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Your Job Survival Guide: A Manual for Thriving in Change

Book Description

Selected by IBM Competitive Edge Book Club Selection. 

"The beauty of this book on top of its life-saving timeliness is its capacity to give the reader concrete steps to live the good life and enjoy it.  The book made me understand that work can be more fun than fun.”

–Warren Bennis, Ph.D., University Professor, University of Southern California, coauthor, Judgment: How Great Leaders Make Winning Calls and Transparency: How Leaders Create a Culture of Candor

Change. It’s your job. It just won’t stop. It’s relentless. It keeps coming at you like never-ending rapids in a permanent whitewater river. Change will burn you out if you don’t learn how to handle it. This book is not, however, about mere survival.  It is about thriving amidst the challenges of your permanent whitewater world at work. 

•Protect your career, improve your resilience, and seize the opportunities in turbulent times

•Take charge, learn to pace yourself, set your own course, and lead others in ad-hoc teams

•Ride the rapids and rediscover play and adventure in today’s demanding work environment 

•Learn from research and the experiences of hundreds of professionals in industries from energy to telecommunications to financial services to health care

There’s nothing abstract or cute about the way this book talks about change: This is practical, grounded knowledge for managing your life in a business world that’s churning with change. Gregory Shea, Ph.D. and Robert Gunther show how to keep your working life on course instead of being pushed beyond your limits...find fun and fulfillment...regroup and rebound from failure...protect yourself from events you can’t predict...take charge of your life, an your future!

Table of Contents

  1. Copyright
    1. Dedication
  2. Praise for Your Job Survival Guide
  3. Acknowledgments
  4. About the Authors
  5. Preface: We Surely All Will Die
  6. 1. An Eskimo on the Titanic
    1. Dangerous Waters
    2. Sailors and Paddlers: Your Real Job Is Change
    3. The Limits of Flat-Water Thinking
  7. 2. Working the Eddies: Pace Yourself to Preserve Your Sanity
    1. All Hands on Deck
    2. We Are Drowning in Change
      1. The Impact of Exhaustion
    3. Strategies for Pacing
      1. Create a “Not To Do” List
      2. Build Breaks in the Action
      3. Get Good Sleep
      4. Take a Nap
      5. Enforce Vacations
      6. Avoid the Perils of the Crazy Brave and Phony Tough
    4. Keep a Roll in Reserve
  8. 3. Mastering the Roll: Prepare to Fail Gracefully and Recover Quickly
    1. Failure Is the Only Option
    2. Strategies for Failing Quickly and Recovering Gracefully
      1. Treat Your Career as a Series of Experiments
      2. Minimize the Risk of Failure
      3. Master the Emotions of Failure
      4. Practice Failing
      5. Prepare to Learn from Failure
      6. Make Your Mistakes on the Move
    3. Failing and Play
  9. 4. The Power of Play: Optimism and Resilience
    1. The Play’s the Thing
    2. The Power of Optimism
    3. Strategies for Unsinkable Optimism
      1. Create Optimism and Avoid Learned Helplessness
      2. When All Else Fails, Paddle Like Hell
    4. Choose Your Equipment for the Right Level of Fun
      1. Patience: Keep Your Feet Up and Go With the Flow
      2. Recharge by Paddling
      3. Create Time and Space for Play
    5. Cultivate Exuberance
  10. 5. Personal Flotation: You Are Responsible for Your Own Security
    1. Sink or Swim
    2. Strategies for Personal Flotation
      1. Learn Self-Rescue by Developing Your “Brand You”
      2. Build a Portfolio of Projects
      3. Practice Your Offside Roll: Cultivate Diverse Skills to Increase Maneuverability
      4. Create Strong Networks
      5. Take Care of Your Health
    3. Alone in a Tight Place
  11. 6. Scouting and Portaging: Set Your Own Course
    1. Meaning Is Local
    2. Get Out When You Hear the Roar of the Falls
    3. Strategies for Scouting and Portaging
      1. Listen to the River: Read the Water
      2. Develop Your Intuition and Then Listen to It
      3. Listen to Others: Learn from Reports of Fellow Travelers
      4. Know When To Portage
      5. Recognize When You Are Drowning
      6. Listen to Your Heart
      7. When in Doubt, Scout
    4. The Phoenix
  12. 7. Rising Above the Roar: Communicate Through Symbols
    1. Strategies for Communicating Above the Roar
      1. Actions Speak Louder Than Words
      2. Maintain a Line of Sight
      3. Never Risk a Lie—Even Unintentionally
      4. Ensure Two-Way Communication
      5. Create Space to Grieve: Funerals, Irish Wakes, Slicing Nursing Stations, and Other Symbolic Events
      6. Make Sense of What Happened: Share Stories Around the Fire
      7. Use Myths to Create Meaning
      8. Use Metaphors
    2. Finding Meaning and Shaping a Legacy
  13. 8. Building Flocks: Teaming for Today’s Run
    1. Murmurations of Starlings: Teams Have a Life of Their Own
    2. Strategies for Teaming
      1. Know What You Bring to the Team
      2. Know Your Teammates
      3. Become Skilled at Entering and Leaving Teams
      4. Find Safety in Numbers
      5. Understand What Game You Are Playing
      6. Choose the Right Vessel
      7. Understand the Working of Teams
    3. The Power of the Team
  14. 9. Leading Trips: Guiding Through Permanent Whitewater
    1. Leading in Permanent Whitewater
      1. Understand Power and Influence on the River
      2. Build Trust
      3. Stepping Aside: Manage Shifting Roles
      4. Enabling Leaders and Following Followers: Stepping Up to Leadership
      5. Assembling the Right Team
      6. Structuring the Team
    2. Humility and the Art of Leading from Behind
  15. Conclusion, What Conclusion?
    1. Building the G-Rig
    2. The Rivers Are Rising
    3. No Place to Hide—But Why Would You Want To?
  16. Endnotes
    1. Preface
    2. Chapter 1
    3. Chapter 2
    4. Chapter 3
    5. Chapter 4
    6. Chapter 5
    7. Chapter 6
    8. Chapter 7
    9. Chapter 8
    10. Chapter 9
    11. Conclusion, What Conclusion?
  17. Financial Times Press
  18. Inside Front cover
  19. Inside Back cover