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The Secrets of Consulting: A Guide to Giving and Getting Advice Successfully Paperback – Jan 1986


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Dorset House; First Edition edition (January 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0932633013
  • ISBN-13: 978-0932633019
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 15.9 x 23.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 454 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #243,295 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Johnston on March 9 2004
Format: Paperback
This is a little book with some big messages. As the subtitle says, it's a book not only for those who give, or sell, their advice, but it's also for those who are taking or buying it. It's a book both for those who help to manage change, and for those undergoing change themselves. Many people should read it.
That said, the main focus of the book is on those who produce the advice and ideas. If you are a consultant as I am, this may be one of the most important books in your collection. I have read it cover to cover twice, and parts of it many other times.
The book is written with a light, humorous touch, illustrated both with many funny stories and some very apt cartoons and quotations. From each discussion he abstracts multiple "laws" and reminders, which on their own should prompt you to remember the key points he discusses.
Weinberg doesn't pull any of his punches. Consulting is hard, and the secrets are guides to improving your success and survival rate, not any set of "magic wands". He addresses ways in which you can fail just as much as ways to succeed.
In successive chapters, the book deals with the nature of consulting and the problems it can address, and how to develop your own mind so that your can see the problems and come up with possible solutions to them.
Throughout, Weinberg teaches us to focus on the "people" problems: cultural, political and psychological, which tend to be at the heart of any issue, assuming that, as he says, "it's always a people problem". If you can solve the people problems, the practical problems should be easy by comparison.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on Nov. 20 1999
Format: Paperback
The book is helpful, interesting, and contains quite a few valuable insights that can only come from experience. For that very reason, inexperienced people will miss it all, btw. So, overall it's not bad. At the same time, I've noticed that every time I read something by Weinberg, I have a feeling of displeasure for some reason, even though it is hard for me to put my finger on it. What is it? My best try has got to be that he doesn't write well and needs to be energetically edited. The general tone is condescending, fuddy-daddy'ish, frequently ponderous, and vague. The humour is a bit on the unfunny side. He mentions Russell in the bibliography, and by golly, he could learn from him how to write concisely, *clearly*, with good logic and all parts connecting.
There may be something else beside that, but as I said, it's hard to put a finger on what exactly it is. It's kind of a good book, but I wish it was reworked so it's not as annoying to read. Therefore I gave it a 3. In other words, this is a mediocre book that is worth buying <g>. Now, *that's* clear writing, isn't it <g>?
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Format: Paperback
What exactly is consulting? And how does one consult successfully? This informative book attempts to answer these questions in a humorous, easy-to-read style. Throughout this book, Weinberg introduces and explains dozens of consulting laws, rules, and principles - and right from the start, with his laws of consulting laid out, you will be captivated by Weinberg's philosophy:
The First Law of Consulting: In spite of what your client may tell you, there's always a problem.
The Second Law of Consulting: No matter how it looks at first, it's always a people problem.
The Third Law of Consulting: Never forget they're paying you by the hour, not by the solution.
The Fourth Law of Consulting: If they didn't hire you, don't solve they're problem.
Some of my many favorite laws, rules, and principles:
The Bolden Rule: If you can't fix it, feature it.
The Lone Ranger Fantasy: When the clients don't show their appreciation, pretend that they're stunned by your performance - but never forget that it's your fantasy, not theirs.
Marvin's Second Great Secret: Repeatedly curing a system that can cure itself will eventually create a system that can't.
Have you seen the new poster that reads "Consulting: If you're not a part of the solution, there's good money to be made in prolonging the problem."? Weinberg would not agree with this statement - his Sixth Law of Pricing says that if they don't like your work, don't take their money. An alternative to these types of posters? Blow up the cartoon illustrations in this book and hang them in your office.
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Format: Paperback
I'm having to order another copy of Secrets of Consulting because I lent the last one to a friend, and it's never come back home. There's a reason for that. This is the kind of book that people borrow, but never want to part with again.
A lot of consulting books are filled with fluff, common sense advice that you already know, or only ONE good thought in 250 pages. In 17 years of consulting, however, I've never found a better guide to solving the REAL business problems that you'll encounter. (And it's useful for more than just consultants, too.) Weinberg gets his message across in simple, memorable anecdotes that I can recite perfectly, fifteen years after I first read the book: The Orange Juice Rule, Rudy's Rutabaga Rule.
Here's one fer-instance. A client says that he wants something special done in a project you've already budgeted and possibly already started. Do you tell her "no way!" and lose the business? Do you do the extra work, grumbling about it (and maybe losing money on the deal)? Or do you apply the Orange Juice Rule? (You don't think I'll give away the answer, do ya?) I can't tell you how often I've applied the Orange Juice Rule and saved my business relationship as well as my own budget.
Besides, this book is just plain fun to read. It's light enough to be entertaining, but his advice will help you run your business better... for several years.
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