Most helpful critical review
Waste of Paper--Cute, but Shallow
on January 31, 2002
This book was a disappointment to me. It was recommended by a friend when I expressed intrigue with books that mixed illustrations and stories to communicate management messages (a la Who Moved My Cheese).
The author is a PhD-level, highly experienced consultant . . . with a couple of cats. From her biography in the book, I'd expect something strong. I'd describe the book more as "cute" or "artsy," rather than having strong content.
Hessler-Key suggests that we can learn from cats, applying their behaviors to better manage our own. Her thirteen messages are couched in short descriptive pieces from or about her cat. The advice is succinct at the end of each of the one-page lessons. Here are the messages: Pick a business or career that lets you express your talents. Done only that and do it well. Constantly look for ways to full your customers needs. Gauge your distance, position yourself, and leap. Follow your instincts. Clean out the old and begin again. Observe your environment closely and with detachment. Meander and Explore. Catnap occasionally-dream. Walk away from opportunities that don't meet your standards. Be independent, but don't isolate yourself. Pick your priority; be relentless. Life Balance. Find your place in the sun, relax and enjoy life.
A 14-page workbook section follows, asking a number of questions around each of the thirteen themes. This feature could make the book a worthwhile tool for workshops, though my personal concern is that there is not enough meat and seriousness in the book's content to inspire effective responses without the author or a colleague serving as a facilitator.
I'm not sure that today's reader is in the same space that this book occupies. It seems to fluffy and light to be taken seriously, even though the messages are valid. It's not up to what I'd like to see from this author and not what I'm accustomed to seeing from Berrett-Kohler.