by L Vaughan Spencer
Are you underperforming in your business and personal lives? Do you underestimate the importance of good hair and moisturised skin in achieving your life goals? Are you stumbling through life in a Fast-Moving Business Environment (FMBE) without a motivational mantra to guide you? Then you need this book. As The A to Zee of Motivitality, this is a dictionary of achievement from a man who can teach you how to succeed like a toothless budgie.
L Vaughan Spencer was the 2004 Business Speaker of the Year (Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire) and has been named one of the top ten thousand most influential people on management issues in the Home Counties. In other words, this is the sort of person you need to listen to, and thus the sort of book you need to read. Packed with useful statistics (number of deaths that occur per thousand meetings held, for example), real life case studies and quotes from those who have been through the Succeederology® training programs, this is a no-nonsense guide to being the best or, at least, a little better than you currently are.
Attention to detail is L-Vo's forte (after all, Don't be needed, be succeeded has an entirely different ring to it, and is not what our business friends are aiming for in today's Fast-Moving Business Environment (FMBE)). All areas of the business arena are targeted, from meetings to presentations to how to feng shui your office, and why Human Chess and British Bulldog have their role to play at work. If you need to improve your style, there are tips on how to dress, while the innovative Alphabet diet advice is the reason I'm currently eating only Zabaglione and Zinc tablets (and coveting the names of two other Bookbag reviewers, Chloe and Claire – mmm, imagine the chocolate and cheese possibilities).
From the business park in Luton where it was written to the sundrenched balcony in Mexico where it was read, this book has universal appeal. I have already tested it out on real live business people, in the form of my EFL students, and they laughed and laughed. Quite how much they understood, given their low level of English is another question, but still, they did laugh. L-Vo questions the things so many of us take for granted for example Your Business Card: Why should it be made of card? Why should it be rectangular? while providing insightful answers to those tricky questions such as the difference between a Trainer and a Coach in today's Fast-Moving Business Environment (FMBE)? (On a train) you can walk around. ..with a coach there may not be a toilet. Think about it.
This book is perfectly described in the two words above the barcode on the back: Humour/Business. Yes, it's silly verging on ridiculous at times, but there's also more than a kernel of truth on what is said. It's a mix of my old two 11 O'Clock Show faves, Ali G and Ricky Gervais, and unusually for a dictionary-style book, is one you can read in one sitting.
Any quibbles with the book? Well, when I read that he thinks pastries at meetings are optional, I was immediately certain that L-Vo has never worked in the NHS. Apart from that, I would agree with a lot of what he says. This worries me a little. This book comes with the promise that buying two copies will make you even more successful than buying just one, but you might like to make it three just to be on the safe side.
Thanks go to the publishers for supplying this book (though only one copy? Don't they want me to be super successful?) If you're looking for another read, you could try understanding why What Got You Here Won't Get You There, but I'm sure you'll find that to get you There, Succeederology® will be key.