a serial entrepreneur, a university lecturer in Russia and the USA and an international business and peak performance consultant. As such I am used to reading a plethora of business, motivational, peak performance coaching type of books. In fact I have enough books at home, on these subjects, to sink several ships. So my comments on this poor book are based upon real and theoretical business experience.

What can I say about this book? Its split into 81, yes 81 chapters. OK each chapter may only be a few pages long, but this should tell any serious "Business Book" reader that this is more of a dictionary type of book, than a serious treatise type publication which looks at an idea in depth. Whenever I read such books it reminds me of the saying, "Jack of All Trades, Master of None" and this perfectly sums up this book. It covers a lot of different areas, but not in any real depth. It is not abysmal, but its not good either. I have found the odd good idea spread thinly throughout the book, but I have read better books. A case in point and a book with a very similar theme is Polar Bear Pirates and their quest to engage sleepwalkers by Adrian Webster. This book is so similar in its theme, in essence how to make people shine and motivate them, but it does it so much better than Shine How to Survive and Thrive at Work. Each of the 81 chapters is too short and it lacks real analysis and in some chapters an good explanation of how to make the idea work in the real World.

Is it a bad book? No its not that bad, but the problem is that there are much better books out there, showing you how to shine in the workplace and motivate your team. This books' analysis is too short and it lacks depth. I also do not like the cramped page style, where there is no place for notes in the margins, as the book is small in page size. It is nicely printed on quality paper but that is really all it has going for it. Would I recommend a manger sit down and read this book from cover to cover? No it is more of a book you dip inside of, to look at a particular point as reading it will not give you enough new information to justify the time it requires to read it.

Not bad but not good enough to recommend it.
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VINE VOICEon 18 August 2011
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Surely, if you buy this you probably don't need it. Can you imagine if we were all hyper, pinging around on space hoppers at work, coming up with brilliant ideas, loving our fellow colleagues, creating harmony in the workplace......

We need people who's job it is to sit day in day out doing the same-old, same-old thing. And sometimes, these people are happy in their work, they don't want to be thrusting towards the light in the ceiling. And if you do, carve your own way, you're not going to learn it from a book.

Yes, it has some ideas, but your probably be agreeing with it rather than thinking "hey, why didn't I think of that". Go spend your money on a bottle of tizer, the sugar will give you a greater rush.
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VINE VOICEon 27 August 2011
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Great little book - ideal for keeping in your desk drawer and dipping in to whenever you need some focusing. It's not a self-help book - and to be honest, self-help books are generally so full of padding, you'll end up speed-reading to find the bit you need (when you need it) - it's a sharpener; the book equivalent of a smart word in the ear.

It's lighthearted, too, but has serious intent at heart; in fact, I'd say, it's just about right. Nicely designed, a joy to hold (yes, I'm a bibliophile), and I reckon this would do far more good than anything with sombre tones. It made me smile, laugh, and I'm glad I own it.

(PS. I got this for myself because I'm embarking on a self-employed venture, and I wanted to have something on standby that I could use - for those moments sat on my own, with no-one to ask a stupid lack-of-self-confidence question of. And, so far, I'd say I made the right choice.)

Recommended.
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Sadly, I had issue with both the style and the substance of this book. It's way too 'bitty', and I understand the intention was to create something you could simply open up, read and then put down without any deep involvement of time, but the consequence of that approach is that the book offers no genuine insight. There is a huge amount of nuance that is left ignored by virtue of the 'mcnugget' style of delivery, and there is an almost sad drive for the book to proclaim its 'trendy' credentials by name-checking figures like Bono and Bob Geldof. I can't speak for anyone else, but neither of those individuals, as accomplished as they are, are people from whom I would expect useful, generalisable business advice.
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is an interesting manual which suggests that we can leave the dreary 'day to day' behind and become that person in the office who is different, creative and unique. Chris Barez-Brown is a coach with a list of successes behind him, having marketed 'Carling Black Label', turning it into a billion pound brand, and worked with the likes of Coca-Cola, Nike and Citibank.

The manual encourages us to 'find ourselves' and has chapters on finding your real self, breaking your assumptions, building up a fund for those times when you can't bear the job any more, time management and recruitment.

Its style is deliciously appealing and the book has great enchantment. I don't know whether it works because I've only just read it, and it's a book about taking action, brave and unusual action, in and out of the workplace.

My one criticism is that, while I thoroughly enjoyed the book, I felt that you need to have Chris Barez-Brown in your desk drawer to advise on what to do next when your off-the-wall activities bear off-the-wall results.
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VINE VOICEon 18 August 2011
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The book is a hotchpotch of ideas and advice for getting the best out of your work colleagues and your working day. The articles are very short and cover the familiar territory of wear better colours, get out of the office, keep meetings short, treat your staff nicely, etc. If you've never read a `work help' book it's a good enough place to start, but otherwise there's nothing new here.

The book is aimed solely at people who manage their own time and their own workload. If your job doesn't allow you the freedom to set meeting agendas, write reports as poetry or decide "I'll work from a coffee shop today" then there's very few ideas in the book you could apply to your working life.
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VINE VOICEon 5 February 2012
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is probably heresy coming from a Vine reviewer, but I couldn't finish this book. It was rather like wading through a sweet suet pudding with no currants in. Usually, any book (or course) on management has at least one useful take-out, hopefully several, but I didn't find anything here. There may have been a smallish pot of gold waiting at the end of the (rather pale) rainbow, but I lacked the tenacity to find out.
After several years working in innovation, i.e. helping major brands improve their performance, Barez-Brown is now, to quote one website, " a lifestyle and management coach who pecialises in creativity." If this book is indicative of his approach, it is one which would work in the product/marketing/advertising world, but probably less well elsewhere. To give an example: Barez-Brown rightly censures the modern corporate ethic of "work until you drop", but then goes on to say: "The idea of sitting at your desk reading a novel would be alien to most in business. Yet at times it's exactly the right thing to do." A few pages earlier, he suggests that, if you are suffering from a lack of "breakthrough thinking", you should go somewhere else, e.g. a café or a bar, and work there.
Many managers couldn't get away with this sort of behaviour, much less (for example) people working in the battery-hen environment of a call centre.
I agree wholeheartedly with his suggestion for long-haul business flights, "no work after the main meal", but it may be that the 24/7 work culture (fuelled by Blackberries) is now too entrenched to change; any change will have to come from the top down, and in the current recession how many directors will want their staff to work less?
If you never read any other book of this genre, this one might be some use to you, but there are a lot of books out there (and plenty of material on the Internet) which are more practical and incisive.
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