My Top 10 Business Books to Avoid Like the Plague

in business, Featured, Uncategorized

a child with thick sunglasses reading a book

Here’s a list of the Top 10 Books I chose not to read in 2022 and suggest you don’t read in 2023. Books are from Amazon’s current Business & Money bestseller list:

1. The Myth of American Inequality

2. I Will Teach You to Be Rich: No Guilt, No Excuses, No B.S.

3. Think and Grow Rich (TIE)

3. Stop Overthinking (TIE)

5. Extreme Ownership: How US Navy Seals Lead and Win

6. The 12-Week Year: Get More Done in 12 Weeks than Others Do in 12 Months (TIE)

6. The 4-Hour Work Week: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich (TIE)

8. Never Split the Difference: Negotiate as if Your Life Depended on It

9. The 48 Laws of Power

10. Discipline Is Destiny — The Power of Self-Control

Reviewing the Amazon list, I’m reminded of what a bunch of wealthy bad-asses business-book authors are, and what a bunch of broke, flawed slackers we readers must be.

Some books I’m excited about reading in 2023, in some cases because I know the author to be someone who has something valuable to say and has authentic experience in business:

Books I’ve previously recommended include:

[The links above are NOT affiliate links. Feel free to click away to your heart’s content and rest assured I will not earn one red cent from your purchases.]

Are Mental Health Days Just a Band-Aid Solution for Burnout?

in burnout, industrial organizational psychology, Uncategorized

BandAid

Jonathan Malesic, in Mental Health Days Are Only a Band-Aid Solution for Burnout, wrote the book on burnout  —  literally. (I recommend his painstakingly researched The End of Burnout above any other on the topic.)

I agree with what Malesic writes in the article, including this under-appreciated observation:

“[Mental Health days] might not reduce someone’s workload, if they have to overburden themselves catching up after—or before—their rest.”

I agree, also, that mental health days are a simplistic response to employee mental health challenges.

But, ultimately, I’d like to see organizational/societal strategies put forward more persuasively and independently, rather than elevating them only by denigrating the Band-Aid solutions employers (and, sometimes, employees) favor.

Band-Aid solutions aren’t displacing effective strategies. Employers just prefer trendy solutions that don’t require much of them.

But, to do anything meaningful, we have to figure out how to get employers to genuinely care about mental health. Employers can suss out our specious claims of ROI.

Saying that mental health is a business strategy  —  the battle cry of many thought leaders and psych scholars —  doesn’t make it so. Wellbeing isn’t just investment, it’s a public health imperative.

[Hat-tip to Fred Schott who brought Malesic’s article to my attention on LinkedIn)

Emotional Labor, Great Expectations, and The End of Burnout

in burnout, industrial organizational psychology, Stress, Uncategorized

Venn Diagram

Emotional labor was conceptualized by sociologist Arlie Hochschild as work that requires the job holder to fake (surface acting) or modify (deep acting) their emotions. It’s often misinterpreted to mean emotionally intense work.

For example:

Service industry employees instructed to smile and pretend to be upbeat under high-stress circumstances — like interactions with hostile customers — typically engage in surface acting, which has been implicated in burnout.

Relatedly: Jonathan Malesic, in The End of Burnout — besides tracing burnout to job conditions and “work culture” — proposes that consumers, and even co-workers, hold ourselves accountable:

To beat burnout and help others flourish, we need to lower not only our expectations for our own work but also our expectations of what others’ work can do for us.

The book cover for "The End of Burnout"

Click to purchase. (Affiliate link)