BOOKCASE: Success: The ultimate guide to success at work


• Andrea Molloy
• Random House New Zealand
• $36.99

Okay… time to clear the clutter, fix the finances, carve out the career you want, plot out life plan, carry it out – and don’t forget to look after yourself.
What irritates me about worthy efforts like local coaching queen Andrea Molloy’s latest book, Success:the ultimate guide to success at work is that you can’t fault the sense of it. I feel the same way about the various diet divas who keep finding new ways to tell me that the best approach to beat unseemly bulges is to eat less and exercise more. Of course! Silly me.
The thing is that recipes for self improvement aren’t exactly rocket science either: prepare hearty mix of self belief, stir in the self discipline, season with judicious amount of self promotion and serve with an optimistic attitude. Try swallowing an aphorism day to keep doubts and cynicism at bay. Yes, my cup is half full, goddam it.
All that said, Molloy covers familiar ground well, offering sage advice on everything from reducing debt to building your own brand image. It’s deliberately holistic approach which, according to the foreword is more powerful in that it shows success to be “a result of multiple initiatives” and “part of comprehensive plan”.
Some content strays too far into the seriously obvious territory for my liking – like the advice in the personal image section to “maintain your wardrobe with careful attention and cleaning”. As opposed to what? Or “a smile conveys warmth…” Even if your teeth are gritted?
But an easy writing style with simple layout, enlivened with examples from her own coaching work and summarised “success actions” at the close of each chapter make this readily accessible book. It also comes with bunch of high-profile references. Fairfax CEO Joan Withers describes it as “a very comprehensive toolkit” and “invaluable resource”; Westpac’s Ann Sherry says it “covers all the bases”; and Microsoft MD Helen Robinson calls it “priceless”.
So here I am, sitting at my cluttered desk, late on Sunday evening writing review I should have got out of the way last week. And that’s after I read the book. Including the section on procrastination. Irritating!

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