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Empires of the Mind.

At a time when the best-seller lists are crammed full of predictably trite self-help books designed to improve our lives, it is refreshing to discover a book like Empires of the Mind, by Denis Waitley.

Waitley challenges the usefulness of standard management practices, career tracks, and job descriptions. Instead, he emphasizes the importance of individual goals and strengths. It is possible, he notes, to remain a team player, but in an era of reengineering, employees should learn to think like a CEO at the same time.

Throughout his examination of how to maximize personal potential, Waitley explains why employees must:

* uncover the key foundations of authentic self-leadership;

* become more powerful by sharing power;

* be both "high tech" and "high touch";

* benchmark individual leadership qualities;

* thrive on risk and adversity;

* challenge assumptions and master habits;

* make integrity the real bottom line.

Thinking Like an Entrepreneur

To illustrate these and other points, Waitley wisely points to successful entrepreneurs as examples of how his ideas can work. In one section of the book, he reminds us that successful businessmen and women don't have to be grey-haired. Waitley profiles three members of the much-maligned "Generation X" as proof that his principles can help people of any age group working in any industry.

One of those profiled is Kimberly, founder of JVC Technologies, Inc., a Wayne, Pennsylvania computer networking organization. Kimberly never went to college. She married a truck driver and became a secretary before realizing that her true calling was computers. At the time she co-founded JVC, Kimberly was a divorced mother with a young child. She heard her "internal applause," as Waitley calls it - a feeling of determination that inspires people to overcome the odds - and today earns a six-figure salary. JVC is projecting double-digit millions in annual revenues.

Passion emerges as a common theme in the book, as Waitley argues forcefully about the need for passion in the workplace. He advises: "Have a purpose that will outlive you and pursue it with a passion."

Waitley provides a list of questions to stimulate readers' thinking about their core passion:

* What product or service can you offer that isn't now being offered?

* How can you position yourself in a way that's different from how you're doing it right now?

* Where's the niche that hasn't been developed?

* How can you add value to the service or product you now produce?

* Where is the market inefficiency?

* What would make the process or procedure more convenient?

* How can you do this less expensively?

* What would people pay for what isn't now available?

* What would my customer or client group want if it were available?

* What do you most enjoy doing and want to do more of?

* How can you make a living from doing what you consider fun, challenging, and never boring?

* What trends will change your colleagues' and competitors' current assumptions about your field?

* What's next for that small service corporation with the one employee: You, Inc.?

Empires of the Mind is a valuable tool in our ongoing struggle to become more efficient and effective in the workplace. There is no doubt that the findings and recommendations contained in Waitley's book will remain relevant for years to come.
COPYRIGHT 1995 National Association of Credit Management
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1995 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Naff, Kevin C.
Publication:Business Credit
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Jul 1, 1995
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