Book review: Springboard

Emma De Vita reviews the book by G Richard Shell


What can a US professor who teaches a "success course" at a prestigious university tell you about finding fulfilment at work? Plenty, it seems.

G Richard Shell will help you to "launch your personal search for success" by asking where you can find meaningful work. He suggests that it is located at the intersection of three overlapping circles: the jobs that will pay you something; the jobs that use your talents and strengths; and the jobs that ignite your passions and sense of purpose.

"By far the hardest of the three circles to grasp is the third," writes Shell. How exactly do you work out what you find emotionally satisfying? There are two options: either embrace and master a field for which you have an aptitude and let the meaning emerge from your career - you too can be the greatest manager that ever walked the earth - or guide yourself towards activities that "resonate with your life story", based on factors that form the acronym 'perfect': Personal growth; Entrepreneurial independence; Religious or spiritual identity; Family; Expressing yourself through ideas; Community or Talent-based striving for excellence. Basically, it's whatever makes you leap out of bed and wonder what the day will bring.

Emma De Vita is books editor of Management Today

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