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Who Moved My Cheese?: An A-Mazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life Hardcover – Jan 10 2002


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Who Moved My Cheese?: An A-Mazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life + One Minute Manager + The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Putnam Adult; 1 edition (Jan. 10 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399144463
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399144462
  • Product Dimensions: 13.9 x 1.4 x 21.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 181 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,226 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #17,942 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

From Amazon

Change can be a blessing or a curse, depending on your perspective. The message of Who Moved My Cheese? is that all can come to see it as a blessing, if they understand the nature of cheese and the role it plays in their lives. Who Moved My Cheese? is a parable that takes place in a maze. Four beings live in that maze: Sniff and Scurry are mice--nonanalytical and nonjudgmental, they just want cheese and are willing to do whatever it takes to get it. Hem and Haw are "littlepeople," mouse-size humans who have an entirely different relationship with cheese. It's not just sustenance to them; it's their self-image. Their lives and belief systems are built around the cheese they've found. Most of us reading the story will see the cheese as something related to our livelihoods--our jobs, our career paths, the industries we work in--although it can stand for anything, from health to relationships. The point of the story is that we have to be alert to changes in the cheese, and be prepared to go running off in search of new sources of cheese when the cheese we have runs out.

Dr. Johnson, coauthor of The One Minute Manager and many other books, presents this parable to business, church groups, schools, military organizations--anyplace where you find people who may fear or resist change. And although more analytical and skeptical readers may find the tale a little too simplistic, its beauty is that it sums up all natural history in just 94 pages: Things change. They always have changed and always will change. And while there's no single way to deal with change, the consequence of pretending change won't happen is always the same: The cheese runs out. --Lou Schuler

From Library Journal

This is a brief tale of two mice and two humans who live in a maze and one day are faced with change: someone moves their cheese. Reactions vary from quick adjustment to waiting for the situation to change by itself to suit their needs. This story is about adjusting attitudes toward change in life, especially at work. Change occurs whether a person is ready or not, but the author affirms that it can be positive. His principles are to anticipate change, let go of the old, and do what you would do if you were not afraid. Listeners are still left with questions about making his or her own specific personal changes. Capably narrated by Tony Roberts, this audiotape is recommended for larger public library collections.AMark Guyer, Stark Cty. Dist. Lib., Canton, OH
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.

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Customer Reviews

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By anthony on June 6 2004
Format: Hardcover
I don't know that I've ever read a book that so accurately depicts the fears and anxieties associated with change. The book itself is witty and somewhat humorous, yet it's deep enough to provoke intense reflection and self evaluation if you allow it to. The storyline itself includes four characters who live in a maze and look for cheese to nourish them and make them happy. Two of the characters are mice named Sniff and Scurry. The other two are little people the size of mice who act a lot like real people do. Their names are Hem and Haw. The most thought provoking aspect of this book is that it allows each individual to draw conclusions based on their own individual situations relative to "the maze" and "the cheese". "The cheese" is a metaphor for what you want to have in life. "The maze" is symbolic for where you look for what you want in life. In this story, all of the characters are faced with unexpected change. As time passes, one of the characters deals with it successfully and writes what he has learned from his experiences on the wall. In short the message appears to be that when you see the "writing on the wall" you need to know how to deal with change. We all may have a different "maze" in life and may pursue different "cheese" in life,yet, the moral of the story is just the same. Noticing small changes early helps you adapt to the bigger changes later.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Bernardo on Jan. 21 2004
Format: Hardcover
Contrary to what many negative reviews said about it, this book does not compare us to mice, but to dwarfs; after all, the hero of the parable is Haw, a dwarf that learned to "adapt and enjoy the change".
Hem and Haw are two dwarfs looking for cheese in a maze, and eventually they find a place that seems to replenish itself with cheese from one day to the next. Haw starts agreeing with his pal Hem, who is confortable where he is, and both do not understand when the cheese disappears and get frustrated and a little confused. Then Haw asks himself how could he be any worse if he just went looking for another piece of cheese through the labyrinth again. Little by little he starts convincing himself that to invite change, to not be afraid of change, to visualize your goal (the new chunk of cheese), and to be fueled not by fear but by hope of achieving what you want is the best thing one can do. Hem stays behind, moaning and moping, complaining of the unfairness of the situation, that he deserved the cheese, that he won't like any new brand of cheese that Haw may find - that is, if he finds it at all. Of course Haw finds a new place with not one, but many types of cheese, but by now he has learned not to trust permanence, and actually enjoy change. He even tries to convince Hem to give up the expectation that the old cheese will reappear, and to come along with him to this new section of the maze that has all this cheese, but alas, Hem does not change, and stays where he is.
What the book does not state, in any part of it, is that changes may be a bad thing.
Any normal human being knows that. Sometimes even when we adapt, and try our best to accept that things change, we still get failures. And sometimes things should not be adapted, because that will make the situation worse than it is.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Reginleif II on July 19 2003
Format: Hardcover
The fact that a certain manager at a former workplace of mine -- far better at schmoozing than telling the truth, not having grown emotionally or intellectually since the age of about 14, and known to have, uh, a little trouble with alcohol -- loooooved this book made me suspect it from the start. If I remember correctly, I gave it a brief flip-through because I couldn't stomach an in-depth reading.
Unlike many of the one-star reviewers, I'm a libertarian, and I do believe that we all need to be ready to adapt to radical changes in how we earn our livings. Like it or not, the anti-globalists and the Luddites aren't going to turn back the tides of freer trade and ever-improving technology. I myself got laid off last month, and although at times I've been downhearted and panicky (my skills could use some major upgrading), I am trying to look at it as an opportunity, not a catastrophe, especially because my most recent job was in an industry with a dwindling future.
That said, all the trees that died to make "Who Moved My Cheese?" would have been better put to use as toilet paper. An author who truly cared about helping others adjust to change would make concrete suggestions on how to do so. Indeed, there are any number of books out there on how to change careers, relationships, self-image, etc. Of course, many of them are hack jobs, but others offer concrete suggestions, sound strategies, and morale-boosters that actually have some intellectual heft to them.
This book, on the other hand, is an exercise in managerial self-congratulation at its most condescending to subordinates. I was disgusted, but not really surprised, to learn that people were receiving it in their layoff packages. Scott ("Dilbert") Adams could hardly come up with a crueler twist on corporate perversity.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By P. Kingsriter on June 10 2003
Format: Audio CD
"If this wasn't so rediculous, it'd be even funnier." -- Who Moved My Cheese
This audiobook was given to me, along with a number of other coping-with-trying-times resources, by one of my many middle managers in the midst of a merger. With an open mind I gave it a shot. What did I have to loose, except my job?
This book is an over-simplistic metaphor for unexpected change that is beyond one's control, in which "cheese" is a symbol of something you want, ie: happiness, security, financial resources. The message the authors attempt to convey is that your future, success, security, and ultimately happiness is within your control. While this may be PARTLY true, the tone of the childlike story is so condescending (an unintended byproduct of the tale's simplification, I suspect), one could easily get the feeling it was penned by the committee representing CEOs Happily Unopposed to Bad Behavior (CHUBB).
The book amplifies feelings of rejection and betrayal by the faceless "Cheese Removers". It raises many questions like, "What if I was counting on that cheese for future use", but offers no answer other than you've got to go out and find more "cheese" for yourself, even though everything you had was just taken from you for no apparent reason. To me (and many others) this was not an inspiring read. It was painful.
This book was destined to be a best seller because, no doubt, it can be ordered by the box-load by those anticipating removing others' cheese. Sure, the message is a fine one, it's the delivery that flat-out stinks.
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